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Skagway Excursion

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We're in the planning stages of our first Alaska cruise next year that will be stopping in Skagway. The "White Pass Scenic Railway - Luxury Class" excursion is "pricey" but looks like something we would enjoy. Would love to hear from anyone who may have done this excursion to see if they enjoyed it and if they felt like it was worth the $$$.

Would also welcome any suggestion for any other Skagway excursions from any of the "Alaska veterans" out there. Thanks ahead for your comment and suggestions.

Virgil

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A good question. We are booked on the Yukon Expedition - white pass scenic railway excursion on our upcoming cruise and were wondering the same.

Last year we also cruised to Alaska and booked the Takshanuk Mountain 4x4 excursion while in Skagway and that was fantastic.

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I don't know what the cost is today? We loved it!! I took some great pictures from the train to this day my friends tell me they love the pictures.

Tony

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Are you willing to go on a non-cruise line excursion? If so, I highly recommend Chilkoot Charters and Tours (https://chilkootcharters.com/) for the White Pass railroad excursion. We went up on the train into the Yukon - they had the final train car reserved and only filled half of it so everyone had great views and access to the viewing platform at the rear of the train as we went up the mountain, were met by our van driver and continued on to Emerald Lake, stopped for lunch and to see sled dog puppies and a taxidermy museum (which was incredible), and then took our time, stopping to see flora and fauna on the ride back down. We will be taking our children and grandchildren to Alaska in 2018 and that is already on the itinerary for the adults.

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On all of our trips to Skagway we have always used Dyea Dave for our touring. They are great people, and Dave is a long time local, so we like to support the local companies. They get great reviews, and are a pleasure to deal with. The trip to Emerald Lake is a wonderful time! We have never taken the train, so I cannot comment on that. They do coordinate with folks that want to use the train part way though.

 

(www dot dyeadavetours dot com) Not sure why they allowed the link in the previous post, but not in my post? I thought that it was ok to share excursion companies... only links to Travel Agencies were not allowed.

 

Happy Cruising!

 

Mark

Edited by cruisehappy001
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Last year we also cruised to Alaska and booked the Takshanuk Mountain 4x4 excursion while in Skagway and that was fantastic.

 

I'm so happy to hear you liked this. We are going to do this next year. This will be our fifth cruise to Alaska, so if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask :)

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We're in the planning stages of our first Alaska cruise next year that will be stopping in Skagway. The "White Pass Scenic Railway - Luxury Class" excursion is "pricey" but looks like something we would enjoy. Would love to hear from anyone who may have done this excursion to see if they enjoyed it and if they felt like it was worth the $$$.

Would also welcome any suggestion for any other Skagway excursions from any of the "Alaska veterans" out there. Thanks ahead for your comment and suggestions.

Virgil

That option was not offered when we rode the railway in 2010. It sounds like you will have a private guide but we felt the standard commentary on the train to be very good. The Luxury Class is $299.00 versus $129.00 to ride without food and a private guide. Looking at the railway website the standard excursion is $119.00 and they have another excursion that includes a box lunch and a 45 minute stop in Bennett for $229.00. I don't see anything like the Princess Luxury Class on the website. I personally wouldn't spend $170 for a private car with guide and some "refreshments and savory appetizers." Edited by IECalCruiser

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This vid may help on Skagway ideas....

 

[YOUTUBE]cF1l3vfKWAM[/YOUTUBE]

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We took the train the first time to Skagway and really enjoyed it. We first visited the NPS visitor center to watch the film about the Klondikers and building the railroad. It made the train ride that much better I think.

We also purchased a set of authenticated book ends made from the original rails. Very cool.

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Booked with Chillkoot at the end of June and I would not hesitate to go with them again. Did the Lake Bennett tour all the way up to Carcross YT on the train and back on their 20 or so psgr van. If you want to see some pics from it I have them here

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2379752&page=3

Great photos. Feel bad I missed that thread before.

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Great photos. Feel bad I missed that thread before.

 

Thanks Easyboy glad you liked them.

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To answer your specific question, we going on this trip in September. Will let you know about it when I get back around September 20th.

 

We are semi-active seniors, but know from experience we like most of our tours laid back. So the idea of having great seating arrangements, not alot of people, a tour guide for the whole ride, and snacks thrown in..... this was just our speed.

 

So if you are kinda the same mindset, will let you know if the extra monies were worth it. I considered the private tours with the bus one way and train back, etc., but just not in the mood for buses of any size this time around.

 

Pooh

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Thanks to all the replies. Gives us some food for thought and will be fun deciding what to do in Skagway.

Pooh, would love to get your feedback when you get back...have a great trip.

Virgil

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Another vote for Chilkoot Charters. We used them and did the train up and the bus back. We had a stop at Caribou Crossing for a BBQ lunch, museum and sled dog camp. It was a great day! We are booking this again next May and taking our teenage granddaughters.

