We are planning another trip to Alaska this summer, with the first time being in August of 2004. The shore excursions we enjoyed were:
Ketchican, Neets Bay Black Bear watch. We arrived by floatplane, and were SO close to the bears as they approached the river to feast on the salmon. They were so focused on the salmon, they didn't even look in our direction. If you go at the time this excursion is offered, well worth the $$$.
Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier, the Mendenhall river rafting trip, which isn't extreme, but all aboard the raft had a great time, and the Mendenhall Gardens, which were so beautiful, with great views of the harbor also.
Skagway: We took a helicopter to view a glacier. Wonderful ride in the helicopter over the mountains etc. The train trip which is extremely popular was also great.
Seward: We opted for the optional tour of the Kenai Fjords, which was a highlight of our trip. We were too late in the season to see the Puffins, but saw whales feeding, sea lions, etc. Well worth the time. It also helped that we had beautiful weather for all of these excursions.
Denali: Besides the offical trip into the park offered with our HA tour, we went for the day trip all the way out to Mirror Lake. Yes, it is on a school bus, but we saw so much wildlife, and our bus driver became our personal tour guide for the small group on the bus. She was great, and didn't hesitate to stop at any time to scope out the animals we were sighting. They warned us of mosquitoes, but with the warmer weather we were experiencing, we had no mosquitoes.
Any of these excursuions I would recommend.
This trip we are going with HA again, but taking the cruise with ports of call in Sitka, Homer, Kodiak, Icy Straits and Victoria, besides some repeats. Looking forward to new adventures. Any suggestions for these ports would be greatly appreciated.