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Old April 22nd, 2009, 01:48 PM
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Default Alaskan shore excursions

Has anyone had any experiences going on Alaskan shore excursions with local companies? We'd love to go on the Mystic Fjords excursion, but at $166 per person on the NCL Star, that's rather expensive.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 02:07 PM
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Get ready to spend more then you ever have for shore excursions if you really want to see alaska.

I used Island Wings in Ketchikan to do a flight seeing tour of majestic Misty Fjords. Current price $239 pp.
http://www.islandwings.com/sfs.html

One tour you can only book with NCL is worth every penny. That is the Tracy Arm excursion. The only way to see Sawyer Glacier up close. Turns a 1/2 day in port in Juneau to a full day adventure as you reboard the Star in Tracy arm.

Tracy Arm Fjord & Glacier Explorer $187

Explore the Tracy Arm Wilderness Area and see the Sawyer Glacier up close from your high-speed catamaran. Blue icebergs pass as you enter the ice-carved fjord. Enjoy treats on us and experience the power of 'white thunder' as ice crashes.






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Old April 23rd, 2009, 08:17 PM
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I would HIGHLY recommend the dog sledding on Mendenhal Glacier in Juneau. I booked this through NCL in May 2005. It was the best experience ever, a once in a lifetime trip. Helipcopter ride out to the glacier, spend time with dog sledding team, you get to meet the dogs, ride in sled, mush etc. It was very pricey, if I remember correctly $400 or so a person, but I would have paid double! It was worthing saving every penny.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 09:32 AM
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We did the Island Wings excusion as well. Wow, is all I can say.
First of all, Michelle, is a delightful young woman who will give you great running commentary during the flight, via two way headsets.
She derives only part of her income from the tourist trade and flies the remainder of the time for the Wildlife folks scouting salmon or timber, so she is up on where the current activity is.

On our trip she flew us over glaciers, through fjords and landed us on an alpine lake where we could get out to stretch our legs, drink from a mountain stream and squat behind a boulder to water the wildflowers
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Old April 25th, 2009, 09:38 AM
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We did the Island Wings excusion as well. Wow, is all I can say.
First of all, Michelle, is a delightful young woman who will give you great running commentary during the flight, via two way headsets.
She derives only part of her income from the tourist trade and flies the remainder of the time for the Wildlife folks scouting salmon or timber, so she is up on where the current activity is.

On our trip she flew us over glaciers, through fjords and landed us on an alpine lake where we could get out to stretch our legs, drink from a mountain stream and squat behind a boulder to water the wildflowers

On the return trip we spotted some orcas and she circled back so everyonne could get shots of them. Very nice lady, nice equipment and well worth the price.

The scenery is Alaska is so spectacular and viewing it from the air is the only way to truly appreciate the vastness of the wilderness.

If you are on a super budget, get the local shuttle to Mendenhall Glacier for the day. It is really inexpensive, less than $10 if I recall.

There are plenty of local companies right at the pier selling tickets for almost every excursion the ship offers.

In Skagway we enjoyed the narrow rail train ride. I believe it's the White Pass excursion, but you can't miss it - it's the only railroad in the middle of town, and Skagway is a very small place.

Enjoy!

PS Check out the reviews for lots of info
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Old May 10th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Alaska excursions ARE expensive--they have to make all of their money in a very short time.

We actually did a Jeep tour that I booked on my own instead of the White Rail pass train ride that is all the rage. The trip is the same but it was very cool to stop, learn out of the window and take a photo of a bear, have a snow ball fight etc. Our family of three was $287.
SKAGWAY YUKON U-DRIVE JEEP STAMPEDE 6/12/2008 $287.00 USD

We did the Mystic Ford boat trip from the ship. Nice scenery and some whales but pricey and saw the same thing back as out.

