Alaska Advice Needed

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Jan 15th, 2005, 07:59 PM
  #1
epk
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Alaska Advice Needed

We will be taking a cruise and need advice of worthwhile not to be missed toursin Skagway, Juneau,and Ketchican.Can the downtown areas be seen on one's own?
Has anyone taken the White Pass Railway in Skagway, the Pilot's Choice Helicopter Exploration in Juneau,
the Misty Fjords Seaplane Exploration?
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Jan 16th, 2005, 02:39 AM
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I liked Skagway. The town is very small and everything is within walking distance of the docks. The White Pass Railway was an interesting ride but we went late in the day and it got very foggy. If it is foggy, you might want to skip this trip. The downtown is crowded with tourists when a cruise boat(s) is in town. You might want to read up on some Gold Rush history and get an idea of what the Chilkoot Pass was like in winter and what is must have been like to carry 2,000 lbs of gear into the Yukon.
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Jan 16th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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My family and I did this same leg on our cruise in 2002. In Ketchikan I recall us doint the Misty Fjord flightseeing w/Jeff at Carlin Air who was excellent by the way and also a city tour with a lady who drove a 50's Chevy and dressed in 50's attire which was fun and interesting. Do not miss the Burger Queen by the tunnel for fabulous halibut sandwiches! In Juneau we took a city tour up to the Mendenhall Glacier. Beautiful and very informative. The weather was so good that day that our tour driver extended the tour beyond what was normal. Also had time to take the tram up the mountain, eat and walk around. Also walked aroun the town. In Skagway which was one of my favorite cities we rented a car and drove up to Emerald Lake thus allowing us to stop as we pleased. Also tooka city tour and even had enough time to walk and shop in town. Hope this helps and enjoy you trip!
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Jan 16th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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epk,
We did this cruise in 2000. In Skagway, we took the White Pass & Yukon rail trip...very nice. Someone told us to sit on the left side going up so you can see the views. No problems with fog, if memory serves. Later that afternoon, we shopped through town. They have their own website if you want to look it up, just google White Pass Railway and you can go to the website. And to be quite honest, I'm not sure you have to book this through the cruise line. We did, but I also think you can book it yourself right at the rail station?

In Juneau, we took the Juneau Wildlife Cruise that promised a certain number of wildlife spottings and we saw numerous wildlife, including humpback and killer whales. Also in Juneau, there is a tram you can take on your own--we didn't do this, but it was really close to the ship. We also shopped in Juneau in the afternoon..this was the best shopping town, if memory serves.

In Ketchikan, we took the Misty Fjords Seaplane Adventure. The location for boarding was just a short walk from where the ship was docked. While I am skiddish on jets alone, this served no differently for me, but it was awesome. Now flying into the fjords was foggy, but it still was incredible. We got lucky and our pilot got word of some killer whales in one of the lakes of fjords and landed the plane...we were able to get out of the plane and walk onto the pontoons to view the whales.

We only took one bad excursion which was a Jet Boat Tour in Haines. It was pretty bad, smelling fumes from the jet boat and the only wildlife we saw were bald eagles that were lured to the boats by the drivers training them with bait.

I am sure you will enjoy the cruise.
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Jan 16th, 2005, 05:54 PM
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The Yukon and White Pass Railway trip is very good. (This was where we saw elk.) Fog was not a problem for us as I guess it would really not be for others. If it is foggy when you go up, most likely it will have cleared by the time you go back down. Sit on the right side if it is foggy (you will get the better 'view' side on the return leg) and vice versa if it is not foggy.

In Ketchikan you can take a walking tour of the city. Take the tram up to West Fox Lodge, I believe it is called. From there walk to the Totem Museum and the Eagle Sanctuary and Fish Hatchery. Return to the city via the road across the stream (it was wall-to-wall with salmon when we were there in August) and venture off to the left on Creek Street returning to the 'downtown' area. Nice little non-strenous walk.

You might also post this question on the Cruise Forum.
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