alaska cruise

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jazman12
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alaska cruise

Post by jazman12 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:39 am

I will be taking my first cruise trip to Alaska and would like to know if anyone has taken the excursions offered at several different stops. I will be taking the Inside Passage which includes full day stops in Ketchikan, Icy Straits, Juneau, Skagway and Seward. My wife and I are looking for something adventurous. We have seen whales numerous times and don't think May is a good time for whale watching here anyway. I am looking at some of the glacier and national park activities but my wife is not fond of small private aircraft. We are traveling to Denali for a couple days by train before we return home.
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ResearchMed
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:49 am

jazman12 wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:39 am
I will be taking my first cruise trip to Alaska and would like to know if anyone has taken the excursions offered at several different stops. I will be taking the Inside Passage which includes full day stops in Ketchikan, Icy Straits, Juneau, Skagway and Seward. My wife and I are looking for something adventurous. We have seen whales numerous times and don't think May is a good time for whale watching here anyway. I am looking at some of the glacier and national park activities but my wife is not fond of small private aircraft. We are traveling to Denali for a couple days by train before we return home.
Have you check www.CruiseCritic.com ?

Among other things, there is a "Ports of Call" section, so you might browse there, and also ask this question.
Look also for your Roll Call; there may be some private excursions being organized by others on your cruise.

Are you stopping by Hubbard Glacier?
That was spectacular; lots of calving the day we were there, and the Captain kept us there quite a long time.

This was one of our favorite cruises!

We also did it early in the season, because we wanted to see the mountains along the coast with more, rather than less, snow. (Plus, there was a last minute availability at a great rate.)

RM
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barnaclebob
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:08 pm

Go fishing of some kind. I don't know if there will be any salmon running but halibut and lingcod are also good options. Have the fish shipped back home.

GmanJeff
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by GmanJeff » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:20 pm

We did a shore excursion with Regent Seven Seas which used a small commercial airplane equipped with floats to transport passengers to a site to observe bears feeding on salmon at a river. Most enjoyable.

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tennisplyr
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by tennisplyr » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:33 am

This is an old standby:

www.tripadvisor.com
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WWJBDo
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by WWJBDo » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:51 am

Have done 2 of those cruises.
Book yourself, rather than through the ship- prices are a lot lower.
No particular order of very positive events:
http://www.islandwings.com/
http://www.56degreesnorth.com/
http://www.coastalhelicopters.com/
Zip line - forget where, but it was very good.
We did a bear watching trip with 'Bob" at Icy Strait Point with address in Hoonah. The website is not working, so I don't know if that's still an option, but it was one of the best parts of the trip. "Forget me ot outfitters" was the name of the tour.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair

Mapmaker
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by Mapmaker » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:19 am

By “adventurous” I’ll assume you aren’t interested in sitting on a boat, bus, or train, so these are some more active excursions I’ve done in your ports without setting foot on a helicopter or small plane.
In Juneau, hike the Nugget Falls trail at Mendenhall Glacier ( booked through the cruise line, but you can do this yourself with public transportation), and Above and Beyond Alaska day trips https://beyondak.com/#chooseadventure
In Skagway, the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari (through cruise line) and the OceanRaft Skagway, https://skagwayshoretours.com/tour/ocea ... adventure/
In Ketchikan, Southeast Sea Kayaks http://kayakketchikan.com
At Icy Straight (Hoonah) there isn’t much to do except whale watching, but the walk into town is about a mile, and they do have a zip line that I haven’t tried.
https://icystraitpoint.com/tour/worlds- ... in-ascent/
Bon Voyage.

sco
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by sco » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:53 pm

Juneau whale watching is unlike any other whale watching that I have seen anywhere. Nothing else compares now.

tibbitts
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by tibbitts » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:55 pm

You can rent a car in most of the ports and explore on your own, hike trails, etc. Rentals are not inexpensive by most standards, typically in the $150 range, but when you have two or more people that becomes fairly economical.

alaskantraveler
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by alaskantraveler » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:18 pm

Local Alaskan here, I've spent time in all these locations. I'm not a big van of overpriced shore excursions promoted by the cruise ships. Here are some affordable do it yourself options.

