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-   -   Tours with kids and adventure - advice (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/alaska/382710-tours-kids-adventure-advice.html)

staffieri May 26th, 2011 12:32 AM

Tours with kids and adventure - advice
 
So hoping you all can help. Going on our first Alaska cruise with my two kids- my son 13 and daughter 5. We will be in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Would love some advice of some great tours where you really experience Alaska. We are doers, not so much the sightseers. We know Alaska 's beauty is going to be amazing and would love to know how to really experience it. So ANY advice would be great.

**Unsure of train in Skagway. Know the sights will be wonderful but unsure about sitting on a train for 3 hours.

Let me know, Thanks!!! Kimberly

MercedMike May 26th, 2011 12:44 PM

Caribou Crossing by rental car
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by staffieri (Post 1372879)
So hoping you all can help. Going on our first Alaska cruise with my two kids- my son 13 and daughter 5. We will be in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Would love some advice of some great tours where you really experience Alaska. We are doers, not so much the sightseers. We know Alaska 's beauty is going to be amazing and would love to know how to really experience it. So ANY advice would be great.

**Unsure of train in Skagway. Know the sights will be wonderful but unsure about sitting on a train for 3 hours.

Let me know, Thanks!!! Kimberly

An absolutely wonderful thing for a family to do in Skagway is to rent a car from Avis, drive over the White Pass the same way the train goes (but on the opposite side of the valley), and visit Caribou Crossing in the Yukon. Your kids will love the wildlife museum and a ride on a dog cart at the Musher's Camp will be a high point of their trip. Check out our trip report and pictures at Driving from Skagway into the Yukon

Something the kids might like in Juneau, adventuresome but not too difficult, is the visit to the gold mine. Check out our trip report and pictures at Sapphire Princess Cruise Review

A fun thing to do in Ketchikan is to ride the ducks! It is only about an hour, and leaves you time to visit the Totem Poles or the lumberjack shows. Check out our trip report and pictures at Cruising to Alaska on HAL Zuiderdam

A lot more things that we have enjoyed (not necessarily adventuresome!) are at Alaska Excursions Guide

Have a GREAT cruise!

Paul Motter May 26th, 2011 03:22 PM

In Juneau you can't beat the Glacier flightseeing in a helicopter. They will even fly you to a place on the glacier where they do dogsledding - but it is expensive, I think over $200 per person (for the dogs).

The flightseeing costs less - about $175 pp.

Or you can go whale watching in Juneau or Sitka.

Donna May 26th, 2011 03:30 PM

I wouldn't rule out the train in Skagway, while it is rather lengthy, its just wonderful to sit back and listen to all the history as you pass historic areas. THey also allow you to stand outside the car on the platforms, great views that way too...I loved it and have in fact done it twice now.

Tlingit Eagle May 26th, 2011 03:55 PM

For kids, don't rule out the train!

I first went on the train in 1972. The last time was in 2001. And I'm going again next year.

It was the most magical memory of my childhood. Some of the trestles are high and exciting. The tunnels are exciting. And it's fun looking off for wildlife! It's a narrow train with old fashioned motions.

They have a few excursions now that are for more active people. You can take the train and go on a hike, or kayak across a lake.

The rest of Skagway is a bust. Silliness about the goldrush, and not all that accurate either.

I also found an excursion that takes you to Haines, and cruises you around a wildlife preserve nearby. That's a new excursion where you are likely to see moose. You won't have opportunity elsewhere, because moose haven't made it across the mountains to the rest of Southeast. I think I'm doing that one next year too. It's hard to find excursions for active people. Even the 4 wheel drive excursions are boring. (been there, done that in Ketchikan)

MercedMike May 27th, 2011 12:17 PM

Flightseeing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1372975)
In Juneau you can't beat the Glacier flightseeing in a helicopter. They will even fly you to a place on the glacier where they do dogsledding - but it is expensive, I think over $200 per person (for the dogs).

