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K_e_short

Dog Sledding Cancelled

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Was booked on a helicopter glacier dog sledding tour for August 1st in Juneau.

Received an email today saying they are closing the camp and thus no dog sledding.

They are offering a great deal on just the helicopter and glacier.

 

Just a little upset as it was a bucket list item.

 

I'm thinking of doing the mushers camp in Skagway but would mean a right schedule:

 

8am ship arrives

10am to 2pm Yukon discovery tour

230pm to 530pm dogs

8pm ship leaves.

 

Any comments?

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With all the warm weather they have been having there’s been a lot of melt. So they’ve had to cancel tours.   I’ve read this in a few other posts.  

 

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Your going to be pushing it. Don't assume you will be back from the Yukon on time.

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Usually they shut down by mid-August. Must be early this year.

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2 hours ago, 1025cruise said:

Your going to be pushing it. Don't assume you will be back from the Yukon on time.

 Thats what I'm thinking.

 

grrr. I had this all planned out.. and then...

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We were told when we booked the same excursion (Sept 4)  that there was more than a 50% chance that it would be cancelled due to warm weather.  We had checked for Skagway as well but were told Skagway shuts the camp down earlier than Juneau.

We know how you feel...This is our 3rd attempt for the dog sledding.  The last two times there was white out conditions and the copters couldn't fly.

 

What type of deal did they offer for helicopter & glacier?  

 

Any info would be appreciated

 

We wish you smooth sailings

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9 hours ago, source said:

We were told when we booked the same excursion (Sept 4)  that there was more than a 50% chance that it would be cancelled due to warm weather.  We had checked for Skagway as well but were told Skagway shuts the camp down earlier than Juneau.

We know how you feel...This is our 3rd attempt for the dog sledding.  The last two times there was white out conditions and the copters couldn't fly.

 

What type of deal did they offer for helicopter & glacier?  

 

Any info would be appreciated

 

We wish you smooth sailings

 

I looked online and the 'deal" wasn't actually a deal, the same price as listed online.

I then looked online an found another company - Alaska Excursions that has 3 dog sledding options. I emailed and was told one was the same as what was cancelled so only 2. Only one had space so we're doing the Juneau Dog Sled World and Taki Helicopter Tour. It costs $599 per person, not $529 like the one I had originally booked.

These were all the Juneau options.

 

I will say that I was very impressed with Coastal Helicopters - the original company. They have been amazing in terms of customer service. I was also very happy so far with Alaska Excursions. I probably emailed them 4 times along with 2 phone calls trying to figure it out.

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, K_e_short said:

 

I looked online and the 'deal" wasn't actually a deal, the same price as listed online.

I then looked online an found another company - Alaska Excursions that has 3 dog sledding options. I emailed and was told one was the same as what was cancelled so only 2. Only one had space so we're doing the Juneau Dog Sled World and Taki Helicopter Tour. It costs $599 per person, not $529 like the one I had originally booked.

These were all the Juneau options.

 

I will say that I was very impressed with Coastal Helicopters - the original company. They have been amazing in terms of customer service. I was also very happy so far with Alaska Excursions. I probably emailed them 4 times along with 2 phone calls trying to figure it out.

 

 

 

You were very lucky to find space.  I called Temsco Helicopters (NCL has contracted with for excursion) in Juneau directly yesterday.  I have also heard good things about Coastal Helicopters however, they stop taking bookings at the end of August.  As of yesterday, there is still plenty of snow for dog sledding.  We'll have to keep our fingers crossed.  Good luck and don't melt all the snow:) 

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I had also been planning to go on a helicopter dog sledding excursion in Skagway as part of an upcoming cruise.  Like the OP, I've discovered that the Skagway dog sled camp on the glacier has suspended operations for the rest of the season due to the warm weather (hard to camp on melting snow).  I've looked through various 3rd party sites and none of them were booking this tour anymore.

 

In Juneau, it looks like the dog sled camp on top of Mendenhall Glacier is still be open and helicopter tour are running there (as of this writing).  That doesn't help me as we've got other plans for Juneau, but might be good for others.

 

In Skagway, it appears that there are still some helicopter tours available to walk on the glacier, it's just the dog sled camp on the glacier that's closed.  So if you were more interested in the glacier part of that excursion than the dogs, that's an option.

 

Also in Skagway, the Summer Musher's Camp which runs dogs on tracks with wheeled carts (instead of snow with sleds), is still available but seems to be filling up quickly.

 

One other option for folks who really want to see the sled dogs, is that some of the Skagway Yukon Excursions also include a stop at a summer musher camp in Carcross/Caribou Crossing.  You can look at skagwayshoretours . com for one such excursion that we were thinking about as an alternative to the canceled helicopter trip.

 

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Sad to hear, looks like the impact of the not happening climate change is everywhere.

 

It was the pricey but most memorable part of our cruise a few years back.  

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Check with Dyea Dave Tours. They stop at the Musher camp on their really nice van tour into the Yukon. Their schedule might not work since the ship gets in at 8 and I think our meeting tome was 7:45ish. There are several options also. Give them a call or email. Super folks to work with.

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If it's dogsledding itself that's the bucket list item, you can do this in a lot of cities in the winter--I did it in Denver last year and the cost of a flight to Denver, hotel, and dogsledding was way less than $599pp. 

 

Of course the helicopter ride and glacier walk add a lot to it, as does going dogsledding *in Alaska.* But if it's the actual doggos themselves, there are many non-Alaska opportunities out there.

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A lot of the ships tell you that they dock a 8am, but almost always they are all tied up and letting passengers off by sevenish.

if you have an early tour and they are not docked early, the vendor will usually wait for you!

DD

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I appreciate all the comments and suggestions. Thank you.

