Tracy Arm vs. Mendenhall Help plus Glacier Bay!!

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#1
Milford CT
160 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Hello everyone,

We are desperately trying to finalize our excursions for our July 5 cruise and I need some help!

Our ship is docking in Juneau for 13 hours so we have time to do the full day Tracy Arm trip with Adventure Bound but if we do this we will miss Mendenhall completely - is that acceptable or would we be missing something spectacular? We are first timers to Alaska and who knows if we will come back.

Also - are there any excursions TO Glacier Bay from Juneau - I looked and looked but couldn't find any. Our ship is not visiting there so maybe this is not possible for us - sad but it does help narrow things down a bit!

Thanks for any advice,
Susan
#2
419 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Tracy Arms > Mendenhall

There's no Glacier bay trips from Juneau that I know of, unless you call some flight company and charter a private trip.
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#3
quad cities illinois
5,448 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
if you can do a tour through the ship too see sawyer glacier when you are in tracy arm i would do it. i had a wonderful time getting up close too the waterfalls, seeing alot of wildlife on land and in the water and getting up close too the glacier. we saw some awesome calfing. more than likely you will miss this on the ship. mendenhall is easy too get too in juneau by catching the big blue bus that comes and goes every 1/2 hr back and forth. it is about $16 for the roundtrip. you can catch it very close too the end of the dock.
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DUSTY



norwegian pearl-glacier bay alaska 09/15/13- sister and friend--CANT WAIT
carnival spirit-tracy arm alaska 05/11-coworker
carnival spirit-tracy arm alaska 06/10-family cruise
carnival fantasy-western caribbean 9/09-solo
norwegian pearl-alaska glacier bay 05/09-solo
carnival victory-new england/canada 9/07-solo
carnival spirit-glacier bay 5/05-with a friend
carnival spirit-glacier bay 09/03

#4
9,611 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Mendenhall is a great, but Tracy Arm is amazing!!!! We did Tracy Arm on our first visit to AK. I went back and forth, but then someone pointed out to me that I should take advantage of it since not many ships have enough time in Juneau to take advantage of the tour. They said if I returned to AK on another cruise, I might not have enough time. I listened to this advice, and never regretted. My second cruise I did get to Mendenhall and enjoyed it more than I thought I would, but it does not compare, in my book, to a Tracy Arm transit in a small boat.

No excursions to Glacier Bay by boat out of Juneau. You may find a flight as already mentioned. There are also flights to Glacier Bay out of Icy Strait if you happen to be going there.
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HAL Volendam Alaska June 15, 2008
NCL POA Hawaii May 22, 2010
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#5
Syracuse, New York
49,366 Posts
Joined May 2000
As mentioned only way to Glacier Bay is flightseeing.

In no way, is Mendenhall "spectacular". It's an OK glacier look, that is a good use of time, if of interest. In my opinion, it is not a primary tour choice.

Juneau certainly is loaded with many touring choices.
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Happy Alaska travels

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#6
Portland Oregon
2,753 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
What ship are you on? and where else are you going?

IMHO Tracy Arm trumps Mendenhall Glacier but there are other things to see and do in Juneau as well.

It also matters if your ship is going to transit Tracy Arm or not and as others have mentioned some cruiselines offer a small boat excursion in addition to the large ship transit. This only works when the Tracy Arm transit is just before or just after Juneau. Since you are spending so much time in Juneau I suspect that Tracy Arm is later on in your trip. I think that it is Celebrity that offers the small boat tour both in and out - so at the inlet a group of pax boards the small boat and tours on the way in then back by the glacier they transfer back to the ship and another group boards the smaller boat for the transit out, transfering back to the ship at the inlet area.
#7
Milford CT
160 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
We are on Celebrity Millennium and I am pretty sure that we are not transiting Tracy Arm. I don't see any mention of it anywhere in the itinerary and there are no excursions on the list.

After all the comments I am confident in our choice to bypass Mendenhall for the Tracy Arm tour - maybe someday we'll be back and can see more of Juneau!

Thanks for the help..
#8
Portland Oregon
2,753 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by ASASJ5
We are on Celebrity Millennium and I am pretty sure that we are not transiting Tracy Arm. I don't see any mention of it anywhere in the itinerary and there are no excursions on the list.

After all the comments I am confident in our choice to bypass Mendenhall for the Tracy Arm tour - maybe someday we'll be back and can see more of Juneau!

Thanks for the help..
Thanks for posting the ship - you are right you will not see Tracy Arm on the ship and you will visit Hubbard Glacier which will more than make up for Mendenhall.

So by all means take Adventure Bound's Tracy Arm Explorer and if it is a nice day - ride the tram when you get back - or just explore Juneau. In Icy Point Strait you can option for flightseeing into Glacier Bay or do some whale watching.

Do you plan on doing some extra touring when you get to Seward?
#9
Milford CT
160 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Yes! In Seward we are doing either the Major Marine 7.5 hour or the Kenai 9 hour trip - still trying to decide. We also will visit the Sea Life center the next day and then finally board the train to Anchorage at 6pm. If you've got any other ideas for Seward please send them my way including any opinions on either of these tours.
#10
9,611 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by ASASJ5
Yes! In Seward we are doing either the Major Marine 7.5 hour or the Kenai 9 hour trip - still trying to decide. We also will visit the Sea Life center the next day and then finally board the train to Anchorage at 6pm. If you've got any other ideas for Seward please send them my way including any opinions on either of these tours.

This post should give you some ideas of how to fill your time in Seward:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...1#post20321781

We took the 9 hour Northwestern Fjord tour the day we disembarked the ship. The following day we visited the Sea Life Center, taking the Beyond the Scenes Tour. After lunch we drove out to Exit Glacier (we had picked up a rental car after the boat tour the night before). After Exit Glacier we went to town, picked up some food for the train, returned the car and took the train to Anchorage. It was a short but sweet visit to Seward. Looking forward to going back some day.
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HAL Volendam Alaska June 15, 2008
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#11
Concord, California
3,436 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
IMHO Tracy Arm is far superior to the Mendenhall. It was also my suggestion to take advantage of the full day in Juneau to take the Adventure Bound excursion as most ship schedules don't permit it. If you do a search you shoudl be able to find links to several photo albums I've posted of my trips into Tracy Arm.

Juneau does offer many,many great options but the Adventure Bound trip is my favorite. Only you can decide what is most important to you. I also figured Alaska to be a one time visit but things sure turned out quite different
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