Nobody replied to this post back in June, but I ran across it when searching for info about this same excursion. I wonder if anyone has done this excursion yet and can comment on it. I think it is relatively new. The gold panning is at the Klondike Gold Dredge which is included in many other excursions. They have added the sled dogs - no rides, just info about dog sledding and a chance to interact with the dogs - and the 40 degrees below zero experience, which my kids seem to find rather intriguing. We live in the Seattle area, so we don't experience very cold weather often, usually not much below freezing.
I know there are many other wonderful excursions in Skagway, but 1) we are on a budget, and 2) the kids have no interest in a long, scenic trip to the Yukon, whether by car, bus or train. This is the first thing I've run across that piqued their interest.
Carnival Spirit - Alaska - July 11, 2001
Star Princess - Alaska - July 26, 2009 - Honeymoon!!
Golden Princess - Alaska - August 14, 2010 - 1st Anniversary!
Golden Princess - Alaska - August 6, 2011 - With the family this time!
Golden Princess - Alaska - July 21, 2012 - 3rd Anniversary!
Star Princess - Alaska - July 20, 2013 - With Mom and Aunt!
Grand Princess - Alaska - July 20, 2014 - With 4 teens/young adults!
Crown Princess - Alaska - July 25, 2015 - Splurged on a balcony!