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Old May 10th, 2008, 07:33 PM
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Default Alaska dress & excursions - mid Sept?

Hi all,

Thought we'd leave the Carib behind and try Alaska in Sept.

Any hints on what types of clothes to bring?

Is the weather rainy at that time of the year?

And finally, what excursions have you done and would or would not recommend?

Itinerary:
Ketchikan, Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska; Skagway, Alaska; Victoria, British Columbia

Thanks,
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Old May 10th, 2008, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Alaska dress & excursions - mid Sept?

Doggie,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Hi all,

Thought we'd leave the Carib behind and try Alaska in Sept.

Any hints on what types of clothes to bring?
Be prepared from anything -- temperatures anywhere from the 30's (in and around glaciers) to the 80's and a mix of sunshine and rain. The area around Ketchikan is a temperate rain forest, and Ketchikan averages over 250 days of rainfall per year so your odds of encountering rain there are very high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Is the weather rainy at that time of the year?
In the rain forests, yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
And finally, what excursions have you done and would or would not recommend?

Itinerary:
Ketchikan, Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska; Skagway, Alaska; Victoria, British Columbia
Ketchikan: The shore excursion to Saxman Village is an excellent introduction to the culture of the Tlingit tribes. They put on an excellent presentation of the tribal dance, and you'll also see several totems with real historical significance and totem carvers at work. The main shopping district is right across the street from the warf, easily walkable, and it has a historic saloon (IIRC, the Red Dog Saloon) that's still operating as a pub as well as a good array of shops. The duck tour also is excellent, with a lot of wildlife. I have also heard good comments about Misty Fjord[/i] and the Lumberjack Show.

Juneau: This city is imminently walkable. Once again, the main shopping district is directly across the street from the warf. The harbor end of the Mount Roberts Tramway is right at the end of the warf, so you can take the tramway up the mountain for spectacular views if you get a clear day. The capital building, a few blocks from the pier, offers free tours throughout the day. On the next cross street, both the Church of St. Nicholas (Russian Orthodox) and the [i]Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary
(Roman Catholic) are worth a visit. If you are looking for adventure, there's a boat tour to the Mendenhaul Glacier and a Ziplining tour. The city's famous Salmon Bake also gets rave reviews.

Skagway: This town has a colorful history as the gateway to the Yukon during the Yukon Gold Rush of 1898 into which a show called the Days of '98 Revue Starring Soapy Smith, with morning and afternoon performances at the Eagles Hall provides excellent insights. The White Pass & Yukon Route, a narrow gauge railroad built in a matter of months to transport prospectors and their gear into the Yukon, continues to offer spectacular views of gorgeous terrain from modern replicas of period coaches. If you book the tour through the ship, the train will depart from and return to the pier. If you buy tickets at the station, a different train will start and end the tour there. If you are looking for something unique, the historic walking tour of the downtown area called Ghosts and Goodtime Girls also is quite interesting. The historic downtown is a short walk from the piers, and it also has a historic salon that once housed a brothel (now a museum that the "Ghosts and Goodtime Girls" walking tour visits) upstairs.

And several of the ports offer salmon fishing (usually catch and release), glacier helicopter excursions (IIRC, it's from Juneau that one of these excursions meets a musher and her team of sled dogs on one of the glaciers), whale watching (but you probably will see whales pretty close up from the ship), and salmon bakes.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 12:25 AM
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Thanks much Norm!
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Old May 11th, 2008, 07:48 AM
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Hi Dog,
The key to packing for Alaska is to layer your clothing, be sure to have some kind of rain gear, your bound to see some. Pack lots of t-shirt/sweat shirts and you can peel them off as the day warms up...Nice comfortable shoes for excursions is good too.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 01:33 PM
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I would recommend getting disposable rain ponchos. You can throw one in your backpack, or whatever you carry in ports. Then, if it does rain, you are ready to go.
September is prime whale watching in Alaska. Did it once and was awed. You get much closer to them than anywhere else I have done this. Had a biologist on board who actually had to remind some of the pax not to try and touch the baby orca, as it was so close to our boat....mom was right there. Also, we found a pod of humpbacks, again with young. Finished off with seals and eagles on small "islands". A whole different experience than seeing one from far off. Did this as a ship's tour, FYI.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 06:14 PM
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An inexpensive waterproof jacket/windbreaker works good, with a light lining...I bought one for Alaska and did wear it often..
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Old May 13th, 2008, 03:41 PM
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Doggie,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Thanks much Norm!
You're welcome!

And in addition to Donna's comment about layering clothes, be sure to bring a winter jacket, hat, and gloves because you will want them when you are on or near glaciers. The calving of the glaciers provides a steady supply of ice into the bays that contain them, ensuring that the bays remain full of ice water -- the temperature of which is always 32 F (0 C). The air above those bays does not get much warmer.

Norm.
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