Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Ports of Call > Alaska
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old April 6th, 2013, 09:37 PM
July4's Avatar
July4 July4 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CT
Posts: 159
Default Icy Sraight

I have found excursions in most ports- but looking for recommendations here.
looks like most want you to go through the ship!?
__________________
***** Randy & Penny ********


Cruise Countdown Tickers

Cruise Countdown Tickers

Cruise Countdown Tickers

Sailed
Galaxy 5/99 Alaska For 0ur 25th
Brillance of the Seas 3/06 Panama Canal
Constellation 2/08 Southern Caribbean
Summit 10/12 New England & Canada For our 40th
Brillance of the Seas 1/14 Western Caribbean
Radiance of the Seas 8/14 Alaska- Family cruise
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old April 6th, 2013, 09:50 PM
Legran Legran is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Granby Qc Canada
Posts: 32
Default

Mysty Bay lodge is a good alternative.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old April 6th, 2013, 10:02 PM
Assateague Island Princes Assateague Island Princes is online now
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bethlehem, PA
Posts: 4,504
Default

I so agree w/Legran about Misty Bay Lodge for whale watching and/or bear search. I did both with them in August of 2011 and had a wonderfully productive time - tons of whales, breaching, bubblenet feeding, humps, backs and blows galore! We sure did get lucky that day! Afterwards, I went on a bear search with them - and again struck gold! A young brown bear feeding in a stream just beneath the bridge we were standing on, then an older male brown bear eating his way thru a hillside right next to the road where the van we were in was parked. It was thrilling! Their boat is a six passenger boat, and Capt. Dan was so intent on us seeing whales. A great guy who filled us in on life in Hoonah, where he and his wife also run the Misty Bay Lodge. All in all it was a fantastic day and I would highly recommend a whale watch/bear search with them.

Hope you enjoy ISP as much as we did - visting Hoonah, a real small town slice of Alaska life was great, exquisite scenery, amazing wildlife, and friendly folks. Happy sailing!
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old April 6th, 2013, 10:46 PM
DragonOfTheSeas DragonOfTheSeas is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: virginia
Posts: 5,164
Default

We took a whale watch from 10am to 1pm with Icy Strait Whale Adventures. We wanted to have a more personal experience so we independently booked a small boat (6 passengers). Captain Coleen guarantees that you will see whales or you get ˝ your money back. [this is not really important since everyone sees whales in Icy strait] We loved our whale watch. We saw lots of whales (mostly heads and tails as they breeched the surface). Last year was their first year giving tours. The boat was brand new. Very nice!

By the end of our trip we were cold and tired (in a good way) and headed back to the ship for hot soup.
__________________
[/url]


Previous Cruises:Carnival Ecstasy– July 2000: Mexico; Carnival Fantasy– August 2006: Bahamas; Carnival Pride –October 2009: Bahamas; Celebrity Constellation–March 2010: Panama Canal; Enchantment of the Seas–June 2010: Eastern Caribbean, September 2010: New England and Canada, March 2012: Southern Caribbean; Celebrity Mercury–November 2010 Eastern Caribbean and January 2011 Bahamas and Florida; Carnival Legend –April 2011: Western Caribbean; Radiance of the Seas--Alaska; August 2012, Explorer of the Seas--Bermuda: October 2012; Legend of the Seas –Transatlantic, October 2013; Grandeur of the Seas –June 2005: Bermuda, April 2013: Caribbean reposition cruise; March 2014: Western Caribbean; Brilliance of the Seas--North Atlantic TA: August 2014
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old April 7th, 2013, 01:56 AM
karatemom2's Avatar
karatemom2 karatemom2 is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 4,414
Default

We did our favorite excursion ever in Hoonah with Glacier Wind Charters. It was a combined fishing and whale watching trip. Caught lots of halibut and then saw many whales. It was spectacular.
__________________

