Just my opinion, I found the 2.5 train ride suffient. I couldn't imagine 8 hours on that train. It is a beautiful scenery ride but the seats are not that comfortable and it is not a smooth ride. JMHO. Enjoy!
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
Did the 2.5 hour and it was fine. I don't know where they take you on the 8 hour trip or what you are going to see, but any excursion of 8 hours is just too much for me.
The scenery is magnificent and as CA Cruiser said, the seats are not comfortable and it's not a smooth ride.
From reading the Alaska brochure on-line, on the 8 hour trip you travel by motor coach up to the Yukon, stop for a BBQ chicken lunch. You then return to the ship on the train. The brochure states
"Please note: As this adventure crosses the US/Canadian border, you
must bring the following identification with you: US & Canadian
citizens must carry a passport, or valid driver’s license and birth
certificate, and carry their ship ID. All other nationalities must have
a valid passport, visa and ship ID.
If you do decided to do the 8 hour trip, make sure you take your passport with you.
Forgot to mention that the 2.5 hour train trip is over $100 pp, so the 8 hour one will be very expensive.
I agree with the previous posts. I took the shorter trip a year ago. Our pictures we took were so worth it, we actually enlarged some and framed them. So the short trip is worth every minute. I am not sure what you would be gaining with the extra 5 hours. The beautiful scenery is really on the way up and back which is what you get on the shorter route. Definitely take it. It is worth the money.
We just got back from Alaska. Had a great time and did take the 8hr trip. On the bus we saw lots of wildlife and did stop for photo ops. The lunch was okay. Enjoyed the stop in Caricross and the train was a do not miss trip. For photo's go out to the end of the car. I would recommend it!
for me, 8 hour tours are very long and tiring. I think the shorter one is quite enough. Of course everyone has his/her own idea about touring. We enjoy touring but like having enough time to wander around somewhat on our own.
Was there in Skagway last summer and LOVED the town. Don't spend all day on the train, it will get boring. The trip to the Summit gives you the flavor of what the train and country side are all about.Enjoy the town, it has the feel of an old west town, loved the locals too!