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Mrscanadianbacon

Is there one excursion you shouldn't miss

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Scored a deal on HAL yvr return for my husband's 39th bday. We are travelling with our almost 5 yr old. We stop in Juneau, Skagway (birthday) and Ketchikan. Is there a must do excursion in any of these ports that would be a shame to miss? He's bummed we can't see Denali, so I want to make this trip the best I can

Leave Vancouver Sept 21st

 

Sorry for the novel

 

 

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Can't miss is very personal, but for us whale watching, helli glacier landing and dog sledding.

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1 hour ago, chipmaster said:

Can't miss is very personal, but for us whale watching, helli glacier landing and dog sledding.

Agree...what interests you most is the must see. Take a look at the offered excursions, perhaps read the many threads here on each port. Decide what interests you (or your hubby) most.

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Like others have already said, it can be very subjective. We did 3 different excursions that all involved glaciers, because that's the things we wanted. We didn't care about the railroad trips or dogsled. Once was the small boat excursion in Tracy Arm, the other was in Skagway, the Wilderness Safari trip where we walked on the ground at the foot of a glacier, but the best was our helicopter ride. We did Mendenhall in Juneau and it was amazing!! That would have been our "not miss" thing. Mainly because there are very few places I want to do a helicopter ride to begin with, and this was basically a once in a lifetime thing for us.

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your trip is very late into the shoulder season, so some activities may not be available and some vendors will have closed.  ie  heli dog sledding ended a few weeks ago in some locations.  Bear viewing out of Ketchikan is past prime viewing period.

So you will need to research activities that are of interest then check to see if they're still available.  I'd also suggest backup plans at each port in case you encounter a Fall storm.

Your cruiseline will have hundreds of options for you to review.  If you find some excursions that interest you, but you would prefer to use an independent vendor , post again for suggestions. 

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Just now, mapleleaves said:

your trip is very late into the shoulder season, so some activities may not be available and some vendors will have closed.  ie  heli dog sledding ended a few weeks ago in some locations.  Bear viewing out of Ketchikan is past prime viewing period.

So you will need to research activities that are of interest then check to see if they're still available.  I'd also suggest backup plans at each port in case you encounter a Fall storm.

Your cruiseline will have hundreds of options for you to review.  If you find some excursions that interest you, but you would prefer to use an independent vendor , post again for suggestions. 

Thank you! This is good to know 

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41 minutes ago, kctwinmommy said:

Like others have already said, it can be very subjective. We did 3 different excursions that all involved glaciers, because that's the things we wanted. We didn't care about the railroad trips or dogsled. Once was the small boat excursion in Tracy Arm, the other was in Skagway, the Wilderness Safari trip where we walked on the ground at the foot of a glacier, but the best was our helicopter ride. We did Mendenhall in Juneau and it was amazing!! That would have been our "not miss" thing. Mainly because there are very few places I want to do a helicopter ride to begin with, and this was basically a once in a lifetime thing for us.

Which port did you do the helicopter ride? This sounds right up our alley

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Mrscanadianbacon said:

Which port did you do the helicopter ride? This sounds right up our alley

 

We did Mendenhall Glacier, which is Juneau. It's not cheap, but it's totally worth it!

 

Some of the amazing mountains up high!

_MG_4217.jpg

 

Flying around

_MG_4249.jpg

 

After we landed ON the glacier

_MG_4278.jpg

 

Our son, he was 12 at the time, and loved it!

_MG_4316.jpg

 

The 3 of us after the ride

_MG_4419.jpg

 

 

Here's one of the 3 or 4 videos I took...

Edited by kctwinmommy

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Posted (edited)

I think there are 4 vendors in Juneau who offer glacier landings .... Coastal, Temsco, Northstar.  Call or email them to check their hours.

The town Visitor Guide lists the vendors on pg 32, under Glacie Viewing.

 

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/10785063#/10785063/32

 

BTW, every town has a Visitor Guide you can download.  Just google the town's name followed by Visitor Information.

Edited by mapleleaves

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1 hour ago, kctwinmommy said:

 

We did Mendenhall Glacier, which is Juneau. It's not cheap, but it's totally worth it!

 

Some of the amazing mountains up high!

_MG_4217.jpg

 

Flying around

_MG_4249.jpg

 

After we landed ON the glacier

_MG_4278.jpg

 

Our son, he was 12 at the time, and loved it!

_MG_4316.jpg

 

The 3 of us after the ride

_MG_4419.jpg

 

 

Here's one of the 3 or 4 videos I took...

 

Wow!!!!!!!! 

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10 hours ago, Mrscanadianbacon said:

Wow!!!!!!!! 

 

LOL! Yes, it was definitely the highlight for sure. And I truly don't like flying. I do it, because I want to see things in the world and it's the only realistic way to get places, LOL! But, I also knew I didn't want to let my fear stop me from doing this either.

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Thanks everyone! I think we've decided on a helicopter trip in Juneau, train to the Yukon in Skagway and just walk around Ketchikan. So stoked!! 💖 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mrscanadianbacon said:

Thanks everyone! I think we've decided on a helicopter trip in Juneau, train to the Yukon in Skagway and just walk around Ketchikan. So stoked!! 💖 

 

We did the same thing in Ketchikan. We went up to the little resort (cape Fox Lodge) and rode the funicular, so you can see the town. And walked down by the old Red Light district, the houses are neat along there. We also saw all the salmon trying to head upstream, which was really cool.

