Alaskan cruise excursions

Jul 9th, 2009, 05:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 125
Alaskan cruise excursions

Hi! Family of five (three teens) cruising on the Princess sapphire August 1. What do you think about this iten...
Fly into Anchorage on Friday night.
Shuttle to Whittier. Kayak Prince Wm. Sound
Skagway - train - short version or train and kayak
Juneau - do glacier on the cheap. shuttle and hiking.. maybe the tram
Kitchikan - ziplining

Anyone done any of this? Any suggestions comments, etc...
millsy5 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2009, 06:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I've done the Kayak trip. It's really fun.
I would highly recommend the helicopter and float plane trips. On those you will get spectacular views of Alaska scenery that you cannot see any other way. One helicopter trip drops you off and leaves you alone for an hour on a glacier then picks you up later. That's really a fun adventure.
montereybob is offline  
Jul 9th, 2009, 06:29 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Avoid any excursion you can do yourself.
In Skagway we did the Bordello Breakfast for $40 ... and the tour is only $5 if you did not go through the cruise line.
With 5 people, a taxi will almost always be cheaper than the excursions.

What to do depends where you are from ... I am from Florida so the whales and kayak were not that fun for me (we have Shamu), but I thought the mountains and glaciers were awesome.

The Skagway train is gorgeous. You sit back as beuatiful scenary goes by. Your teens can walk the train if they get restless.

Don't forget to do a Salmon Bake ... and always eat quick on excursions, they like to cut the time short.
Have fun!!!
J_Star is offline  
Jul 9th, 2009, 06:48 AM
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You have some very good choices lined up.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Jul 9th, 2009, 07:28 AM
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Hey monteraybob - did you do the prince william sound kayad? And which helicopter did you do. I am thinking of doing one through the cruise line that's a helicopter and brief stay on the glacier - it's the cheapest one I would find. It's in Juneau on Mendenhall.
millsy5 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2009, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Our Alaskan cruise in '06 was RT Seattle but stopped in two of your ports. One of the best (and ironically least expensive) things we did on the entire trip was in Juneau, where we took a short cab ride (maybe $10?) to the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery. This is a govt sponsored facility to support the fishing industry, and it was absolutely fascinating to see thousands of fish jumping up the fish ladders as they return home to their birthplace. We also walked around town and had a brew at the colorful Red Dog Saloon, which I think was once the town's first bordello. You can actually walk onto Mendenhall Glacier from the visitor's center in Juneau, but we skipped that. We had a dogsledding tour via helicopter scheduled, but it was cancelled due to fog (a very common occurrence). As the dog camp is at a higher elevation, they were able to offer us the glacier tour only which we did. A bit scary, but fascinating and the only real way to see this surreal terrain.
In Skagway, we did the shortest train trip possible - train up and bus back. We liked the scenery, but our kids (then 7 and 9)were bored enough to fall asleep.
anniemac is offline  
Jul 9th, 2009, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Well, I was on Princess also, so that helicopter to the short stay on a glacier was probably the same one I took. It was an awesome experience. I don't remember if it was Juneau/Mendenhall. As for the kayak trip I took, it also was through Princess. I don't remember however if it was Prince William Sound. I do remember that they took us paddling through small icebergs right up close to a glacier. It was fantastic.
montereybob is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 09:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 125
Okay so now I have changed my mind completely:
Decision 1
Spend part of day in Anchorage biking the Tony Knowl coastal trail OR
Head to Whittier for a PMS cruise
Juneau - Floatplane to Taku Lodge
Skagway - Train and kayak OR Heli-hike-train
HELP! Especially with the Anchorage/Whittier decision
millsy5 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 520
The White Pass/Yukon train tour was very good. If I recall, it was suggested to sit on the left side of the train so you have the views going up? Can someone else who has been on there recently confirm this...

Also, we did a float plane trip in Ketchikan. It was fabulous. Our pilot landed the plane right in the Misty Fjords where there just happened to be about a dozen humpback whales swimming nearby.

In Juneau we did the Wildlife Cruise that guaranteed wildlife sightings and we saw everything, including whales.

Our worst trip was a Jet Boat tour in Haines....waste of money!
hugglynn is offline  

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