My question is...
I am torn between the White Pass Railway or drive to Emerald Lake ourselves. My husband and I and our two daughters 11 and 21 we want to make the best out of our trip in Skagway and we have from 6am-8pm
Also what would you suggest for Juneau we will be there noon to 10pm and Ketchikan 7am-12pm( just a few hours). Any help would be great. This is our first cruise to Alaska we are going May 15th on Princess.
Thanks in advance
I've heard the drive is beautiful, have only done the train, and I do recommend that. Hopefully someone that has done the drive themselves can give you more insight on that. I know you'd miss the narritive with the train ride, very interesting history stuff along the way up.
For Juneau I highly recommend visiting the Mendenhall glacier. There are busses at the dock that will take you there and return you. Not sure the the going rate these days but it's pretty reasonable.
If the weather's clear take the Mt Roberts Tram. You can also catch this right at the dock. No need to pre-book this and only go if the weather's clear.
We really enjoyed our whale watch trip as well. You'll likely see whales from the ship but not very close. The whale trips do get close.
For Skagway....never did the drive so can't compare but the White Pass train trip is spectacular.
I am in agreement with the glacier trip in Juneau. Also with the train to White Pass in Skagway. My husband got pictures you would not believe. People I show them to assume they are professional and I bought them..... all taken with a cheap digital. That trip is well worth the price. As far as just a few hours in Ketchikan, I have been there twice and that is enough time. There is a cultural center which might be interesting for you. Also you can walk along Creek street which is the historical section. Kind of interesting. I find Ketchikan more touristy then other stops in Alaska. If you like shops and jewelery you will like it. Otherwise a few hours there is just fine.....Have fun.
I would recommend the as well . The road between Skagway and Emerald Lake can get very foggy. When we where in Skagway the DW dad and step mum drove down from Whitehorse . They had very dense fog in the pass between Skagway and the Yukon border. Our trip on the railway was very
foggy in the pass. We couldn't see 10 feet.
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The train and Klondike Highway are both extremely worthwhile touring options, neither "better" in my opinion. I have done both many times. The above reference to "fog" is limited" to their Single experience and in, no way indictates any preference for touring selection. There is no way to predict it.
Plenty to see and do in Juneau, I suggest you do your homework and find out what is available. Look over a shore excursion list and narrow down your interests.
The road between Skagway and Emerald Lake can get very foggy.
To clarify what's happening (I've been driving the highway regularly year-round for the past 20 years), you climb up into the clouds (if there are clouds below 3,000 feet). Clouds come and clouds go...
The White Pass was great. You can actually stand in the open between the cars and you get fantastic shots. Also, stop by the Skagway Brewing Company and get a shirt. You'll likely be the only one on your block with one. A great conversation piece.
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I highly recommend the train in Skagway. Extremely memorable. For Juneau, Mendenhall glacier is a must. We did it by helicopter which made it even better. For Ketchikan, we took a canoe trip which was fun. (if it's not raining).
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We did our first cruise with Princess a few years ago and did Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. In Ketchikan we did a totem pole trip - very interesting and gave us enough time to wander around for the rest of the time we were there ( half a day) Ketchikan is known as the rain capital of the world - it lived up to it, but the trip was still great ! We saw eagles all over the place. Juneau we did a helicopter trip onto a glacier - wouldn't have missed it for anything - it was inspiring and we felt privelaged to be able to walk on it - lucky guides who do it every day ! Skagway we did the White Pass Railway - a great trip - we saw baby bears on the way back down - again worth it, we also did a tour around the town on a big yellow bus type vehicle - sorry can't remember the name of it - but the guide was fantastic - I remember her name 'cos it was Tikka and reminded me of the curry ! Have a fantastic time - we did
We prefer to rent a car and drive to Emerald Lake out of Skagway. We have made the trip some 10 or 11 times and have never encountered any fog. We did hit a brief snow shower in the mountains one time but that was about it. We usually go to Alaska in mid May.
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My mom has done the train, she enjoyed the views but the downside is you don't make stops. So you are on the train going up listening to the narrator, when you go back to Skagway, no narrator.
I've done Hwy which is great because they DO make stops, and the views are different.
There are tours that do both which would be my pick when I go back in July. Train going up, then bus/van going back to Skagway. If your ship doesn't offer this tour, there are independent tours such as Dyea Dave. I think they are around $150 for train up/van back.