The flightseeing costs less - about $175 pp.

Or you can go whale watching in Juneau or Sitka.

Wow, Paul, when was the last time you went flightseeing in Alaska?

My DW likes the helicopters. Booking independently she paid over $400 for the dog camp, and about $250 for the plain glacier landing. Booking through the ship is probably $25-50 more expensive.

She says it was worth it!

Check out our trip report and pictures at Alaska Cruiestour The Cruise

Lisa1230 May 27th, 2011 05:16 PM

We went on an Alaskan cruise a few years ago when our daughters were 10 and 4. Our ports of call were also Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. In Ketchikan we hiked around on our own and went to the Lumberjack show. In Juneau we went on an excursion that included a whale watching cruise and a stop at the Mendenhall Glacier. In Skagway we went on an excursion that was a bus trip into the Yukon and the White Pass Railway back to Skagway. The highlight was definitely the dog sled/kart ride that we did when we stopped in the Yukon - anything to do with sled dogs was a hit on the entire vacation. The train ride was fun - my younger daughter did get tired of just looking out the window but we had stickers and books with us to keep her occupied while everyone else enjoyed the ride.

I have a trip report and photos on my travel blog at Gone with the Family if you would like more information.

Lisa

Kuki May 27th, 2011 06:28 PM

When our boys were 8 and 11 (long time ago- now 25-28) we sailed to Alaska and did the heli tour and glacier landing.

They've done many cruises since, and when asked about cruising, they'll still refer to that as the favorite thing ever!

Expensive, yup! But the expressions of joy that day; the photos; their memories of it... priceless

staffieri May 29th, 2011 11:02 AM

YOU ALL ARE SO SWEET!!!!
Thank yo so much for all the info and I enjoyed looking at your trip reports with photo's. The train still has me going back and fourth. I'm still trying to work through it. This is what we have planned with your feedback. Any futher thoughts are great. Love it.

Skagway : Liarsville with Disney and a Summer Dog sled (WheelS) on our own

Juneau: A glacier Trek for mom and Son with Helicopter and me and my DD 5 will go see Mendenall glacier on our own.

Ketchican: Float plain to watch for Bears and Misty Fords(?)
and hopefully if time scuba for me and my son.

MercedMike May 29th, 2011 12:51 PM

Alaska!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by staffieri (Post 1373521)
YOU ALL ARE SO SWEET!!!!
Thank yo so much for all the info and I enjoyed looking at your trip reports with photo's. The train still has me going back and fourth. I'm still trying to work through it. This is what we have planned with your feedback. Any futher thoughts are great. Love it.

Skagway : Liarsville with Disney and a Summer Dog sled (WheelS) on our own

Juneau: A glacier Trek for mom and Son with Helicopter and me and my DD 5 will go see Mendenall glacier on our own.

Ketchican: Float plain to watch for Bears and Misty Fords(?)
and hopefully if time scuba for me and my son.

Wow, you are going to have SO MUCH FUN! This will be a memorable trip for you and the kids!

Have a GREAT cruise!

Lisa1230 May 30th, 2011 10:56 AM

Your kids will absolutely love the dog sled ride. I think it was the highlight of the entire Alaska trip for mine! :) The dogs get crazy with excitement when they are getting harnessed up for the ride and when they take off they go like mad. It's a thrilling experience that is over far too quickly!

If you and your daughter have time in Juneau after the glacier you might like to take the Mt. Roberts tram up the mountain. It's a fun experience as long as she isn't afraid of heights.