We did the Bike/Zip line with canopy in Juneau. Zip line was fun! Bike was not. Old bikes, no brakes, some pedaling but not a lot. Very young kids were the guides and it was a group of varying abilties which wasnt good. The zip line was handled very well and there was plenty of time to go see the glacier in the afternoon.

alaska Zipline adventures
e: rachel@alaskazip.com
p: (907) 321-0947
www.alaskazip.com

My Dad went on a whale watch/salmon bake excursion and loved it--Juneau.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 11:35 AM
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Default dog sledding on Mendenhal Glacier in Juneau

Shandy, or anyone who may know...is the Dog sledding trip too strenuous for someone who has back problems?? (i.e. difficult ice or hiking or bumpy sled ride)?? Appreciate any feedback..thanks!
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Old July 1st, 2009, 08:33 PM
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Bobbi...It was not too strenuous. My mother, who was 60 at the time, had no problem, and she has a bum knee. The staff was great, they helped us into the helicopter, helped us walk along the glacier. Some of the snow was deep in some areas. The sled ride was not bumpy and we did not go to fast. I am sure they could slow the dogs down even more if need be. You will be able to bend down to sit in the sled. Let me know if you ahve any more questions.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Alaskan shore excursions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvia
Has anyone had any experiences going on Alaskan shore excursions with local companies? We'd love to go on the Mystic Fjords excursion, but at $166 per person on the NCL Star, that's rather expensive.
WE did a local company in Skagway. It is among our top 4 or 5 favorite tours and after 25 cruises we have done a lot of touring..

I advise clients to do ship excursion if they are in an iffy port or if there is a time element involved. If you are going to be in a port for about 6 hours and the tour you are looking at is say, 4.5 hours long, do it through the ship even though you pay more. Other than that, I think private tours are cheaper and more personable.

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Old August 1st, 2009, 09:19 AM
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[quote="shandy5165"]Bobbi...It was not too strenuous. My mother, who was 60 at the time, had no problem, and she has a bum knee. The staff was great, they helped us into the helicopter, helped us walk along the glacier. Some of the snow was deep in some areas. The sled ride was not bumpy and we did not go to fast. I am sure they could slow the dogs down even more if need be. You will be able to bend down to sit in the sled. Let me know if you ahve any more questions.[/quote


Shandy...thanks for the info. What did you wear??(snowpants, boots,ect.)just trying to figure out what to pack.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 09:19 AM
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[quote="shandy5165"]Bobbi...It was not too strenuous. My mother, who was 60 at the time, had no problem, and she has a bum knee. The staff was great, they helped us into the helicopter, helped us walk along the glacier. Some of the snow was deep in some areas. The sled ride was not bumpy and we did not go to fast. I am sure they could slow the dogs down even more if need be. You will be able to bend down to sit in the sled. Let me know if you ahve any more questions.[/quote


Shandy...thanks for the info. What did you wear??(snowpants, boots,ect.)just trying to figure out what to pack.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 02:42 PM
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[quote="shandy5165"]Bobbi...It was not too strenuous. My mother, who was 60 at the time, had no problem, and she has a bum knee. The staff was great, they helped us into the helicopter, helped us walk along the glacier. Some of the snow was deep in some areas. The sled ride was not bumpy and we did not go to fast. I am sure they could slow the dogs down even more if need be. You will be able to bend down to sit in the sled. Let me know if you ahve any more questions.[/quote


Shandy...thanks for the info. What did you wear??(snowpants, boots,ect.)just trying to figure out what to pack. I know everyone says "layers", but I'm trying to figure out if I should pack snowpants, winterboots, etc. Any info would be helpful! Thanks.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 03:51 PM
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Bobbi...not sure if you are looking for what to pak on the excursion or on the cruise. Here's a bit of both!

Dog sledding: We wore jeans and a sweatshirt, scarf and sunglasses! They gave us special boots to wear.

Cruise: Personally, I always overpack. We went in May, it was abit rainy. Here our my must haves, and especially if I went to Alaska again. Jeans/long pants for days in ports or out on deck. Sweatshirts/light jacket to wear over. Leave the bulky winter coat at home. Rain coat! Tshirts to wear under sweatshirts, I get hot! I think a good pair of sneakers or walking shoes will be fine. No need for snow plants, hiking boots etc. in my opinion.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 07:38 PM
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Default what to pack for Alaska

Shandy,
Thank you sooo much for the info, it was very helpful. I'm unpacking those heavy coats, and looking for the raincoats now!
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