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I'm so happy to hear you liked this. We are going to do this next year. This will be our fifth cruise to Alaska, so if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask :)

 

I do!!!!

 

I just booked a R/T Seattle for myself and my son (age 6) sailing next June. What are the best excursions that you recommend in Skagway? He loves trains, so I think a train ride is a must do, but which one, or how long, take motor coach back or not..these are all things that I have no clue about. Actually, I don't have much of a clue about Alaska period.lol

 

In Juneau we will be doing a helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier and dog sledding there. Will we have time for anything else while in port?

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I do!!!!

 

I just booked a R/T Seattle for myself and my son (age 6) sailing next June. What are the best excursions that you recommend in Skagway? He loves trains, so I think a train ride is a must do, but which one, or how long, take motor coach back or not..these are all things that I have no clue about. Actually, I don't have much of a clue about Alaska period.lol

 

In Juneau we will be doing a helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier and dog sledding there. Will we have time for anything else while in port?

 

My Skagway recommendation would be bus up that stops for lunch at Caribou Crossing and petting sled dogs followed by a train ride back. Your son will be thrilled.

 

P5190050.jpg

 

P5190254.jpg

 

You will have time for a trip up to Mt Roberts for an amazing view of Juneau and a chance to see Lady Baltimore (injured eagle) from just a few feet away:

 

juneau-2009-westerdam-alaska-186-2.jpg

Edited by Crew News

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My Skagway recommendation would be bus up that stops for lunch at Caribou Crossing and petting sled dogs followed by a train ride back. Your son will be thrilled.

 

P5190050.jpg

 

P5190254.jpg

 

You will have time for a trip up to Mt Roberts for an amazing view of Juneau and a chance to see Lady Baltimore (injured eagle) from just a few feet away:

 

juneau-2009-westerdam-alaska-186-2.jpg

 

Thank you so much!! Gorgeous photos!

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I've done all the different train/bus & rental car options. Best bang for the buck is the rental car, if you do the train do the train/bus combo for the longest tour you can.

 

If you consider these too expensive you will probably rule out flightseeing, but one of my best tours was a flight over Glacier Bay with Paul from Mountain Flying Service. He is based down in Haines but offers Skagway options also. Again longer is better.

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I've done all the different train/bus & rental car options. Best bang for the buck is the rental car, if you do the train do the train/bus combo for the longest tour you can.

 

If you consider these too expensive you will probably rule out flightseeing, but one of my best tours was a flight over Glacier Bay with Paul from Mountain Flying Service. He is based down in Haines but offers Skagway options also. Again longer is better.

 

Thanks!!!!

Forgive my ignorance, but you are saying to rent a car and also do the train?

I'm not sure that I understand.

 

I have considered doing a sea plane tour..just wasn't sure if that would be redundant after doing the helicopter in Juneau. I definitely want to do very unique experiences while we're there! It will be myself and a 6 year old, he will have just turned 7 at the time...I've also looked at a few kayaking or raft trips, how are those?

 

I am trying to get a general idea of budget for this trip. I'm thinking as far as port days go, I should count on around $400 per person per port? It seems like the excursions range from $200pp-$600pp, and then figuring food and tips..there will be souvenirs too, so maybe I'm low balling?

Edited by disneygirl10

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Thanks!!!!

Forgive my ignorance, but you are saying to rent a car and also do the train?

I'm not sure that I understand...

I believe what DougH was saying was that he thought it was best to rent a car but if you chose to do the train then he felt the train/bus combo was better than just the train.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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We just did one of the White Pass train tours last week in Skagway. I hate to be negative, but I was honestly a little disappointed. The railway is surrounded by pretty heavy vegetation which makes really great views and picture ops far and few between. If you stay in the rail car, then you contend with pictures marred by reflections off the glass and dirt/ scratches on the glass windows. If you stay outside on the tiny platforms, you are in for a very bumpy ride and you can't here the guided narration.

 

When I was in Anchorage several years ago, I took the "real" train down to Seward and really loved it- comfortable and great views along the way. On that trip we saw eagles, bears, moose, etc.

 

On the Skagway tourist train trip we saw one eagle. We saw a few water falls, some rapids and a few glaciers from very far away. If it were me, I would have chosen a different tour or just rented a car.

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We just did one of the White Pass train tours last week in Skagway. I hate to be negative, but I was honestly a little disappointed. The railway is surrounded by pretty heavy vegetation which makes really great views and picture ops far and few between. If you stay in the rail car, then you contend with pictures marred by reflections off the glass and dirt/ scratches on the glass windows. If you stay outside on the tiny platforms, you are in for a very bumpy ride and you can't here the guided narration.

 

When I was in Anchorage several years ago, I took the "real" train down to Seward and really loved it- comfortable and great views along the way. On that trip we saw eagles, bears, moose, etc.

