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bhsolo

Skagway Excursions Opinions Please

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I'll be on Royal Ovation of the Seas at the end of June and am trying to decide on my Skagway excursion. Trying to decide if any of these are an absolute, good/decent or a don't bother. In Juneau I'll be doing whale watching/mendenhall glacier and in Victoria a tour of the gardens. Anyone care to share their opinions on the below? 

Skagway Glacier Wilderness Safari

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge

Glassblowing in Jewell Gardens

Chilkoot Trail Hiking and Rafting

 

Thank you!!

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I've done all four.  Favorites were Glacier Wilderness Safari, Chilkoot Trail, Kroschel, and glassblowing.  My absolute fav in Skagway is Bennett Lake train trip.

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Thanks! I really appreciate you also putting them in preference order. Sadly I don't see a Bennett Lake train trip.

 

If I do Glacier Wilderness Safari do you think doing Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau is a bit too much as I've heard 50/50 about Mendenhall?

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We are doing our fifth AK cruise in May, and I am looking at some of the above excursions as well.  Joining the thread - thanks!

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I’ll be there in July and would love to hear more about these recommendations!! Following!!

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We enjoyed the Chilkoot Trail hike and rafting.  Kroeschel is fun if you are docked in Haines.  

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I've not been on one, so cannot recommend but we'll be in Skagway Memorial Day. Had looked at all day excursions to get up into the Yukon. We had looked at an all day jeep rental  https://www.diyjeeptours.com/  Not available on Monday, the long train ride gets good reviews   https://wpyr.com/excursions/product/bennett-scenic-journey/

Edited by masterdrago

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Here is another excursion for you to look over....https://wpyr.com/  White Pass scenic railway is a narrow gauge rail trip that follows some of the "gold rush" era trails up an impressive mountain.  My wife and I will be doing this outing in late May,  I sure hope the weather cooperates as I expect some world class scenery!!

 

Whitetrike

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Max jewell, www.elementsofalaska.com, is a Skagway resident with a 15 passenger van that will pick you up at the port entrance and drive all the way to Emerald Lake and back for around $850 if you can get some friends to go along.  That is a lot cheaper than a rental car.  Max makes lots of photo stops for any wildlife, natural wonders, and scenic views that a bus wil not do as well as bathroom stops upon request.

 

If you opt for the train ride, make sure you are on the left side of the car going up and the right side coming back.  If not, you will be staring at a rock wall.  If you stand on the ramp between the train cars, you can avoid the window glare and get some amazing photos:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/place/alaska-2/skagway-2/white-pass-yukon-railroad

 

 

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We've done an all day Yukon tour - it's really good!  I think we used Frontier Excursions, but there are several companies who offer this tour.  The train is my first recommendation for AK newbies in Skagway.  I seem to recall the passengers having to switch sides on the return route, but maybe I'm thinking of another train ride.  At any rate, it's a great excursion!  Some tour companies offer a tour that includes the train and the Yukon tour.  I think that's what we did, so you get the best of both.  And if you only do the train ride, you'll have plenty of time to walk around Skagway when you return.  Just a beautiful place, as is all of AK!

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The all day jeep rental is ~$250 at  https://www.diyjeeptours.com/       Similar to what Crew News mentioned, Dyea Dave Tours does van tours. Check out the reviews  https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60877-d1555401-Reviews-Dyea_Dave_Tours-Skagway_Alaska.html     We have it booked on Memorial Day since the WPYR does not run the full trip on Monday. They will tour us up to Emerald Lake, then drop us on the way back at Fraser (6-7 hours, 75 miles, $89) where we pick up the WPYR back to Skagway - 28 miles and ~1.7 hours. http://*****/

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Thanks for all of your thoughts and please keep them coming. As of right now, obviously this can change, I'm not interested in spending all of my time on a train. But will take a look at maybe a combo Yukon Tour along with these excursions still.

Edited by bhsolo

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Our first trip to Alaska too. We booked a SUV rental for four in Skagway and will do the drive to emerald lake. Hope to do stops and photos along the way. We are in port 12hrs so can be a bit loose with our DIY trip planning re time.

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29 minutes ago, bhsolo said:

Thanks for all of your thoughts and please keep them coming. As of right now, obviously this can change, I'm not interested in spending all of my time on a train. But will take a look at maybe a combo Yukon Tour along with these excursions still.

 

You wouldn't be on the train all day, and it really does offer some great scenery.  Enjoy your visit no matter what you decide!

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We booked a jeep all in with taxes for $300, which we will be splitting with my in laws. I like that we are on our own time and get to stop whenever we want.  Looking forward to emerald lake and the Yukon.  My 10 yo son also wants to pan for gold, so we can also do that.  

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19 hours ago, Whitetrike said:

Here is another excursion for you to look over....https://wpyr.com/  White Pass scenic railway is a narrow gauge rail trip that follows some of the "gold rush" era trails up an impressive mountain.  My wife and I will be doing this outing in late May,  I sure hope the weather cooperates as I expect some world class scenery!!

 

Whitetrike

 

I've been on a bunch of cruises, and done a bunch of excursions, and by far the most wonderful excursion of all was the White Pass scenic railway. Indescribably awesome views.

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We enjoyed renting a car in Skagway and driving to Emerald Lake. Nice photo spots along the way. Another positive is that you can reserve the rental with Avis with no deposit and if you need to change plans there is no cancelation charge. We loved being able to stop wherever and whenever we wanted to.  520366712_skagwayalaska1.thumb.jpg.9e2dde722a5d9dca1cb7beb050d6b63f.jpg

skagway yukon1.jpg

skagway carcross3.jpg

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On 1/11/2019 at 8:53 AM, masterdrago said:

The all day jeep rental is ~$250 at  https://www.diyjeeptours.com/       Similar to what Crew News mentioned, Dyea Dave Tours does van tours. Check out the reviews  https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60877-d1555401-Reviews-Dyea_Dave_Tours-Skagway_Alaska.html     We have it booked on Memorial Day since the WPYR does not run the full trip on Monday. They will tour us up to Emerald Lake, then drop us on the way back at Fraser (6-7 hours, 75 miles, $89) where we pick up the WPYR back to Skagway - 28 miles and ~1.7 hours. http://*****/

We have this same tour booked with Dyea Dave in May.  We are really looking forward to it!  Is there a better side to sit in the van ride up, or doesn't it matter?  I can't remember from my previous experience.

 

We did a similar tour with Chlkoot several years ago and loved it so much that we decided to do it again.  However, the prices for Chilkoot were the same as the ship this time, so decided to give Dave a try since I remembered how highly he was recommended even from my research back then.

Edited by Sunny AZ Girl

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We have it booked so I do not know about if there is a preferable side in the van. I'm sure others might jump in. If I were to guess, I would say it might not matter since it is an "up and back" tour. Also, from reading the reviews, they make many stops for looks and photos. 75 miles each way and all day. For us, it will be shorter because we are getting dropped at Fraser on the way back which is about 43 miles from Carcross. Just poking around on Google Earth, the best looking lake views are on the east side of the road (right side going "up", left side coming "down"). 5000-6000 foot mountains are on both east and west side. So unless someone pops in with a definitive answer based on experience, I would guess it does not matter. I'll take any side with a big window view up and down.

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I just got an email from the WPYR and they said that only the car is assigned not the seat. From posts and reviews I have read, the best side to sit on would be the west. That would be on the right (starboard) on the way back to Skagway.

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