Hi! We're travelling on the Mercury in August, going to Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan and spending a few days in Vancouver. We're taking our 6 1/2 year old (and my 85 year old mother-in-law!). Does anyone have recommendations on what to do on shore with my little one? Thanks
We're travelling on the Radiance in 2 1/2 weeks with our 5 1/2 year old and 2 year old. We're taking a wheeled sled dog tour in Skagway. I don't think that's offered in Juneau or Ketchikan, but I've not investigated Sitka. I've heard the amphibious tour in Ketchikan (http://www.alaskaamphibioustours.com/) is fun. We're also considering whale watching on the Orca in Juneau (http://www.ptialaska.net/~whales/). I spoke with people there who said their boat and personnel are very child-friendly.
I'm the family cruise editor here and we sailed to Alaska when our daughter was about five years old. Vancouver has lots to do -- we rented a car and took the cable car up to Grouse Mountain where there were easy hiking trails, lumber jack shows, and a omni max style theater. The views are great! We also enjoyed Stanley Park which has a small zoo, play areas, small beach, horse drawn carriages, trolleys, etc. It's very family friendly.
In Ketchikan, we went to one of the totem pole parks that also had Native American dancing. My daughter loved it. She also visited the salmon hatchery.
In Juneau, we took the Mt. Roberts cable car (located right by the cruise pier) and did some easy hiking. We went in late June and my daughter was excited to be in shorts yet having a snow ball fight! (There were one or two piles of snow left!) Great spot for pictures.
When in doubt, ask the shore excursions staff on your ship for suggestions. Since your children are pretty young, I wouldn't spend money in each port for shore excursions. They can be pretty expensive for a family of four, especially in Alaska!
Luisa Frey Gaynor
We have recently returned with our 4 year old and he LOVED the entire experience, whcih was going to be difficult after just having had a week in Disneyland
We also did Grouse Mountain in Vancouver (which he loved) and we went to the children's markets on Granville Island. We also went on a day trip to Whistler.
In Juneau we did the whale watching with Orca. It was nice being on such a small vessel and having others keeping an eye on the kids as well. We had a lovely group of people! two other children aged 4 and 6 were also on this tour.
In Skagway we did the White Pass Railway, which our son enjoyed a great deal. He is very much in to trains.
In Ketchikan we did the Amphibious Tours and another tour out to the totem pole village.
Thanks for the suggestions. The Orca whale watch seems to be a popular suggestion--I heard that there was a lot of cigarette smoking on the boat, though--and people got woozy. Did you have this experience?
I'll check out the amphibious tour--sounds great!
Don't plan to take a tour out of Sitka--sounds like the town itself is very interesting, and there is a Raptor rehabilitation center there that sounds like it will be kid-friendly.
We're thinking of going up to Whistler--did you go on a tour bus or did you rent a car to go out there? Was it worth the trip? We're in Vancouver for five nights before our cruise, so we have time to do a lot.
Re: Re: Re: Alaska shore excursions for little one
we booked a coach tour because my husband wasn't too keen to drive. The road is pretty spectacular. We had a few stops along the way. I found the tour worthwhile because we got loads of info from the commentary.
We don't have snow or mountains where we are from, so this was a MAJOR buzz for us. I am not sure if it would have been as lovely without the snow. We went up to the top of the mountain in the gondola. For us, it was beautiful!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Alaska shore excursions for little one
Thanks! We'll probably put Whistler on our agenda. I'm from Chicago, and wouldn't mind it if I never see snow again. However, we live in Los Angeles now--and it would be nice for my daughter to experience it!