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antnjen

Float plane recommendations

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We will be cruising Alaska in July on board Celebrity Millennium.  It is our son's high school graduation trip, the last hoorah with the family before he starts college.  As he will be studying to become a commercial pilot and already has his private pilot's license, his first choice for excursions on the trip is to fly in a float plane.  (He doesn't want to actually fly the plane, but would like to experience those take offs and landings, in addition to all of the beautiful scenery).  We will be stopping at Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, and Skagway.  Can anyone recommend a float plane excursion in any of these ports?  We may have something already booked in Ketchikan, so that would be our last choice - unless it's such a great excursion that we would be dumb to miss it!  Thanks in advance!!!

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In Juneau, the float plane trip over 5 Glaciers, landing on the river at Taku Lodge for a delicious salmon dinner, and a return trip over different scenery to Juneau was a trip I enjoyed.

 

In Ketchikan, it is difficult to top a float plane trip to Misty Fjords and lands on a lake in the Park!

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1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

 

In Ketchikan, it is difficult to top a float plane trip to Misty Fjords and lands on a lake in the Park!

Agree!

 

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We enjoyed the Taku Glacier Lodge with Salmon bake.  You get two takeoffs and two landings and on our excursion one person was allowed to sit with the pilot in the cockpit.  The planes take off just in front of the cruise ships at the Steamship dock in Juneau.  When the cruise ship season begins in May you will be able to watch the planes take off and land on the Juneau webcam.

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Not a float plane but in Skagway I highly recommend a flight over Glacier Bay with Paul from Mountain Flying Service. He is based down in Haines but does flights from there and Skagway. Spectacular scenery, I've flown with him several times.

 

 

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Thank you everyone for those great suggestions!  For a float plane experience, it sounds like Ketchikan is the best option.  That leads me to another question...  is it possible, from your experience, to combine the misty fjords float plane trip with the lumberjack show in Ketchikan?  My elderly inlaws will be on the cruise also, and they are looking forward to the show.  We thought that would be a way for us to do something with them, since they won't be doing the plane excursion.

 

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The lumberjack show is easy to walk to from the ship. Just book it separately.

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If you want a great experience in Ketchikan I highly recommend Michelle at Island Wings. One of the best experiences we have had in 5 trips to Alaska

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I second Island Wings in Ketchikan it was awesome.  We even saw a whale breach while flying over, so Michelle did a few circles so we could see the whale down below.

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We Flew with Michelle and Island Wings in 2015. I was acually in the co-pilot's seat, which your son would probably love They are very  close to the dock, we could see it from our ship.

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I also recommend Michelle at Island Wings in Ketchikan.  They were prompt to reply to email inquiries, picked us up at the port and dropped us back when finished and the flight was a lot of fun. I’m a chicken but felt safe.  Not sure how long you’re in port, but the lumberjack show is presented several times a day and is just an hour long or so.   No need to book that thru the cruiseline. Book direct online and as mentioned, it’s right there at the port.  Lots of fun. And relatively inexpensive compared to a lot of other things in Alaska.

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Thank you everyone for your input.  We just booked with Island Wings.  He's so excited!  

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On 3/1/2019 at 8:07 PM, oaktreerb said:

We enjoyed the Taku Glacier Lodge with Salmon bake.  You get two takeoffs and two landings and on our excursion one person was allowed to sit with the pilot in the cockpit.  The planes take off just in front of the cruise ships at the Steamship dock in Juneau.  When the cruise ship season begins in May you will be able to watch the planes take off and land on the Juneau webcam.

 

Appreciate these details and insightful comments about the floatplane flight and trip to Taku Lodge, etc.  Sounds wonderful!!  We are booked for this excursion with Wings Airways in Juneau.   In July, for our first time, we will be seeing Jasper/Banff, doing the Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, having three days in Vancouver, then sailing with Silversea up to Alaska, doing a post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc.

 

Our time, 9 am to 11 pm, in Juneau is sizable, fortunately..   That one day for us, there will be five ships with 11,474 passengers, plus crew, in Juneau for this one busy day!!??  This includes the Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of Seas with 4,180 passengers.   Any added suggestions, views as to avoiding the "mobs" and maximizing the enjoyable experience for these scenic parts of Alaska?  What were your biggest LOVES or surprises from your time in Alaska?

 

THANKS for all tips, suggestions, secrets, etc.!   Keep 'em coming.   Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

For my latest live/blog, see “the Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East.  Check it at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

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With so many tourists in Juneau you will definitely want to get out of town!  Mendenhall Glacier will be very busy.  My biggest surprise was how crowded it was at Mendenhall last year in late August.   The tram will also be packed.  Juneau has a very nice museum which probably won’t be busy.  Some people like to rent a car to get out of town.

 

 The cruise ships may already have many vendors reserved for their excursions.  Juneau is a good area for whale watching excursions and for the small boat excursion into Tracy Arm...where you may see seals and whales as well as bears along the shore.  The Tracy Arm excursion can take up most of your day.

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5 minutes ago, oaktreerb said:

Juneau has a very nice museum which probably won’t be busy.

 This is the Alaska State Museum.  It is a comfortable walk from where the ships dock and is worth a visit.  The Alaska State Capitol and Governor's Mansion is also walkable from the docks.  If available when one is there, a free tour of the State Capitol is offered which I found interesting.  It's a different type of Capitol building as compared to my state's Capitol:  Ohio.

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On 3/3/2019 at 2:17 PM, DougH said:

Not a float plane but in Skagway I highly recommend a flight over Glacier Bay with Paul from Mountain Flying Service. He is based down in Haines but does flights from there and Skagway. Spectacular scenery, I've flown with him several times.

 

 

Good to hear. We’ve booked that for Skagway. 

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