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Haines Excursions

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We will be in Haines on the Grand Princess in Mid-June. What are some of the best things to do? I was looking at the pontoon ride on the lake. Has anyone done this before?

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Last time I was in Haines I rented a car and drove out of town for a few hours checking out the sights. If you want to do some flightseeing check out Paul from Mountain Flying. He does some great flights over Glacier Bay, a much better value than thru the cruise lines.

 

I'm still looking at 2018 cruises and Grand Princess in June is one of my top choices because I haven't been to Haines in a while :)

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Sorry, I wouldn't even consider a boat ride on the Chilkoot Lake. I'll speculate it's a high cost, which would make it even more on the dismiss rack for me. Even the kayak trips there are barely worth my time.

 

Depends on you and what you want out of your trip??? Could be the choice for you perhaps?

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Budget Queen, can you tell us what it is about this excursion that you deem not worth anyone's time? I'm not familiar with Haines, and looking at an itinerary that would stop there. These excursions (pontoon boat and canoes/kayaks) run in the $100 range, so fairly affordable for Alaska compared to other excursions. Can you get them much cheaper privately? Is the scenery boring? It doesn't seem like there is a huge variety of excursions available in Haines, and it's hard to tell which ones would be a good value for the money.

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Budget Queen, can you tell us what it is about this excursion that you deem not worth anyone's time? I'm not familiar with Haines, and looking at an itinerary that would stop there. These excursions (pontoon boat and canoes/kayaks) run in the $100 range, so fairly affordable for Alaska compared to other excursions. Can you get them much cheaper privately? Is the scenery boring? It doesn't seem like there is a huge variety of excursions available in Haines, and it's hard to tell which ones would be a good value for the money.

 

It's a lake boat ride, hardly that exciting. :) It's simple to just drive there and take a look from the campground.:) this is my preference. I find a car rental a good opportunity for getting some distance and range of Alaska beauty. Just an option. I've been using Avis the last couple times, and just walk to the pick up. Perhaps, take a look at my friend, Murray's excellent guide? http://explorenorth.com/library/roads/haines_highway.html

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Agree. I’ve done the kayak and fishing trips at Chilkoot Lake and wouldn’t do either again. ( just FYI, the “restroom” there is literally an outhouse. Make sure you use the facilities on the boat coming from Skagway or the cruise ship if you dock in Haines.)

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Thank you for the input. We love wildlife and water. Outhouses don’t bother us but we also want to get the most out of our time. The car rentals are pretty pricey. We are renting one in Juneau but would rather do something different in Haines. I’ve looked some more and they have a high speed ferry that goes between Haines and Skagway. Has anyone tried this?

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In Haines there's a local fellow who does independent fishing charters - 9 Fingers Outdoors. (one of his pointing fingers is missing...) His specialty is small groups (2-3) interested in salmon or trout fishing who also want to see some real Alaska. He will pick you up and drop you off. We had a great time catching salmon this past year - he's a very nice and funny guy. Good luck!

 

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In Haines there is also the Kroschel Wildlife Refuge Center. Princess usually offers an excursion there, or you could book with the center directly and they would probably help you arrange transportation.

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Thank you for the input. We love wildlife and water. Outhouses don’t bother us but we also want to get the most out of our time. The car rentals are pretty pricey. We are renting one in Juneau but would rather do something different in Haines. I’ve looked some more and they have a high speed ferry that goes between Haines and Skagway. Has anyone tried this?

 

Yes, I've done the ferry a few times. What are your plans for Skagway when you get there- is the big decision. I certainly would not just take the ferry. I also have chosen to fly one direction, in my travels.

 

"Pricey" is Alaska. You going to Skagway, will also probably be "pricey" as well. Car rentals, are some of the lowest cost, touring options. I always suggest, not just "dismissing" an option, because it may offer you the best use of your short time in ports. :) I always say, my time is way more valuable to me, than any money. :) Simply a thought.

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Agree. I’ve done the kayak and fishing trips at Chilkoot Lake and wouldn’t do either again. ( just FYI, the “restroom” there is literally an outhouse. Make sure you use the facilities on the boat coming from Skagway or the cruise ship if you dock in Haines.)

 

 

It seems my trips in Haines are always, August, and that outhouse is simply horrific. :) One of the worse in Alaska. Interesting, I've used them on the Dalton Highway- 100 miles to the next "town", and they are spotless and supplied.

 

It's got to be the terrain- and environment of Haines that is the difference.

 

A great warning you just reminded me of.

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We rented a car and drove to Chilkoot Lake then to Kroschel Wildlife Center and part of the Haines Hwy. We enjoyed it and found it to be less expensive and longer touring time than booking an excursion.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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We are considering doing the Wilderness Trail on 4x4's excursion. Anyone have information on this? Is it worth our time and money? (Not a cheap excursion).

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We are doing the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari in June, and it sounds great (although it is not inexpensive).

 

I thought that leaves from Skagway, not Haines. Is there one that departs from Haines? I checked for the May date when we will be in Haines and the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari departure time doesn't work for taking the ferry from Haines to Skagway to take it. Perhaps in June there are more times for one or both.

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I thought that leaves from Skagway, not Haines. Is there one that departs from Haines? I checked for the May date when we will be in Haines and the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari departure time doesn't work for taking the ferry from Haines to Skagway to take it. Perhaps in June there are more times for one or both.
It leaves from both places, but the glacier is much closer to Haines than to Skagway, so our boat ride should be shorter.

 

I think there are five departure times for the excursion for our cruise, which is in mid-June.

Edited by Cruise_More_Often

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You will love this one. I’ve done it three times. :)
Now that's saying a lot! Thanks. From the videos I've seen, it looks wonderful. Here's one:
Edited by Cruise_More_Often

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It leaves from both places, but the glacier is much closer to Haines than to Skagway, so our boat ride should be shorter.

 

I think there are five departure times for the excursion for our cruise, which is in mid-June.

 

Did you book it directly or as a ship excursion? I've searched and don't see anything on booking it independently from Haines. My ship doesn't offer it. We are in Haines in May. I've found this:

https://www.alaskaexcursions.com/glacier-safari-2/

Not sure if that is the vendor or a consolidator and it doesn't say anything about Haines departures.

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We booked it through the ship. The site you linked to is probably a consolidator. I'm not sure who the vendor is.

I looked at their website some more. According to the information on their "About" page, they are the operator for Glacier Point Wilderness Safari since 2013.

 

I'll give them a call, but I suspect that since it is so early in the season and only our one small ship is in port in Haines that they may not operate from Haines on that day.

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Info from a call with Alaska Excursions: They regularly run Glacier Point Wilderness Safari departures from Skagway. It only has departures from Haines when a cruise ship company arranges one for their excursions.

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Does the ship dock in Haines or is it a tender port?

Which ship are you asking about?

 

You can find Alaska Dock schedules for 2018 at:

http://claalaska.com/?page_id=1551

 

Berths haven't been assigned yet. In 2017, there was only one dock used for passenger ships. If there were two ships in port, one tendered. The tendered one was usually a small ship, e.g. Lindblad Seabird and was never a mainstream cruise line ship.

 

The 2018 schedule doesn't show many two ship days so unless you are on a small ship sharing the port with a large ship, your ship will probably docked.

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