help with port activities

Aug 5th, 2011, 01:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7
help with port activities

Will be on coral princess from whittier. Going to Skagway,Juneau,ketchikan. Don't want to do ship tours. Any resonable tour places or things to do in any of these towns? Has anyone rented a car? If so where did you go? In my 60's so no hiking and canoeing, hahah. Thanks for any help.
catsandra777 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,024
In Skagway:

1. The cruise ship docks right at the edge of town.
The main street is just a two block walk but the street runs for about 10 blcoks.

2. As you leave the cruise ship , then on your right hand side is a nice red and black train that was once used to clear snow off the track.

Look at the huge multi-blade propellor in front...You will take a picture here.

3. You can wander around town on your own but I would take the White Pass and Yukon Narrow Guage Railway Train Ride.

This trip takes about 3 1/2 hours
You will see the country side like never before... and you can go

outside and stand between the train cars ,as the train makes those sharp curves..but hang on because it is a looooong way down to the Canyon below !!!!

The train will bring you back to the cruise ship.

4. Or you can take a walking and riding tour around Skagway

They will take you to several vantage points with great views of Skagway.

You will also see the Gold Rush will hear all about the con-man Jefferon Randolf " Soapy" Smith and the man who shot him ( Frank Reid).

You will learn why is nickname was Soapy!!!

( But do try to do the White Pass Train Ride)


1. This is where the Govenors Mansion is.

2. As soon as you get off the cruise ship,there is ( almost in front of you) The Mount Roberts Tramway.

It is a sharp ride up the Traway but the view from the top are spectacular.

There is a theatre, restaurant and gifts shop at the top.

3. There is also the Macauly Salmon Htcher about 2 miles away and this is interesting to see. I was impressed.

4. Of course you will likely visit the Mendenhall Glacier.
Here you will see ice like never before !!!

5.In the river beside you you will see Eagles feeding on Salmon.
It is very neat to see them fly very low over the water and then grab a poor Salmon that was swimming too close to the top of the water.!!!

If you have a small group then charter your own boat for the Eagle and Whale watching.

( The air- tours are expensive, over - rated and can be dangerours!)

Juneau is the only State Capital that is not accessible by road !!!

In Ketchikan:

Your ship dock almost downtown
That is the nice thing about Alaska Cruises is that the ships dock almost downtown.

It is nice to walk about in Ketchikan.

1. Make sure you visit Creek Street, the Old Red Light District.
It is not really a street but a boardwalk for foot traffic.

2. Now look over the bridge into the water...that is Ketchikan Creek below.... and if you are there is late August or early September you will see Salmon coming upstream.

3. Of course you can also just get off the ship ..turn to your LEFT...and you are on the main shopping street.

4. Ketchikan is the best place to buy souvenirs BUT do not
buy jewellery...they are selling jewellery to tourist all over the place.!!

Also when you are on the main shopping street...remember this:

The first 2-3 blocks of shopping stores are owned ( affiliated) with the cruise ship..

walk a bit further down and buy from the Locals..who own the stores further down.

Also remember this:

1. During your cruise it will rain and/or get chilly
sometime along the way.

2. Bring a sweater, and a wind jacket

3. Dress in layers...the weather can get cooler quickly.

4. Also bring a small pair of wool gloves, you know the ones you can stuff into your jacket pocket.

They cost about a dollar a pair at Wal-Mart!

The Fjords are really something to see.

Hopefully they will take you to the Hubbar Glacier.

When you see Glaciers that have huge chunks of ice falling off then into the water...this process

is called calfing !!

Have a nice time
Percy is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 651
Here's an article from a while ago about passengers rating the best Alaska shore excursions. Might have some useful ideas for you:

Good luck!
triathlete is offline  
Aug 9th, 2011, 05:00 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 52
The cruise ships dock across the street from the shops. Mostly jewelry. The same stuff you find in the Caribbean.

The best part of our trip was a helicopter trip to a glacier. We are in our 60's so we walked on the glacier. It was really a sight not to be missed.

Our daughter climbed, and her friend did a dog sled ride. We all loved it.
mrscpa10 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2011, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,020
Highly recommend Percy's suggestion #3 for Skagway. The train trip was one of the highlights of our cruise. Afterwards we had time to walk around in town and shop in some of the interesting stores.

We did an excellent whale watch in Juneau, but it was a ship shore tour. If you can make other arrangements, by all means do so.

Our ship didn't visit Ketchikan. We went to Sitka instead.

I had never really had any desire to do an Alaskan cruise, but good friends suggested it and it sailed from San Francisco (a real plus, since we live in the area) so we decided to go. I'm so glad we did. We had a wonderful time and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again!
Giovanna is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 495
We did those ports last July on HAL.

Juneau is very easy to do on your own. We just got off the ship and walked down the street and bought our tickets to the Mt. Roberts Tram. The view from the top is spectacular looking down at the harbor w/ the ships docked. There are nature trails and a visitor's center at the top where you can see exhibits on the different animals. There is also a bald eagle in a cage right at the top of where the tram drops you off. He was wounded so he stays in a cage. There was a ranger there telling us about him, he fed him while we were there also. It was nice to be so close to an eagle.

We bought a combination ticket that included a bus trip to Mendenhall Glacier. The glacier is not to be missed, that's the best part of Juneau! However, I would not recommend buying the combo ticket as we were very rushed on our visit to the glacier and did not have enough time to walk the trails, look at all the exhibits in the visitor's center. You will view a short 15-20 min. movie on the glaciers which gives you a nice overview of everything. It was a fabulous day in Juneau. There is a public bus (blue, I think) that runs frequently out to the glacier and I would recommend taking this out there.

Ketchikan is another very easy port. The above poster has given lots of great info for you. We did book a float plane trip (booked it online b4 we left home) that was absolutely the highlight of Ketchikan and our cruise. We saw those awesome fjords. Again, quite an experience. I know others have recommended the holicopter tours and I am sure that would be wonderful as well.

Ketchikan is a good place to souvenir and Juneau is as well. Lots of T shirt shops, etc.

As Percy has noted, it does get chilly in Alaska (as well as on the ship) so bring some layers and I really suggest a warm fleece. You can buy fleece in the stores in Alaska as well, pretty reasonable prices.

You will LOVE Alaska, it is a very addictive place to visit. We can't wait to go back!

Luv2travel15 is offline  

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