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Old February 2nd, 2016, 06:49 PM
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Default Inside Passage Seatlle Round Trip

Emerald Princess to Alaska; I have booked this cruise for next year. Anyone who has been to Alaska and have used some private tours; please list them for so I can check. Also, if you have used the Ships excursions please let me know which ones you liked. Thanks for your time
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 07:24 PM
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As I always tell my clients when cruising to Alaska, you'll definitely want to check out shore excursions because this is one place you'll want to do them. I also tell them to check out the cruise line's website and check to see what they have to offer. Then check independent companies, like Shore Trips, and see what they have to offer. Then talk to your agent and get information from them based on their personal experience in Alaska or feedback they've gotten from their clients who have been there, done that. Then put all that information together and book what you feel comfortable with.

I'll say right away that I'm not a proponent of shore excursions offered by the cruise line, especially in Alaska. They may cost the same or more than the same independent excursion, but their excursions are always too crowded and too regimented.

When we were on our Alaskan cruise, we decided we wanted to do the helicopter/dog sled tour while in Juneau. This is a very expensive excursion, but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we didn't want to pass on. The cruise line wanted $100 more per person than the independent one we booked through Shore Trips. Plus, we only had 4 people on the excursion.

When we stopped in Skagway, we had arranged a 3-1/2 hour tour through Shore Trips for $45 per person. When we got there, we were met by the owner of the company, who had lived in Skagway all her life, and we were the only 2 on the excursion. So she took us everywhere and we ended up spending 7 hours having an awesome time. Or we could have done it through the cruise line for the same price, spending only 3 hours on the tour, with 22 other old farts being herded on a 24-passenger bus and only getting to see about 1/5 of what we got to saw.

Spend the time doing your homework, select the best excursions for you, and know you'll have an awesome time because Alaska is a very special place.

Pete
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 07:32 PM
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I really enjoyed whale watching with Capt. Larry in Juneau. Their office is right in town. A short walk from the pier...I think you will find him under Orca Enterprises....
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 10:55 AM
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I'm with Donna about Orca Enterprises. Great whale watch trip.
The Duck tour in Ketchikan was, although a bit silly, quite fun. Nice quick tour of the area.
The White Pass rail in Skagway is great too.
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 05:15 PM
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Thanks Pete,
Totally forgot about the White Pass Rail Road, another one NOT to miss, although it can be long, but great history and scenery...
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 07:38 PM
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We did the White Pass Railway, but booked it on our own and it was awesome! Did not book it through the cruise line.

Pete
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Old February 8th, 2016, 01:48 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I was looking at a private excursion in a few ports; when I click on more info or book, it takes me to Princess website. The tour operator says that they provide the boats for Princess on some of the shore excursions. website is gastineau tours
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Old February 8th, 2016, 10:08 PM
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If you want to check out the White Pass rail in Skagway, go to their website. You'll be on the same train as people who booked with the ship but I prefer booking directly.
For whale watching in Juneau check Orca enterprises. Not sure if the ships use Orca but they're top notch and right at the dock. Captain Larry with Orca is the best IMO.
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Old February 9th, 2016, 11:19 AM
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I will check out the orca website. I have also been told to look at shoretrips.com. I have plenty of time to book; have to look at what is best for our two grandkids who are traveling with us. They will be 17 & 15. Thanks for the great feedback
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Old April 16th, 2016, 06:00 PM
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I'm hoping on an Alaskan cruise this summer. Thank you all for the great tips!
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