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Johnathan April 20th, 2008 05:57 PM

White Pass & Yukon Route Railway
Has anyone taken the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway in Skagway? I've heard it is highly recommended, do you agree?

Also is there a more affordable way that anyone has booked it? Carnival's excursion for it is a few hundred dollars so we're trying to see if we can find something a bit more reasonable.

Thanks for the help! :D

chosenone April 20th, 2008 07:22 PM

We went on that excursion last September. It was very informative. We were on Princess and we booked through them so I am sorry I have no other information for you. Don't forget to leave time for shopping downtown Skagway. There are some neat little shops there.

Donna April 20th, 2008 07:36 PM

I'd also suggest doing the train ride, the scenery is unbelieveable! I also tried booking it myself, but they said I had to go through the cruiseline. There was only a $10 difference.

blueliner April 20th, 2008 07:39 PM

The White Pass railway is highly recommended, as long as you do not have too much an issue with heights. The railway winds up the White Pass up to around 3,000 feet on the mountain. The railroad uses much the same track as was layed when the railway was built in the late 1800's. The track is very thin, layed on the ledge cut out of the side of the mountain. So if you sit on the right hand side you pretty much just see mountain wall, and on the left hand side you can see down the side of the mountain, which as the ride continues, goes higher and higher.

You can buy the tickets at the White Pass Ticket office in Skagway. I'm not sure if you get the guided tour that way though. On our excursion, we took the railroad trip up to the Yukon, and the bus trip on the return to get the history tour of Skagway, well worth it! Be sure to bring your passport, as the railroad does pass into Canada and you will need for Canadian customs and for US customs to reenter.

I found Skagway the single most interesting port-of-call on our RCI cruise last year. Stop by the Skagway history center and see the exhibits and maybe listen to the history lecture. I loved the story of Skagway's notorious Con Man Soapy Smith and the man who killed him, Skagway's hero Frank Reid. Both men's graves are in the Gold Rush Cemetery in Skagway! If you like American history, take the White Pass Railway tour!

cherylroy April 20th, 2008 07:56 PM

Even if you don't like history, take it as it was awesome when we went to Alaska on the Spirit with Carnival. We booked through carnival, and not 5 min into the tour, the train came to a stop for about 15 min then started backing up! Come to find out, a tree had fallen over the tracks and had to be cleared. We thought the excursion was cancelled, but we were told to come back in 1 1/2 hours and we would board again. We did and the excursion was totally awesome! You won't regret it. I would book with Carnival - always do for fear of being left behind! What would happen if you were on the train for instance and had to wait to come back down the mountain? Missing the ship? I'm just a chicken I guess, but in any event, it is well worth taking! We have only been to Alaska once (glacier route) and are booked next year South bound. What other excursions do you have picked? Alaska excursions are soooooooo expensive! but worth it. :-)

Johnathan April 20th, 2008 08:39 PM

Well thank you all for the informative answers! I've checked with Carnival and it is $103 to take the trip to the White Pass Summit and back. Does that sound about right? Or for $199 they have the "touch of class" excursion that includes white glove service and all those extras.

I'd be interested in this as well because it goes into the wonderful territory of the Yukon so I can say I've visited one of our lovely territories =)

UmbrellaDrink April 21st, 2008 02:12 PM

We booked the Discover Skagway's Gwen's Tour for $50 each that took us up the White pass, Jewel gardens and city. Definitely worth it and much less than the train.

colorcrazie April 21st, 2008 02:34 PM

The train goes up via the rails, and any bus/auto/van or whatever has to use roads...hopefully, at least. Did the train up and bus down one year and the train part is unbeatable. I would not go for the deluxe version, as the scenery and history are the whole point. I can look and listen without being waited on. LOL

KellyW April 21st, 2008 07:11 PM

We did the Best of Skagway..If you are going to do the Touch of Class you may as well spend a few more $$ and do the one we did..We rode the bus up to the train then the train back to town..We were back on a bus to Liarsville where we had an excellent Salmon Bake and explored Liarsville..Panned for 2 flakes of gold then back on the bus to the Red Onion Tour where we were met by a tour guide and a glass of wine or beer..The Red Onion was the least favorite thing we did on the whole cruise only because I was tired..

I do believe you can walk into town and book the train on your own with out going through the cruise ship..

This year we will be renting a van and driving to Carcross or where ever we decide to go..

Thoth April 23rd, 2008 03:27 AM

My favorite shore excursion out of 8 cruises.
I did it through another line and it was about $100 well spent.

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