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Devoira

Excursions in Alaska

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Going on my first-ever Alaska cruise this August out of Vancouver and wondering where and what some of your favourite excursions are, whether through the cruise line (Princess) or making own arrangements.

Stopping in

Ketchikan

Juneau

Skagway

Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge

Fairbanks or Anchorage.

Would love to see whales; kayak near glaciers; go on some nice hikes; explore Native art; eat great seafood!

Thank you for any suggestions!

 

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33 minutes ago, Devoira said:

Going on my first-ever Alaska cruise this August out of Vancouver and wondering where and what some of your favourite excursions are, whether through the cruise line (Princess) or making own arrangements.

Stopping in

Ketchikan

Juneau

Skagway

Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge

Fairbanks or Anchorage.

Would love to see whales; kayak near glaciers; go on some nice hikes; explore Native art; eat great seafood!

Thank you for any suggestions!

 

Juneau is great for whale watching.  I have been on the Princess whale watching tour many times, and I have never been disappointed.  Others will recommend other good whale watching tours.

 

The Discovery Center in Ketchikan is an easy walk from the ship.  It is run by the Forest Service.  Great for Native art and wildlife displays.

 

i think that the White Pass and Yukon railroad trip is a must in Skagway.  Great scenery and a real adventure.  

 

Enjoy!

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Ketchikan - bear watching. Deadliest catch. Great Alaskan lumberjack show (fun for an alskan first timer - they do a mini show onboard in the theater where they have pax do an ace throwing competition.)

 

Juneau - mendenhall glacier trek (includes helicopter ride to glacier). Whale watching

 

 

Skagway - helicopter ride to glacier dog sledding. Kroschel Wildlife Animal Rescue Center.

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Have dinner at the Black Bear while at the Wilderness Lodge, take the long tour at Denali Park, you will be the closest you can get but still many miles away. You will have a much better chance of seeing wildlife while on the bus.

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Also, do the Crab Shack instead of MDR and Formal night if you like seafood

 

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If you love seafood, the crab feast in Ketchikan is an absolute must. You’ll be glad you did

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chilkoot Tours in Skagway to take van up/train down from the Yukon.  Excellent!

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Make sure you read the posts on the Alaska board here on Cruise Critic. Lots of ideas there. At the Denali lodge, make sure you don't waste your time on the Natural History Tour. Upgrade to the Tundra Wilderness Tour or take one of the shuttles, depending on what you have time for.

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Harv & Marv for small group GREAT whale watching in Juneau. We’ve done it twice and seen lots of whales both times.

 

Chilkoot tours in Skagway ... we enjoyed their train up and small van back tour.

 

In Ketchikan we chartered a boat and two of us went out and “limited” on salmon. All cut into 1lb fillets (you can also have it in complete sides) and shipped to arrive after we got home.

Edited by BigGuy25

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4 hours ago, geoherb said:

Make sure you read the posts on the Alaska board here on Cruise Critic. Lots of ideas there. At the Denali lodge, make sure you don't waste your time on the Natural History Tour. Upgrade to the Tundra Wilderness Tour or take one of the shuttles, depending on what you have time for.

Thank you! Re upgrading to Tundra or taking one of the shuttles... can you wait to decide or do you have to book in advance?

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3 hours ago, BigGuy25 said:

Harv & Marv for small group GREAT whale watching in Juneau. We’ve done it twice and seen lots of whales both times.

 

Chilkoot tours in Skagway ... we enjoyed their train up and small van back tour.

 

In Ketchikan we chartered a boat and two of us went out and “limited” on salmon. All cut into 1lb fillets (you can also have it in complete sides) and shipped to arrive after we got home.

Sounds great! Thank you! Re the boat charter. Do you recall the company you booked with?

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2 minutes ago, Devoira said:

Thank you! Re upgrading to Tundra or taking one of the shuttles... can you wait to decide or do you have to book in advance?

Likely that the TWT is booked solid for this year....call the folks who run the tour, see what their arrangements are for booking a cancellation.

It used to be that cancelations were available 8 days before your desired date, but that may have changed.

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My travel agent made the change from the Natural History Tour to the Tundra Wilderness Tour a couple of months before our cruise tour. If you have time to take one of the shuttles (more than one night at the Denali lodge), you can make reservations yourself. My understanding is that they reserve some slots for people without reservations.

https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/shuttles.htm

 

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Don't pre-book anything for Juneau.  There are numerous kiosks at the dock that will have all or more tours than you can book onboard, usually for as good as or better prices.

