Posted March 11th, 2013, 10:23 PM
On the Pearl you will not see any of Tracy Arm - you will see the tidewater glaciers in Glacier Bay instead. The Jewel is the ship that transits Tracy Arm.
As for the small boat tour it is great - you will experience both glaciers up close as well as seeing the Fjord from water level instead of 12 or 13 decks above it. You will also sail around the other cruise ships (including the Jewel).
You will give up seeing any of Juneau including any whale watching and viewing of Mendenhall Glacier or taking a Hellicopter ride etc.
Only you can decide if you want to give up these other activities for a closer look at Tracy Arm.
Frankly, if this were my first AK cruise, I would opt for whale watching over the Tracy Arm Explorer as you will get close to the glaciers in glacier bay. Now if I were on the Jewel and would not see Glacier Bay, I would do it in a heartbeat.
The poster is specifically asking about an add on NCL shore excursion that does go to Tracy Arm.
My questions for the poster to ask themselves - hopefully will further direct them to a decision. There is little comparism to their Glacier Bay sailing and this tour. This may be a perfect tour for them.
People get bogged down with- claiming their tours are the "best", and frankly- they usually haven't taken enough varied tours in a single port. The reports will list the number of times etc. All well and great >
They are going with what they favor.
Myself included. I repeat my favorites over and over. As I always say- there are few tours running that aren't excellent for particular priorites to enjoy.
I will go out there and - state- even with 10 Alaska visits, you are lucky to experience 10% (and not a lot of people on this board have those numbers).
It's one BIG touring area.
Happy Alaska travels