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Old May 26th, 2007, 10:32 PM
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My wife and I are taking our 1st cruise on Holland America to Alaska end the end of July. Can you give me any tips and tell me what shore excursions are not worth the money?
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Old May 27th, 2007, 01:52 AM
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It would help if you told us what ports you are stopping in!
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Old May 27th, 2007, 03:26 AM
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Sorry, We are going to Juneau, Sitka, Ketchican, And Victoria B.C.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 03:01 PM
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I've never been to Sitka, but a friend of mine just returned and visited the Raptor Center there and said it was a nice visit.

Juneau - many options here.......there is a bus that stops at the cruise ship dock and offers rides out to Mendenhall Glacier and the Visitor Center there. Also, right next to the cruise ship dock is the Mt. Roberts Tram - if the weather is just cloudy or clear take the tram up to the top - some great photo ops, stores, restaurants and a theater up there along with some hiking/walking trails. If you like whales, take a whale watching excursion - these usually go to the Auke Bay area and are a lot of fun - you can also sea harbor seals, eagles, orcas, beavers, etc. You can also book shore excursions through the ship that offer salmon bakes, etc. If you don't mind flying you can do a helicopter excursion to one of the glaciers. Do a google search on Juneau Glacier helicopter flights - you will save money booking it on your own rather than through the ship. But, if the weather is bad, the flights will be cancelled. I personally would book later than noon for that as the mornings can be foggy in Juneau.

Skagway, I definitely recommend an excursion that takes you up into the Yukon by bus and then return to Skagway via the Yukon and White Pass Railroad.............the railroad is a marvel of engineering built in the late 1800's and the drive up to Carcross in the Yukon is beautiful.

Ketchikan, my friend highly recommends a flightseeing tour either in a helicopter or sea plane...........if you want to stay in Ketchikan itself, there is always Creek Street, Totem Bight State Park. Personally, my best excursion that I have taken there was the Misty Fjords boat/flightseeing tour where you fly one way and take the boat the other.

Anymore quesitons, please ask!
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Old May 28th, 2007, 01:32 PM
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I also liked the Saxman Village tour in Ketchikan. Fairly short so you can also walk around Creek Street and downtown, too.
Re. helicopters to the glaciers. I have heard from folks who did this that some will be cheaper, but do not provide the ice cleats for over your shoes. One gal fell on the ice rather badly. So, if you book independently, ask about what they provide.
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