 

Neat houses along the old Red Light district, and cute little shops

_MG_4510.jpg

 

We rode this up to the hotel

_MG_4560.jpg

 

A view from the top of the hotel property

_MG_4569.jpg

 

 

You can kind of see the salmon in there!

_MG_4589.jpg

Edited by kctwinmommy

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2 hours ago, Mrscanadianbacon said:

Thanks everyone! I think we've decided on a helicopter trip in Juneau, train to the Yukon in Skagway and just walk around Ketchikan. So stoked!! 💖 

 

Train to the Yukon in Skagway:  yes!  Ketchikan, please consider the Bering Sea Fisherman's Tour.  Look at the description of the tour.  Your almost 5 year old will love it when they bring the pots of sea life on board to show (and you can hold some of the critters) as well as when they "feed" the Bald Eagles.

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Can anyone confirm or deny.....

 

Dog Sledding Adventure on the Norris Glacier by Helicopter

 

 

Does this physically land on the glacier as well....or just kinda near it and then you sled dog around the general area?  I want to make sure I pick a tour that actually lands on the glacier since that is my strongest memory as a child that I would like to give to my own kids

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1. Taku Glacier flight tour with 5 glaciers and salmon bake.  

 

2. Flight seeing around Mt. McKinley.

 

3. Salmon fishing in Seward. 

 

4. Whale watching trip in Juneau.   

 

5. Coastal Classic train transport Anchorage to Seward....Gold star class!  

 

6. Kayaking in Ketchikan.  

 

 

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On 8/31/2019 at 5:14 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

Train to the Yukon in Skagway:  yes!  Ketchikan, please consider the Bering Sea Fisherman's Tour.  Look at the description of the tour.  Your almost 5 year old will love it when they bring the pots of sea life on board to show (and you can hold some of the critters) as well as when they "feed" the Bald Eagles.

 

We just did this tour last Friday and thoroughly recommend it! It's fun, funny and interesting and there's something to do or see from the moment the boat leaves until it returns!

 

 

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The other excursion we really loved was the boat to the glacier when the ship is cruising all day in the fjords.  This is not from a port, it is directly from the ship.

We were supposed to do Tracy Arm Fjord that day, but there were too many icebergs in the channel, so the ship got permission to divert to Endicott.

 

video:

 

 

 

Edited by ABQrobin

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11 minutes ago, ABQrobin said:

The other excursion we really loved was the boat to the glacier when the ship is cruising all day in the fjords.  This is not from a port, it is directly from the ship.

 

video:

 

 

 

 

Excellent video and how fortunate you were to get such a good shot of the calving!  Thanks for posting it.

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19 hours ago, dodgestang said:

Can anyone confirm or deny.....

 

Dog Sledding Adventure on the Norris Glacier by Helicopter

 

 

Does this physically land on the glacier as well....or just kinda near it and then you sled dog around the general area?  I want to make sure I pick a tour that actually lands on the glacier since that is my strongest memory as a child that I would like to give to my own kids

 

I haven't been on that specific excursion, but it's my understanding that the helicopter excursions to dog sled camps are on top of the glaciers while the bus ride ones are on dry land in wheeled sleds at the training camp.

 

Note: As mentioned above, the glacier dog sled camps have been closing earlier and earlier in the season as the warmer weather makes it impossible to operate the camp on top of the glaciers.  This year the glacier-based dog sled camps closed for the season in mid-July.  Our planned excursion to the glacier camp outside of Skagway got cancelled and we ended up booking a trip to the summer, dry-land camp in Dyea instead. 

 

While it wasn't what we had planned, I will say that the Dyea dog sled trip was a blast and the whole family had a great time.

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49 minutes ago, ThatLever said:

 

I haven't been on that specific excursion, but it's my understanding that the helicopter excursions to dog sled camps are on top of the glaciers while the bus ride ones are on dry land in wheeled sleds at the training camp.

 

Note: As mentioned above, the glacier dog sled camps have been closing earlier and earlier in the season as the warmer weather makes it impossible to operate the camp on top of the glaciers.  This year the glacier-based dog sled camps closed for the season in mid-July.  Our planned excursion to the glacier camp outside of Skagway got cancelled and we ended up booking a trip to the summer, dry-land camp in Dyea instead. 

 

While it wasn't what we had planned, I will say that the Dyea dog sled trip was a blast and the whole family had a great time.

 

Ugh....hadn't thought about that with an August 02 sailing.  If it gets canned....I'll just fall back on straight up helicopter to the glacier...because that is what is most important to me....the dog slegging was like gravy in my mind

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I would second the small boat visit to Tracy Arm.  Just spectacular.  I did a round trip out of Juneau, but some itineraries will have the cruise ship drop you on the way into Tracy Arm, and then you take the small boat back to Juneau.   Small boats have a MUCH better chance of getting close to the glaciers.  The cruise ships rarely get close to the glaciers due to ice floes.

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Our favorite was the Mendenhall glacier helicopter ride then putting on crampons (supplied by the tour company), walking across the glacier and climbing a wall of ice on the glacier.   Awesome excursion. I see I’m not the only one recommending the helicopter ride. 

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