Star Princess Alaska August 8-19, 2014 * Island Princess May 16-21, 2014 * Sapphire Princess March 31-April 3, 2014 * Sapphire Princess January 6-9, 2014 * Golden Princess Pacific Coast Thanksgiving November 27 - November 30, 2013 * Grand Princess Alaska August 8- August 18, 2013 * HAL Amsterdam Alaska July 27 - August 10, 2012 * Carinval Spirit Mexican Riviera March 30-April 8, 2012 * Caribbean Princess Canada/New England July 19 - July 28, 2011 * Golden Princess Hawaii December 22, 2010-January 5, 2011 * Sea Princess Alaska July 31-August 10, 2010 * Sapphire Princess Mexican Riviera March 27-April 3, 2010 * Golden Princess Hawaii December 20, 2009 -January 3, 2010 * Diamond Princess B2B Alaska June 20 - July 4, 2009 *NCL Star Mexican Riviera April 11-18, 2009 * Golden Princess Hawaii December 24, 2008-January 7, 2009 * RCCL Monarch of the Seas Pacific July 28-31, 2008 * Golden Princess Mexico April 12-19, 2008 * Diamond Princess Hawaii Dec 18, 2007-Jan 2, 2008 * Dawn Princess Alaska July 20-30, 2007 * RCCL Vision of the Seas Mexico November 19-26,2006 * NCL Star Alaska August 13-20, 2006 * Carnival Cruise Baja April 14-17, 2006 * DCL Western Cruise February 11-18, 2006 * DCL Cruise West Coast July 23-30, 2005
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old April 7th, 2013, 09:39 AM
Italy52's Avatar
Italy52 Italy52 is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern California
Posts: 6,269
Default

We love Icy Strait for its uniqueness and it's whale watching opportunities. On this board you will get a lot of preferences for small boat operators. My suggestion to you is to read comments and research reviews on Trip Advisor as well --- then make up your own mind. I know people are looking for quick answers sometimes but it does pay off to do your own research before making a final decision. We can only make recommendations --- it's your cruise.

For us, we have gone with FISHES (4 times) and Glacier Wind (2 times) and enjoyed them both. Whenever we do a back-to-back cruise we go both companies.

Have a great time in ISP.
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old April 7th, 2013, 10:39 AM
olemissreb's Avatar
olemissreb olemissreb is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,511
Default

We are whale watching in Icy Strait through Glacier Wind Charters. I got their name from Trip Advisor. I too was in your predicament and someone suggested looking at Trip Advisor to get ideas.
__________________


CountdownClockCodes.com

Celebrity Millennium 06/13 (50th Birthday and first back to back two week vacation ever in Alaska)

Adventure of the Seas 04/10 (25th Anniversary and first one for the kids Southern Caribbean)
Celebrity Constellation 03/05 (20th Wedding Anniversary Cruise Southern Caribbean)
Crown Jewel 09/93 (get away from the boss part 2 Western Caribbean)
Crown Princess 11/91 (get away from the boss cruise Eastern Caribbean)

Last edited by olemissreb; April 7th, 2013 at 10:39 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old April 7th, 2013, 10:57 AM
geekypenguin's Avatar
geekypenguin geekypenguin is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: WI
Posts: 109
Default

Last year we did the ATV + zipline combo through the ship and thoroughly enjoyed it. Beautiful scenery and the zipline was a great experience!
__________________
"I feel together today..."
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old April 7th, 2013, 12:52 PM
tee_harbor tee_harbor is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Juneau
Posts: 1,233
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by July4 View Post
I have found excursions in most ports- but looking for recommendations here.
looks like most want you to go through the ship!?
To clarify in case you didn't know, Icy Straits in the name given to the port by the cruise industry. The little town outside the dock's gates is Hoonah. There are shuttles into town or it's walkable for the healthy.

If you've been trying to do some internet search and coming up with nothing but ship excursions, it's because the 'sight' of Icy Strait was build by the industry and is exclusive to passengers. I as an Alaskan cannot get past the gates to visit anything in there.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old April 7th, 2013, 04:55 PM
PennyAgain PennyAgain is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: more or less in TX
Posts: 10,392
Default yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by tee_harbor View Post
To clarify in case you didn't know, Icy Straits in the name given to the port by the cruise industry. The little town outside the dock's gates is Hoonah. There are shuttles into town or it's walkable for the healthy.

If you've been trying to do some internet search and coming up with nothing but ship excursions, it's because the 'sight' of Icy Strait was build by the industry and is exclusive to passengers. I as an Alaskan cannot get past the gates to visit anything in there.
and the locals who are not planning the cruise lines games are not allowed to make a living off cruise line passengers who don't do their own research and make their own bookings.

