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Old July 4th, 2002, 11:41 PM
DeniseToAlaska
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Default Best excursion in Alaska

I did as many of them as I could! I took the helicopter in Valdez to the Shoup Glacier, flying over the Columbia Glacier. I felt like I was on another planet. It was so alien and incredible. We got the comment cards and every person on the bus said, "How can we rate it higher than excellent?" We all wrote 'excellent' in the comments too!

But, that did not compare with the best.

We went whale watching in Juneau and not only saw Orcas mating (the word for the rest of the cruise was HUGE and we weren't talking dorsal fins), we saw humpback whales doing bubble-net feeds, where the lead female goes below, blows a circle of bubbles, driving the fish upwards, where at least ten or eleven whales crashed up through the surface of the water with their mouths open at the same time. Three times, two with the microphone on hearing her directions. The marine biologist onboard was almost crying, hugging the crew and even the passengers!

But, that did not compare with the best.

We took the White Pass Rail to the Summit in Skagway, hearing a narrative about the history of the Yukon gold rush and the building of the railway, seeing incredible views from high cliffs, passing through tunnels, seeing unforgetable scenery.

But, that did not compare with the best.

In Juneau, we paddled a canoe to the Mendenhall Glacier. Our guides were so real, so personable, and so friendly. We paddled as close as we could safely get. Then we stopped on the shore right next to the waterfall, right next to the glacier. We waved to the people in the Mendenhall Visitor's Center but they were just specks in the distance. We touched the waterfall, we took pictures, we had a wonderful snack, and we never wanted to go back. Those guides do this for a living?? Incredible! We paddled back and passed large icebergs on the lake, stopping in silence, since we were the only people on the whole lake, and listened to the sound of rain from the dripping beneath the iceberg. We talked in length with our native guide Keith about everything we could think of, and almost cried when we pulled into shore and had to go back.

That was the best. No question in anyone's mind. That was *the* best.
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Old July 5th, 2002, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Best excursion in Alaska

Denise

In the process of planning alaska excursions and loved your tips. So far, we are doing the white pass train and still have to make reservations for whale watching in Juneau.

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Old July 8th, 2002, 03:33 PM
Faith and Tom Barnidge
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Default Re: Best excursion in Alaska

We're taking a Crystal cruise to Alaska for the first time. Did you book your shore excursions on board your ship or through advance web sites like shoreexcursions.com.?
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Old July 13th, 2002, 04:52 PM
DeniseToAlaska
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Default Re: Re: Best excursion in Alaska

I was a first-time cruiser and nervous about missing the ship or getting a lousy deal, so I booked through the ship the first night onboard.
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