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Glaciers

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    Seattle
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    Alaska

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  1. The Green Tortoise across from Pike Place Market has luggage storage for non-guests. The Edgewater Hotel does this as well. They are convenient to the cruise terminal at Pier 66, not so convenient to Pier 91. Another option that has been suggested here is to rent a car for the day and store the luggage in the car and then drive to the airport when you’re done exploring.
  2. If Denali isn’t visible and surrounded by clouds the drive to Talkeetna is mainly passing by a bunch of trees. Not much from a photographers stand point. I like the Matanuska Glacier/Hatcher Pass suggestions. The drive to the glacier includes some nice scenery as you climb above the Matanuska River. The glacier itself is spectacular on a nice day.
  3. As noted, many of the whale watch tour vendors no longer go to Mendenhall Glacier. Some pay the concession fee and will spend a limited time there after the whale watch. One poster said Jayleen’s Alaska dropped them a short distance from the parking area which basically avoids the fee. Not sure they do that on a regular basis. There is an area called the Brotherhood Bridge where some of the tours stop as an alternative to going to the glacier/visitor center area. It gives you a view of the glacier from several miles away. There are several photos of this area with fireweed in the foreground which are very nice. Read the tour details carefully, even though some stop for a view of the glacier, you may be quite a ways away from it.
  4. I was just getting ready to post this when Maple provided the wonderful resource above. This shows you at the Franklin St. dock. http://claalaska.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Juneau-%E2%80%93-JNU-2019.pdf Both Juneau Car Rental and Avis are about 1 mile from that area near the tram. Other options are available at the airport which is about 9 miles away. If there is a ship in at the AJ Dock there will be a shuttle running back and forth all day between there and the tram. Last time we used it, it was $3. Juneau Car rental is about 1 block from the AJ Dock and Avis is about 1/2 mile from there. There’s a map of Juneau that includes the docks here on this page: http://cruiseportwiki.com/Juneau
  5. Glaciers

    Glacier Bay

    Yeah, Margerie Glacier is the main attraction although the entire trip up the bay can be very nice. I’m up an hour or so before entering the bay as you travel through a humpback whale feeding area. You’ll pass South Marble Island where there is a sea lion haulout. You’ll also pass by Gloomy Knob where there are frequently goats. It’s not all about glaciers although that may be your priority.
  6. I think they would require you to pick up during business hours to sign the contract although you could give them a call this summer before they close in the fall to find out.
  7. The Hampton Inn on 5th does provide shuttle service to both cruise terminals, Pier 66 & Pier 91 although it’s $8 per person currently, about the same as an Uber. Choose a hotel in an area where you want to stay and within your budget. Cab/Uber/Lyft are fairly inexpensive from the downtown/South Lake Union areas to the cruise terminals.
  8. Both Avis and Juneau Car Rental south of downtown close early. We’ve dropped at both after hours without any problem. In May this year we used Avis on Mill St and dropped the car late afternoon after they had closed. It may not have made any difference but I took photos of the gas/speedometer as well as around the car. After noting the mileage you just drop the keys through the slot in the door. You’d have to cab to the airport and then cab back. Might be a bus out that way but have to think it would be a pain in the rear both directions. Not usually worth the cost and loss of time.
  9. A much better value to rent the car and allows for more exploring out the road. The Avis that was located in the hotel downtown moved to Mill St, about 1 mile away. Juneau Car rental is also out that way. Not a bad walk on a nice day. If there is a ship at the AJ dock there will be a shuttle that runs back and forth between there and the Tram parking area. It was $3 when we used it a few years ago.
  10. It will be interesting to see feedback from others who have done this. Rain aside, at least on the surface it seems that since rental cars can be had for about $100 in Juneau that you’re paying $200 for the digital GPS guide which can be done on your own with a little planning. It sounds as though this is very similar to the GyPSy Guides app. Just a matter of time before they, or some other company, provides this for Juneau and other locations in Alaska for less than $10. In the meantime, maybe this is a worthwhile tour. We rent a car in Juneau on most of our visits there. We never give rain a consideration and still enjoy driving to the glacier and out the road with stops along the way.
  11. Glaciers

    hubbard glacier

    The glacier is just so huge it does seem like you’re very close to the glacier but vessels don’t get that close. Allen Marine indicates they get ¼ mile to ½ mile from the face. As for the excursion, it’s beginning to sound like expensive insurance that just covers one day. Your ship may make it to the face of the glacier but in case it doesn’t, pay $260 and the excursion you will get you there. If the ship gets to the face, you’ve wasted your money. Some of the appeal with the excursion was the increased potential for wildlife sightings as described. Not reading much about that. @Sujormik Did you see much wildlife?
  12. I’m thinking there might be another reason you want a van and not, simply, due to your 6pm flight. Mobility issues? Possibly wanting to explore away from the city? Another option is to forget the van and walk or Uber/Lyft/Taxi around town and then to the airport. You could use the Port Valet program so your bags are transported all the way to your final destination or just store them at the Pier where you arrive. Luggage storage at the Pier closes at 3:30pm. There is also a free waterfront shuttle that will take you to the Space Needle at the Seattle Center, Pike Place Market and as far south as Pioneer Square. Pike Place Market is a 10 minute walk from Pier 66 and the Space Needle is 15-20 minutes. Another consideration is that the rental location at the airport is offsite and requires a shuttle back to the terminal.
  13. We’ve rented from Juneau Car Rental near the AJ Dock several times except this year, they had no cars so we used Avis on Mill St. Other than the older vehicles at JCR, there was little difference. The advantage of JCR is that if there is a ship at the AJ Dock there will also be a shuttle that runs from there to the tram area. The last time we took it back to the tram it was $3 after we dropped off the car.
  14. Another dandy feature of this pier is that the free waterfront shuttle has a stop near there. It runs from Pioneer Square to the Seattle Center/Space Needle as well as a loop that goes up by Pike Place Market.
  15. We don’t care much which ship but the Voyage of the Glacier itineraries are exceptional. Princess offered a 14 day round trip from Vancouver this year that we did in May on the Golden. Basically a b2b which we had also done several years ago from Whittier. Although there is some duplication in ports, they do Glacier Bay twice, College Fjord NB and Hubbard Glacier SB. Another option is Holland. They have a dandy 14 day that stops in a couple ports that most ships don’t. Homer, Kodiak, Sitka and they actually have a stop in Anchorage rather than Whittier or Seward.
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