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Shore Excursions Snorkeling, SCUBA, sightseeing - discuss ports and activities

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Old September 8th, 2006, 04:47 PM
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Default Best excursions in Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway?

Calling all experienced Alaskan cruisers: please share your valuable advice on what are the most memorable shore excursions. Celebrating a 50th birthday! Thanks in advance.
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Old September 8th, 2006, 09:49 PM
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We did the White Mountain Pass rail in Skagway and it was absolutely beautiful.
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Old September 9th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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In Juneau the helicopter over the glaciers and then landing on the glacier and doing an ice walk was by far the hightlight of my trip!

There are also some beautiful gardens in Juneau (but I don't recall the name), with 'upside down trees'... very interesting!

We were supposed to do a float plane in Ketchikan but was cancelled due to the weather. We ended up on a city tour that was just ok,,, HAL ended up not charging us for it which was good since it was not worth the money!
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Old September 9th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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Thanks, folks, for your input. Taking this cruise was a last-minute opportunity, so we are short on fact-gathering time. Your participation is very much appreciated! Any other responses? Please, feel free... we can book excursions by phone until Tuesday.
Norwegian Star, Pacific Coastal, October, 2010
Azamara Journey, South America, Nov/Dec.'07
Ryndam, Inside Passage Alaska, Sept. '06
Celebration, Western Caribbean, Feb. '99
Island Explorer, Spice Islands Indonesia, July '97
Dolphin IV, Bahamas, '91/'92
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Old September 9th, 2006, 05:47 PM
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We visited these same ports on our Alaska cruise on the NCL Star in August. Here's what I did in each port:

Juneau - Had the dog sled/helicopter excursion booked, when we met the tour guide found out the dog sled portion was cancelled due to weather. We were very disappointed, but can't control weather. We were offered a complete refund or we could do just the helicopter tour with a stop/walk on the glacier. All other tours were booked so we opted for the new tour. Was very good.

Ketchikan - Did a Canopy/Zipline tour!! This was amazing! My dad also joined on this one (he's 64!) and we all had a blast. Had hoped to see a bear...but, no luck!

Skagway - Did the White Mtn Pass (in the morning)...scenery was beautiful, but was a long trip and you are stuck in a train the whole time! Did this tour to join with our group of 18.

In the afternoon we did the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari..this trip was awesome! The guides were top-notch, paddled the canoe up to the glacier (within about 2 football fields). This was by far my favorite excursion and would definitely recommend.

Enjoy your cruise!!

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Old November 2nd, 2006, 10:10 PM
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Don't miss the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway when in Skagway. The skies were clear blue when we went in July and the scenery was amazing!

In Juneau, we did a combo of whale watching (saw 17 of them....great photos), a salmon "bake" (actually it was bbq grilled, but still very good) at Orca Pointe Lodge and then a trip to Mendenhall Glacier which was also really nice. We wish we had more time at Mendenhall to see more info in the visitor's center and to also hike out to the waterfall...(next time!)

Ketchikan was a mixed bag. Our tour started out a little disappointing at the rapture center. The write up of the trip said we got to see eagles from a platform 10 feet away. They didn't tell us that the platform was inside a room - 10 feet away from your chairs during a talk about the birds of the area. It ended really well, though - at Totem Bight Park. They had lots of totem poles and our guide was a native Tlinglit so we got not only native stories, but his family history as well. So that was nice.

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