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krismon

First Alaskan Trip... HELP :)

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This would be my first Alaska trip, only 2nd cruise ever. I want to do it right and there seems to be SO much planning and options that it's overwhelming.



 

 

Thoughts on best ports, excursions, and time of year to go. I'm more of an adventurer, I'd LOVE to kayak near the glaciers, ice caves, hike, Jeep, ATV, ?!?!.

 

 

Below is the trip I'm pondering. $1400 for a Balcony on Holland America'sEurodam. Aug 11th 2018

 

 

Thoughts???

 

 

Saturday - Seattle, WA 4:00pm

Sunday - At Sea

Monday - Juneau, AK 1:00pm to 10:00pm

Tuesday - Glacier Bay National Park, AK (Cruising) 7:00am to 4:00pm

Wednesday - Sitka, AK 8:00am to 5:00pm

Thursday - Ketchikan, AK 7:00am to 1:00pm

Friday - Victoria, BC, Canada 6:00pm to 11:30pm

Saturday Seattle, WA 7:00am





 

 

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Aug 11th 2018

 

Thoughts???

Might want to try a few weeks earlier when it's statistically dryer. Did two mid August trips and did not enjoy the rain.

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In Juneau I believe there are excursion options to kayak up to Hubbard Glacier. Haven't looked at your other two AK stops (my cruise is going to Skagway).

 

Victoria doesn't look to have as much 'active' activities, but does have ziplines. The gardens are what people say are the 'must see' destination in Victoria, it's pretty pricey though. With RCI the ship excursions are 2x the price for the gardens vs buying direct but you have to get yourself there.

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Cannot avoid rain in SE Alaska...regardless of dates. Statistics are meaningless.

The rain is rarely the hard driving a rain of a cloudburst, rather a heavy mist/soaking rain type of thing. Take raingear.

 

(y) for your itinerary.

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We did this itinerary about a month ago and loved it. We had a verandah cabin on the Rotterdam Deck

- while a lot of people say a balcony is a waste, we made use of ours, even in September! Awesome to sit out there as we sail through Glacier Bay

 

Ziplines in the Tongass Rain forest in Ketchikan

 

In Juneau, they have a Mendenhall Glacier Ice trek where you canoe across the lake and the hike the glacier or just hike the glacier and explore the ice caves.

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No need to be overwhelmed .....you only have 4 ports to research !

Look over the ship's excursion lists and see what appeals. Look at past trip reports to see what worked for other travelers. Look at the town web sites and Visitor Guides.

 

I'd be concerned about the port times of this itinerary. ie Ketchikan from 7am to 1pm. Even if you're up at 6am and first off the ship, it only leaves 5 hrs for activities. And arriving in Juneau at 1pm .....

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I'd also do a comparison on a round trip starting and ending in Vancouver. The Seattle sailings travel to the west of Vancouver Island on open ocean (potentially rough) and far from any views, while the Vancouver sailings travel on protected waters on the east side of Vancouver Island. You get more "Inside Passage" time, and cruise prices are pretty comparable. Flying to and from Vancouver may be a little more expensive than to Seattle, but hotels for nights prior to, or after the cruise, are cheaper in Vancouver than in Seattle.

 

Both cities are fantastic for a day or two pre- or post-cruise touring, if you have the time.

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I'd also do a comparison on a round trip starting and ending in Vancouver. The Seattle sailings travel to the west of Vancouver Island on open ocean (potentially rough) and far from any views, while the Vancouver sailings travel on protected waters on the east side of Vancouver Island. You get more "Inside Passage" time, and cruise prices are pretty comparable. Flying to and from Vancouver may be a little more expensive than to Seattle, but hotels for nights prior to, or after the cruise, are cheaper in Vancouver than in Seattle.

 

Both cities are fantastic for a day or two pre- or post-cruise touring, if you have the time.

 

It also is very easy to get between these 2 cities. :) There is only so much that can fit into 7 days, with Seattle sailings, you do loose "Alaska" time due to the Passengers Services Act and the Victoria port time. These sailing also have the roughest sailing potential and are the least scenic.

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I would seriously look at a round trip out of Vancouver instead of Seattle. Go to the Alaska forum on Trip Advisor and look under both Sitka and Skagway for things to do. This may help you decide. The other nice reason for going out of Vancouver, is that these trips leave on Wednesday instead of Saturday. Less ships in some ports. Happy planning.

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In Juneau I believe there are excursion options to kayak up to Hubbard Glacier. Haven't looked at your other two AK stops (my cruise is going to Skagway).

 

Victoria doesn't look to have as much 'active' activities, but does have ziplines. The gardens are what people say are the 'must see' destination in Victoria, it's pretty pricey though. With RCI the ship excursions are 2x the price for the gardens vs buying direct but you have to get yourself there.

 

Juneau to Hubbard Glacier (which is near Yakutat) on a kayak would take a month at least to complete. heehee.

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We had narrowed our choices down to your itinerary on Eurodam or her sister ship the Nieuw Amsterdam out of Vancouver and chose Vancouver. You can use the search function on this board Eurodam vs. Nieuw Amsterdam to find the discussion if you're interested. Its basically a choice between Seattle and Sitka or Vancouver and Skagway. We added 2 days to Vancouver and hope to do a day trip to Victoria to compensate for missing that port.

 

We chose late May because it's when we can all travel and the holiday week means less missed work.

 

We also spent a long time researching activities in ports. I don't know if we are allowed to post tour companies but if you search ice caves in Juneau there's a highly rated paddle/hike tour that we are super excited about! Trip Advisor reviews are super helpful.:D Just to clarify I'm not recommending a specific tour, just directing you to info we found very useful!

Edited by EeyoreFan1967

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I have a lot of information about Alaska on my travel blog...http://www.zest4travel.wordpress.com Included are posts about the various ports, glaciers and even a packing list. Hope you find it helpful.

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I'd also do a comparison on a round trip starting and ending in Vancouver. The Seattle sailings travel to the west of Vancouver Island on open ocean (potentially rough) and far from any views, while the Vancouver sailings travel on protected waters on the east side of Vancouver Island. You get more "Inside Passage" time, and cruise prices are pretty comparable. Flying to and from Vancouver may be a little more expensive than to Seattle, but hotels for nights prior to, or after the cruise, are cheaper in Vancouver than in Seattle.

 

Both cities are fantastic for a day or two pre- or post-cruise touring, if you have the time.

 

I agree. A few days in Vancouver would be great. Grouse Mt would be a great place to spend some time. The tram was great and there is good hiking trails there. You can take a parasail from the top.( you could when I was there ). Also I did the Cappilino Suspention Bridge and it was awesome. I got the certificate for making it across when many others didn't. Getting to Vancouver from Seattle is easy on the train or bus. That will cut down on the cost of a flight. I went in May and Sept for my Alaska cruises except for 1 in June and I was very lucky and did not have any rain. Middle late May was my favorite time to go. Things were just '' waking up '' and the waterfalls were gorgeous. The snow was still heavy on the Mt tops and it was warm enough in the ports for just a long sleeved top and a sweatshirt over it. I only had to wear my tennis shoes. Have a great cruise.

Edited by dustyroad

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We have done both itineraries, the Roundtrip out of Vancouver and Seattle. I would never recommend the Seattle trip. It is rougher and there is no scenery. I don’t get seasick but it was uncomfortable. The one out of Vancouver has scenery from the beginning and is a much smoother ride.

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