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If you are going NorthBound - I would look into the Tracy Arm excursion through AdventureBound Alaska (must pre-reserve). It is an all day excursion but amazing.

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On 7/20/2019 at 9:18 PM, Coral said:

If you are going NorthBound - I would look into the Tracy Arm excursion through AdventureBound Alaska (must pre-reserve). It is an all day excursion but amazing.

I am going northbound on Coral Princess but I do not see a stop in Tracy Arm. The itinerary says:

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada   04:30 pm
Thu, Aug 22 At Sea     
Fri, Aug 23 Ketchikan, Alaska, United States  06:00 am 03:00 pm
Sat, Aug 24 Juneau, Alaska, United States  08:00 am 09:00 pm
Sun, Aug 25 Skagway, Alaska, United States 06:30 am 08:30 pm
Mon, Aug 26 Glacier Bay National Park (Scenic Cruising), Alaska, U.S.  06:00 am 03:00 pm
Tue, Aug 27 College Fjord (Scenic Cruising), Alaska, United States  06:00 pm 08:30 pm
Wed, Aug 28 Anchorage (Whittier), Alaska, United States 

 

Is it at one of these places? or? Many thanks!

 

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28 minutes ago, Devoira said:

I am going northbound on Coral Princess but I do not see a stop in Tracy Arm. The itinerary says:

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada   04:30 pm
Thu, Aug 22 At Sea     
Fri, Aug 23 Ketchikan, Alaska, United States  06:00 am 03:00 pm
Sat, Aug 24 Juneau, Alaska, United States  08:00 am 09:00 pm
Sun, Aug 25 Skagway, Alaska, United States 06:30 am 08:30 pm
Mon, Aug 26 Glacier Bay National Park (Scenic Cruising), Alaska, U.S.  06:00 am 03:00 pm
Tue, Aug 27 College Fjord (Scenic Cruising), Alaska, United States  06:00 pm 08:30 pm
Wed, Aug 28 Anchorage (Whittier), Alaska, United States 

 

Is it at one of these places? or? Many thanks!

 

You could do it as a private excursion in Juneau (due to your times): 

 

https://www.adventureboundalaska.com

 

Best excursion I have done and pretty reasonable for it being in Alaska and all day.

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On 7/20/2019 at 3:59 AM, Jeter02 said:

 

Juneau - mendenhall glacier trek (includes helicopter ride to glacier). Whale watching

 

 

Skagway - helicopter ride to glacier dog sledding. Kroschel Wildlife Animal Rescue Center.

I definitely concur with Mendenhall in Juneau, and Kroschel Wildlife Center in Skagway.

Tip for Mendenhall, don’t book the ship tour unless you really want the helicopter ride. You can get a bus ride ticket from the many vendors on the dock, for a fraction of the price, then you can spend as much time there as you want, since the buses return frequently.

 

i thought the Kroschel Center was worth every penny and worth the long trip. (About an hour on a ferry, plus another hour on a bus.) It’s a fascinating close up look at wildlife, with a charismatic host/guide. You can’t  go wrong, and this was our favourite excursion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You're at the end of the season and I don't know if any permits are still available, but we went to Anan from Ketchikan last week to see bears and it was amazing.  Also highly recommend a helicopter glacier tour (we did it in Skagway but they also do it in Juneau).  Rent a car in Skagway and drive to Emerald Lake and back (about 6-7 hours roundtrip).

https://www.wrangell.com/visitorservices/anan-bear-and-wildlife-observatory

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19 hours ago, Devoira said:

I am going northbound on Coral Princess but I do not see a stop in Tracy Arm. The itinerary says:

     
Mon, Aug 26 Glacier Bay National Park (Scenic Cruising), Alaska, U.S.  06:00 am 03:00 pm
Tue, Aug 27 College Fjord (Scenic Cruising), Alaska, United States  06:00 pm 08:30 pm
   

Is it at one of these places? or? Many thanks!

 

Since you're visiting both Glacier Bay and College Fjord, going up Tracy Arm to the Sawyer Glacier is probably not necessary IMHO.  I've done all 3 on different cruises and College Fjord is probably my favorite.

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