Most cruise passengers stay in the cruise company's bubble. The on board port lecturers scare them.
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old April 7th, 2013, 07:09 PM
SorrentoCruiser's Avatar
SorrentoCruiser SorrentoCruiser is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sorrento, FL
Posts: 91
Default We went independent

We booked a charter boat with Misty Bay Lodge. Cruise line wanted $159 pp for 3 1/2 hour whale watching tour. We booked a 6 hour whale watching / bear watching / photography / sightseeing / fishing tour for $225 each and it includes lunch with homemade bread. We have a party of 6, with 2 photographers, 1 fisherman, and 3 sightsee-ers. It just made more sense for us to book the charter and do things at our own pace, be able to spread out our camera equipment, not fight the crowds. Will post a review when we return. (our cruise is June 10 -17 )
__________________
Carnival 2002
Royal Caribbean 2002
Celebrity Western Caribbean 2003
Norwegian Star Alaska 2005
Golden Princess Southern Caribbean 2006
Avalon Tapestry 2008
RCL Monarch of the Seas 2009
RCL Oasis of the Seas Inaugural Cruise 2010



Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old April 7th, 2013, 07:29 PM
Northern Aurora Northern Aurora is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Fairbanks, AK
Posts: 2,916
Default

The type of cruise passenger comes to Alaska to shop at a Diamond's International will be disappointed in Hoonah/Icy Strait Point. In the early 1970s, just before we were married, my husband worked one summer out of Ketchikan, and his reaction the first time he saw Hoonah was that Hoonah looked just like Ketchikan in the early 1970s, before Ketchikan became so touristy.
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old April 7th, 2013, 07:53 PM
trophy_23's Avatar
trophy_23 trophy_23 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Beautiful, BC
Posts: 2,165
Default

Another vote for Misty Bay! They were really great to go out with and the boat was perfect for whale viewing.
__________________
My Flickr

Ryndam - Alaska Inside Passage 7days (Sept 2008)
Ryndam - Alaska Inside Passage 7days (May 2009)
Eurodam - Canada/New England SB Repo 14days (Sept 2009)
Rotterdam - Alaska Explorer 7days (May 2010)
Eurodam - Canada/New England 10days (Sept 2011)
Amsterdam - Alaskan Explorer 14days (June 2012)
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old April 7th, 2013, 08:09 PM
redhead621 redhead621 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 722
Default Whales & Bears

We have booked the bear search with Misty Bay Lodge in the morning. Hope was very helpful. I actually called them for info and got them while they were vacationing. She took the time to answer all my questions and return calls. I am very much looking forward to meeting her in June.
I have also booked an afternoon whale watch with Icy Straight Whale Adventures. We will be a group of 5 with Colleen that day. Much more of an enjoyable experience than sharing a boat with lots of cruise passengers. Colleen was more than helpful.
If all of the people in Hoonah are as nice as these 2 ladies we are all in for an enjoyable day in their town.
__________________
Monarch 10/97
Majesty 10/99
Radiance 02/03
Grandeur 10/31/03
Radiance 02/15/04
Jewel 01/23/05
Radiance 07/02/05
Jewel 10/12/05
Jewel 04/06
Explorer 10/06
NCL Pearl 11/16/07
NCL Jewel 12/15/07
Serenade 01/31/09
NCL Spirit 06/19/09
Carnival Dream 11/15/09
Serenade 01/30/10
Serenade 02/06/10
Jewel 10/23/10
Serenade 1/29/11
Allure 6/5/11
NCL Dawn 9/23/11
Oasis 2/4/12
NCL Dawn 5/4/12
Brilliance 2/2/13
Radiance 5/31/13
Jewel 2/1/14




Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old April 7th, 2013, 09:31 PM
PennyAgain PennyAgain is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: more or less in TX
Posts: 10,392
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Aurora View Post
The type of cruise passenger comes to Alaska to shop at a Diamond's International will be disappointed in Hoonah/Icy Strait Point. In the early 1970s, just before we were married, my husband worked one summer out of Ketchikan, and his reaction the first time he saw Hoonah was that Hoonah looked just like Ketchikan in the early 1970s, before Ketchikan became so touristy.
As I was in Ketchikan in the 1970's, I can relate. The first cruise ships (HAL and Princess) were making their runs. They were tiny ships by today's standards but were well run and squeaky clean. I arrived in Ketchikan on the long ago Veedam (HAL) and the port visit was pleasant and the town very quiet. I took myself for a long walk.

I used that cruise as transportation from Vancouver to Juneau (as far north as the cruise ships went back then) and flew on to Anchorage. The one way trip on the Veendarm was about $200 double occupancy. I wanted to see South East Alaska. I spent several days in Juneau at the old Baronoff Hotel. The flight to Anchorage included a spectacular take off above Mendenhall Glacier.

I enjoy using cruise ships as one way transportation north to Alaska as the time on the cruise gives me the geographic and emotional separation I need to enjoy Alaska.

Last edited by PennyAgain; April 7th, 2013 at 09:32 PM.
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:35 AM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.