 

On the Skagway tourist train trip we saw one eagle. We saw a few water falls, some rapids and a few glaciers from very far away. If it were me, I would have chosen a different tour or just rented a car.

 

 

I cannot agree with you more!

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I do!!!!

 

I just booked a R/T Seattle for myself and my son (age 6) sailing next June. What are the best excursions that you recommend in Skagway? He loves trains, so I think a train ride is a must do, but which one, or how long, take motor coach back or not..these are all things that I have no clue about. Actually, I don't have much of a clue about Alaska period.lol

 

In Juneau we will be doing a helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier and dog sledding there. Will we have time for anything else while in port?

 

 

 

We have done the train in Skagway and loved it. Our original tour was cancelled and it was the only thing we could get so we were a little leery, but it turned out to be a great excursion. We have also done the Jeep tour and went out to Caribou Cross and Emerald lake. That was wonderful! We got to see some beautiful scenery. We have also done the LiArsville tour. It was fun, but not something I would do again. On our last trip we did the Jewel Gardens glass blowing trip. That was fun, but we were. Little disappointed we didn't have any time to explore the gardens by the time everyone finished their glass piece.

 

In Juneau we did the zip lining and it was great! You would have to check the time schedule, but I don't know if you would have time to do 2 excursions. On the trip we did zip lining, we did have time to also do the dog sled camp, but we had a long day in Juneau.

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We're thinking of renting a car in Skagway and driving up to Whitehorse. How long of a trip would this be with numerous stops. Also, we will be traveling the middle of May....what are the usual road conditions on this stretch of road?

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We're thinking of renting a car in Skagway and driving up to Whitehorse. How long of a trip would this be with numerous stops. Also, we will be traveling the middle of May....what are the usual road conditions on this stretch of road?

 

We did that a few years ago. We encountered thick fog about halfway up to the summit, visibility was only about 20-25 feet, it was as bad coming back down into Skagway from the summit, a white knuckle drive for sure. Once we hit the summit it was warm and clear all the way to Whitehorse. We only stopped a couple of times and if my memory is correct it was about a 6 or 7 hour drive to Whitehorse and back. You might want to check with the rental car company, I heard last year they’ve put a limit on how far you can drive up the Yukon highway, I believe Emerald lake was about how far you could go.Yes you will hit a lot of road construction in the area around Carcross.

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We're thinking of renting a car in Skagway and driving up to Whitehorse. How long of a trip would this be with numerous stops. Also, we will be traveling the middle of May....what are the usual road conditions on this stretch of road?

 

We are also going in May. I just ordered a copy of Murray's Guide to the Klondike Highway. I think it's $5 for the download. It gives a mile by mile description of the drive. Well worth the $5.00!

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There is considerable snow in the Yukon Territory in May (see below from May) in the higher elevations but the roads are clear.

 

p5211964.jpg

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I have done a fair amount of research about how to spend the day in Skagway, I have looked at Chilkoot tours and read many reviews about the White Horse & Yukon Rail. I am confused about the train(s), some say unheated and cold others say warm and heated, some say luxury car, some go up and come right back down some go on to Carcross and then bus to Emerald lake.

 

Are there different train trips or just different cars on same train?

 

 

Thanks

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I have done a fair amount of research about how to spend the day in Skagway, I have looked at Chilkoot tours and read many reviews about the White Horse & Yukon Rail. I am confused about the train(s), some say unheated and cold others say warm and heated, some say luxury car, some go up and come right back down some go on to Carcross and then bus to Emerald lake.

 

Are there different train trips or just different cars on same train?

 

 

Thanks

 

Thee are some luxury cars on the same train for certain excursions. All other cars are the same.

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Re. The luxury train car and the price concern, just think of first class on a plane vs coach.....you are going the same place as the rest of the folks, you are just paying more for the amenities.....

Have a nice trip whatever you decide!

DD

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:

 

I have done a fair amount of research about how to spend the day in Skagway, I have looked at Chilkoot tours and read many reviews about the White Horse & Yukon Rail. I am confused about the train(s), some say unheated and cold others say warm and heated, some say luxury car, some go up and come right back down some go on to Carcross and then bus to Emerald lake.

 

Are there different train trips or just different cars on same train?

 

 

Thanks

 

You can see the different train options at the White Pass & Yukon Route web site when you click on Excursions: http://www.wpyr.com. Your basic options are:

 

1. Round trip White Pass Summit Excursion (40 miles/3-3.5 hours)

 

2. Round trip Fraser Meadows Steam Excursion (54 miles/4 hours)

 

3. One way Bennett Scenic Journey to or from Carcross with bus the other direction (120 miles round trip, 67.5 miles by train/8 hours)

 

4. One way train to or from Fraser with bus the other direction (train 26 miles/1 hour 45 minutes + bus time). The longer (7.5-hour) rail/bus tours go all the way to Carcross, whereas the shorter (3.5-hour) rail/bus tours go only to Fraser.

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