Lisa

PeterC May 30th, 2011 11:41 AM

The Duck tour in Ketchikan was fun, even the adults. A bit silly but the younger kid can get a duck call and make all sorts of noise. It's a nice short tour of the town and water too.
Certainly get up to the Mendenhall Glacier and walk around. It's wonderful up there.
We loved the train although my young son who was 8 at the time did fall asleep at one point. IMO the views are much better than the drive on the road across the valley.
Here's a youtube video I posted. You won't want to watch all 10 minutes of it but glance through and you'll get an idea of the train ride. This was returning to the town from the pass and we were lucky and had a perfect morning so I was able to spend the whole trip between cars outside.
YouTube - ‪White Pass RR Skagway‬‏
You have to know your likes and dislikes when choosing your outings. Personally there are places and events I know I'd hate but I'll read how much others loved them. So think about that aspect of it.
I'm envious. Enjoy the trip.

MercedMike May 31st, 2011 12:19 PM

Views
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PeterC (Post 1373728)
We loved the train although my young son who was 8 at the time did fall asleep at one point. IMO the views are much better than the drive on the road across the valley.

Well, now, I would put it the other way. It is true that there are two or three absolutely spectacular views from the train, especially at the trestle. BUT IMAO the vast majority of the time the view from the train is a rock wall on one side and spruce and willow trees on the other time. In fact, the guide makes an announcement and the train slows down when you come to a place where you can actually SEE something.

The drive gives you the opportunity to stop at those view spots and spend as long as you like. Of course this also allows the kids to get out and run around. We think it is superior to the train.

Now if you are a fan of old trains, then that is different!

PeterC May 31st, 2011 12:56 PM

Of course there are opposing opinions on pretty much everything so there is no right or wrong answer. Just personal likes and dislikes.
I remember once on the mornining of the first full day of our Alaskan cruise, and it was about 7am, there was a woman sitting near me and she was telling her friend how bored she was and that taking an Alaskan cruise was a horrible mistake. I was stunned that anybody would feel that way. But we're all different, right? How she'd decided that after about 14 total hours sailing is beyond me but unless she changed later, that was a lonnnggggggg week
for her. ;)

staffieri June 1st, 2011 11:02 PM

Everyone Thank you. I really want this cruise to be great!!!
Below is what I booked. Any more thoughts..... Advice....

Skagway: Liarsville on our own with Salmon Bake and all the fun $44 & $22Summer Musher Dog Camp: ride with dogs in cart see puppies. Can't do snow one $$$ cost $109 and $89

Juneau: My mom and Son North Star Glacier Trek and Helicopter &399 each
Me and daughter take bus on own to Mendenhall Glacier and then tram. Cost $36 total before tram

Ketchencan[B][/B] Seaplane tour Bears of Misty Fjods with Alaska Sea Plane $ 859.00 all of us
Me and son snorkling & total $190
Mom and Daughter Disney Lumber jack show total $106


Let me know. I dont go until August 30th. Open to changing things.

MercedMike June 2nd, 2011 10:19 AM

Excursions
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by staffieri (Post 1374166)
Everyone Thank you. I really want this cruise to be great!!!
Below is what I booked. Any more thoughts..... Advice....

Skagway: Liarsville on our own with Salmon Bake and all the fun $44 & $22Summer Musher Dog Camp: ride with dogs in cart see puppies. Can't do snow one $$$ cost $109 and $89

Juneau: My mom and Son North Star Glacier Trek and Helicopter &399 each
Me and daughter take bus on own to Mendenhall Glacier and then tram. Cost $36 total before tram

Ketchencan[B][/B] Seaplane tour Bears of Misty Fjods with Alaska Sea Plane $ 859.00 all of us
Me and son snorkling & total $190
Mom and Daughter Disney Lumber jack show total $106


Let me know. I dont go until August 30th. Open to changing things.

You are going to have a great time! Those will be wonderful excursions.

Have a GREAT cruise!

Lisa1230 June 2nd, 2011 12:16 PM

I think you have come up with a great mix of activities for your family. We also saw the Lumberjack show in Ketchikan and the kids loved it. My four year old even insisted on having her picture taken with the lumberjacks afterward - I think she thought we were at Disneyworld! :)

Lisa


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