We're taking the Alaska Inside Passage cruise in early August. Shore Excursions abound but a pretty steep price. We've learned, for example, that in Juneau we can take a $10pp shuttle to the visitors' center at the Mendenhall glaceir, returning on our own schedule versus $41pp thru the ship. Theirs includes a city tour, but it appears we can do that on the Trolley for $12.95pp. Has anyone taken the Trolley tour? What else in Juneau should we explore? We dock at 7 am and leave at 1pm.
We also have about 6 hours in Ketchikan, a full day in Skagway, and about 5 hours in Wrangell.
In Skagway we're interested in learning more about the White Pass Railwy trip. Its cost on the ship is $99pp but can be done for $82pp on our own. The problem I worry about is timing - if there are delays either in getting into port or (even worse) getting back in time for sailing, it may be worth the difference to be protected by the ship arrangements.
We'll also be spending a day in Vancouver at the end of the trip. Any suggestions there?
I tried booking the White Pass train on-line, and they said that we had to book through the cruiseline, wasn't much difference, but I did for the same reasons you mentioned. Its really a beautiful ride, on the long side though, I actually fell asleep on the way back and noticed I was not the only one. Still something thats worth doing, enjoy!