 

I'm in Ottawa, Canada. We have snow from November until March (April this year actually). I have a lot of opportunities to do dog sledding in my area but its the glacier thing.

 

I've been saying this for months - I am going on a HELICOPTER!!! over a GLACIER!!!!! to DOGSLED!!!!!

 

My 12 year old thinks I'm crazy.

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8 hours ago, K_e_short said:

I appreciate all the comments and suggestions. Thank you.

 

I'm in Ottawa, Canada. We have snow from November until March (April this year actually). I have a lot of opportunities to do dog sledding in my area but its the glacier thing.

 

I've been saying this for months - I am going on a HELICOPTER!!! over a GLACIER!!!!! to DOGSLED!!!!!

 

My 12 year old thinks I'm crazy.

Next time plan an Alaska trip earlier in the year. August has always been iffy.

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55 minutes ago, Coral said:

Next time plan an Alaska trip earlier in the year. August has always been iffy.

 

I know that now 🙂

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3 hours ago, K_e_short said:

 

I know that now 🙂

 

What a wonderful reason to plan "another" cruise to Alaska.

 

Often the responses one get in the forums are like many on the internet, if you are short/crisp and clear about a question the threads can go offtopic very easily

 

I'd have it framed like this

 

" What is the best time for Alaska Helicopter Dog Sledding"     You'd have gotten many more pinpointed responses.

 

Since as you now know they do this high up on glacier and as the summer cause melt they have move the camps.   Then late summer it's too soft and they terminate the camps.    

 

Another thing the tours are often canceled due to the high altitude and the fog/cloud cover, so even early in the season they can be canceled do to weather and landing issues high up on the mountain.

 

if it is dog sledding you want that is offered many places, sometimes far cheaper IMHO.  

 

Best of luck and enjoy your cruise

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58 minutes ago, chipmaster said:

 

Since as you now know they do this high up on glacier and as the summer cause melt they have move the camps.   Then late summer it's too soft and they terminate the camps.    

 

Another thing the tours are often canceled due to the high altitude and the fog/cloud cover, so even early in the season they can be canceled do to weather and landing issues high up on the mountain.

They are far less likely to be cancelled in the earlier months and sometimes if they are cancelled in the morning, they can be rescheduled in the afternoon.

 

Hopefully posts like this will let others think if they are set on doing something - better research it first. The dog camps on glaciers always shut down sometime in August. That is a given. It is just unsure what date in August. So if someone really wants to do this, August and September are not the months to plan on going.

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4 hours ago, K_e_short said:

 

I know that now 🙂

Sorry to learn the hard way. I hope you fall in love with Alaska and return. I find May magical. Though salmon are not running then and bears are not as predictable then, but I always find them some how.

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1 hour ago, Coral said:

They are far less likely to be cancelled in the earlier months and sometimes if they are cancelled in the morning, they can be rescheduled in the afternoon.

 

Hopefully posts like this will let others think if they are set on doing something - better research it first. The dog camps on glaciers always shut down sometime in August. That is a given. It is just unsure what date in August. So if someone really wants to do this, August and September are not the months to plan on going.

 

Not sure how you reschedule unless they have an openings  in the PM.  Heli tours especially the dog tours seem to be high demand and sold out well before the day of the tour.  The vendors likely run their heli's 100% and if they are booked they are booked and the PMs wont' necessarily shorten to double the number of tours.

 

When we planned months ahead we struggled do we book an AM or PM.  Sometimes AM get canceled due to low clouds, then sometimes PM get canceled due to incoming clouds, heard enough stories of both being reasons to book the other.  More likely they turn your dog-sledding into standard heli, or if weather is terrible cancel outright with refund 😞

 

Best of luck to others planning, my 2cents, bite the bullet and book early, AM/PM there is no best, beyond if you got/want do it early by Mid July as with Climate change the tour end dates. 

 

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16 hours ago, dyeadave said:

A lot of the ships tell you that they dock a 8am, but almost always they are all tied up and letting passengers off by sevenish.

if you have an early tour and they are not docked early, the vendor will usually wait for you!

DD

Especially if southbound. Our ship docked at 5:39 with a scheduled time of 7:00am, so an hour and 20 minutes early.

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1 hour ago, Coral said:

Sorry to learn the hard way. I hope you fall in love with Alaska and return. I find May magical. Though salmon are not running then and bears are not as predictable then, but I always find them some how.

Copper River had their 1st run just about the time we arrived (May 16th). I was able to get a very fresh Salmon dinner at Simon & Seaforts in Anchorage for dinner on the 16th. Best Salmon I've ever had. We were just lucky. We are most definitely planning a redo on Alaska. I've a fairly long list now since We have been once now.

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17 minutes ago, masterdrago said:

Copper River had their 1st run just about the time we arrived (May 16th). I was able to get a very fresh Salmon dinner at Simon & Seaforts in Anchorage for dinner on the 16th. Best Salmon I've ever had. We were just lucky. We are most definitely planning a redo on Alaska. I've a fairly long list now since We have been once now.

I was thinking more of Ketchikan. I haven't been to Copper River - glad it worked for you! A friend was just at that restaurant a few nights ago and loved it.

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23 minutes ago, Coral said:

I was thinking more of Ketchikan. I haven't been to Copper River - glad it worked for you! A friend was just at that restaurant a few nights ago and loved it.

Just a quick note... we are so undecided about where for bears next trip. Will be late August into early September. Either out of Homer or with Island Wings to Traitors Cove. And yes, that restaurant was fabulous.

 

I'm sorry I took this OT. And I do hope that K_e_short gets to ramble on a glacier. Not sure of the itinerary, but if doing any land tour, check with one of the Denali glacier landing flights. Their base camp is at 7,200 ft and has snow all year. My advice is keep hunting and definitely go with the heli and glacier landing.

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