Ketchikan
If you want to go for a hike, Deer Mountain is accessible. You can likely use a taxi to drop you off and pick you up. Fishing is great here if that is something you are interested in.

Icy Straits (Hoonah)
I use to live here. Fishing is also great here. Game Creek Charters is run by some people I grew up with. Consider the zip line, it is one of the longest in the world. Bear viewing via the old logging roads. This island has the 2nd most dense population of brown bears in the world. There is also a small micro brewery in town.

Juneau
I used to live here as well. Mt Roberts has the tram that many tourist by to ride up and down, but you can walk from the crew ship doc to the trail head and hike up Mt Roberts. I believe if you buy something $10 or more from the gift shop you can ride the tram down for free.
Consider the Mendenhall glacier. This is a very accessible glacier and you do not need to use a tour. Just pay a taxi to take you there. Its probably a $45 cab ride each way, find a couple of people to split the cost. Consider stopping at the Alaska Brewery on the way back (its on the way). Marine tours are popular here.

Skagway - The White Pass train is one of the most amazing train rides in the world. The only other train ride that compares is the train ride to the base of Machu Pichu in Peru. Its worth doing. There is a least one micro brewery in town

Seward - Ive spent alot of time here as I live nearby.
Hiking - look into the Lost Lake trail and if you are really adventurous/fit Mount Marathon trail. Also the Harding Ice field Hike in Exit Glacier Park is amazing. It is 5 miles each way and fairly strenuous. Also Tonsina Creek trail. All of these are accessible via a taxi dropping you off and picking you up. There is cell reception at all of them except for Exit glacier which is further away. Hitch hiking is even an option.

Consider renting kayaks yourself. You do not really need a guide as long as you are comfortable in a kayak. Any of the shops will give you advice on where to go. All of your destinations except for Skagway will have kayak rentals. Fishing charters are also popular, and the fishing is great if you are into it.

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telemark
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by telemark » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:32 pm

I did the helicopter flight to a glacier and it was amazing, both the glacier itself and the flight. I remember thinking "look at the moss on those rocks" and then realizing that I was looking at pine trees. But I can also understand not being comfortable with the flight: you're suspended in what feels like a very unsubstantial glass bubble.

MoneyBlawg
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by MoneyBlawg » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:04 pm

Juneau - we enjoyed seeing Mendenhall Glacier (which was only surpassed by then going into Glacier Bay National Park and College Fjord). We enjoyed a meal at Tracy's before getting back on our boat.

Skagway - I would second the White Pass train ride.

ccieemeritus
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by ccieemeritus » Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:19 am

Denali was a great trip. Good choice.

Naismith
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by Naismith » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:50 am

I second the value of Cruise Critic.

Ketchikan - we did kayaking in the rain, which was fine. Not sure I would have enjoyed hiking in the rain as much. We had planned hiking for the afternoon but just did shopping instead rather than be totally drenched.

Juneau - had reserved a rental car with pickup right at the dock. Mendenhall Glacier and up the Peninsula to a Catholic church. Also the state museum near the capitol.

Skagway - Visited the little museum there. A lot of people were mailing off packages from the post office. We used free wifi outside the library. In the afternoon, we did the bike ride down the hill. They took us up in a van, with lots of narrative about the area, then we cycled down. Good pix of the train on the other side of the valley.

Rus In Urbe
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Re: alaska cruise

Post by Rus In Urbe » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:13 am

Skagway - The White Pass train is one of the most amazing train rides in the world. The only other train ride that compares is the train ride to the base of Machu Pichu in Peru. Its worth doing. There is a least one micro brewery in town
Yes. Did this cruise with the grandkids a few years ago. The kids went ziplining, but I really recommend the train (you can zip-line in a lot of places, but this is unique). Try to get on the train of the day that is longer and actually crosses the border into Canada to turn around (ask at the ticket desk). The views are astounding, the history of this valley fascinating. Unforgettable!
I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money. ~Pablo Picasso

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