Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips



Recommended Posts

This is my 1st Alaskan cruise. I have been on several Caribbean but decided to try something new. I know that at just about every port in the Caribbean they have folks selling excursions as soon as you get off the ship. Is this true in Alaska as well?:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This tour method, is a poor choice, in my opinion for Alaska. There is so much MORE to consider, it isn't a "taxi/bus" tour type area.


Frankly, you would be FAR better off, if you take some time, look over your shore excursion list. Each port is very different from the others, add to the mix, ALL are very worthwhile, unlike some of the crappy Caribbean ports in itineraries.


Making your plans and reservations in advance makes some of the best use of time. IF your "plan" is to wing it and pick something up at the dock, it would be beneficial, to at least know some of the touring options. Plan on getting off your ship early in your port day.


But, I am a clear advocate of Alaska, isn't the place to skimp on tours. With the interest, they overall are spectacular. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, you will find people and agents selling excursions at every port in Alaska and odds are you will find an excursion. However, it may not be the excursion that you had your heart set on. Excursions that have a finite number of seats like float planes, helicopters, boat and fishing charters often sell out in advance. Things like bus tours and even the YP&YR are usually available. Because I live in the PNW and have been going to Alaska since 1963, I don't spend a lot of money on excursions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you do your research on the different ports you can pick the ones you want to splurge on and those to save on.


We took this high/low approach. We took the public bus rt [$1 each way pp]to Totem Bight Park and Potlach Park [they are beside each other] in Ketchikan. Seeing the totems was a priority for me. Then we walked Creek Street and ate a late [salmon] lunch in a little restaurant. We spent less than $25 [before I started shopping :p].


You can visit the Mendenhall Glacier via blue bus without any reservations for $8 each way pp. Then walk around Juneau. The tour of the AK state capitol is free and not bad.


In Skagway [train/bus trip]and Icy Strait [whale watch] we felt we needed to reserve before hand.


Figure out what you want to experience and book your priorities ahead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many things can be done by walking or taking short bus trips. The one that I would highly recommend you book would be any whale watching excursions you are thinking about. You can see whales from shore in some places but it cannot compare to the viewing you will get on a boat.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

First trip to Alaska you will probably want to book the White Pass railroad train excursion to the summit in Skagway.

Juneau has several tour booths setup right downtown by the main cruise ship pier. A lot of them offer trips to Mendenhall glacier and there's a few floatplane operators. Floatplane and helicopter glacier tours are big business in Alaskan ports. If you want to take the tram to Mt Roberts you do not need to buy excursions from anybody. You can do it yourself, the ticket booth is right by the pier. You can also get to the glacier on your own but I never tried it.

Ketchikan, again it has a bunch of tour operators outside the pier area selling wildlife and native tours by van and taxi. Floatplane operators are out here as well.


If you want to wait until you dock to purchase tours - get off early so you can peruse the tour operators as some of the popular tours will sell out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Sea the World a Little Differently ~Sponsored by My Cruises
      • Hurricane Zone
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations


  • Create New...