Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
K D cruiser

White Pass Railway in Skagway, which side of the train

Recommended Posts

We're riding the White Pass Railway in Skagway, roundtrip.  Does anyone know if the seats are assigned?  I seem to remember reading that the right side was the most scenic on the way up and the left side on the way down.   Are you on the same side both ways?  I don't think the train turns around. Any info would be appreciated.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't worry. You will see both sides. No assigned seats. At the turn around point they ask everyone to switch sides so everyone can have a view each way. Also they allow you to go out on a platform at the end of the car to take photos. Some people have to be "told" to move on to let others have a chance. Book it on your own. The ship tour has cars right beside the dock but it is only a ten minute walk to the main station to get on the non-ship tour. WE did the non-ship tour and booked the steam engine train. The ship tour had the diesel engine train.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, K D cruiser said:

I seem to remember reading that the right side was the most scenic on the way up and the left side on the way down.

You have it backwards.  The left side is best when going up. (Left while facing the front of the train.) Since the train doesn't turn around, the same side is still best going down, but as others have said, they make you switch sides at the turnaround point on the round trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, sherryf said:

You have it backwards.  The left side is best when going up. (Left while facing the front of the train.) Since the train doesn't turn around, the same side is still best going down, but as others have said, they make you switch sides at the turnaround point on the round trip.

 

I agree, the left side going up is best. I know from personal experience I was stuck on the right side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Left side when facing town.

 

They are not assigned. I was able to get the last car and that was great as I was on the back of the train outside for most of the trip.

Edited by Coral

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has all been changed, this year!

the train now does a loop and so you will not have to change a thing.

DD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Expect more pressure to book thru the ship but you can still do it the old way.

just preservere!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, dyeadave said:

Expect more pressure to book thru the ship but you can still do it the old way.

just preservere!

 

 

Thanks Dave!  We will be in Skagway in two weeks, and my personal priority is hitting the lovely local quilt shop.  But I have been very curious about the change in WP&YRR ownership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the price if you book on your own ? Can you book it before you leave for your cruise ? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Coral said:

Left side when facing town.

 

They are not assigned. I was able to get the last car and that was great as I was on the back of the train outside for most of the trip.

 

Those last cars are great. You can really get some good photos from that outside platform of the train as it travels around the cliffs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Glaciers said:

 

Those last cars are great. You can really get some good photos from that outside platform of the train as it travels around the cliffs.

 

Yea - I was so thankful I got that car as my first train ride was extremely foggy and I saw nothing. 2nd time was amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the last car and it was cold on Memorial Day so folks mostly stayed inside. It helped that our car was less than half full. I spent 90% of my time on the outside also. DW, who is cold natured, stayed inside the full time. West side scenery is better (right side going south out of the Yukon, left side going into the Yukon).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, masterdrago said:

We were on the last car and it was cold on Memorial Day so folks mostly stayed inside. It helped that our car was less than half full. I spent 90% of my time on the outside also. DW, who is cold natured, stayed inside the full time. West side scenery is better (right side going south out of the Yukon, left side going into the Yukon).

We had decent weather and people still didn't want to be outside so while I was willing to take turns, it wasn't necessary. My pics turned out wonderful. The other thing that happened on our trip is that someone in another car had a medical emergency so we saw a helicopter land in the middle of all these trees to do a medi-vac.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, kuddles14 said:

What is the price if you book on your own ? Can you book it before you leave for your cruise ? 

Per their web site, $235/pp round trip for the full Bennett Scenic Journey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/26/2019 at 6:42 PM, LouTheGlue said:

I agree, the left side going up is best. I know from personal experience I was stuck on the right side.

 

My Holland America cruise will dock in Haines.  My excursion booked via HAL is described as follows:

Begin your journey via ferry from Haines to Skagway

Once in Skagway, you will take an unforgettable round-trip journey aboard the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. Against all odds, this iron trail was built through some of the North’s most ruggedly beautiful terrain and, 100 years later, it is still in operation.[...]

Notes:

The return time to Haines will be advised on board. 

Your tour includes a box lunch and transfers to and from the train. Restrooms are located on each train car. 

Due to Alaska’s extreme tides, there may be a steep ramp to climb at the floating ferry dock.   Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair.

 

Is "going up" on the way out from Skagway?  I'd guess yes but want to double-check...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say "going up" is north from Skagway towards the Yukon. I shot video nearly the entire time out on the platform between cars. For a bit of the flavor of the ride from Fraser to Skagway going south and on the right (west) side of the train watch the 3 1/2 minute vid linked below. The 1st 2 minutes is from inside the car with the following part of the clip shot from the platform.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did the Bennett scenic journey in June, van up, train back, booked through Chilkoot charters. It was a day I’ll never forget. No one in our car was much interested in being outside on the chilly platform so I was able to stand out there for the entire four hours on the way back down to Skagway, and it was absolutely incredible!  I definitely moved back when anyone wanted to come out there and take a picture, but hardly anyone did and no one stayed out there more than five minutes. Bring appropriate clothes to allow yourself to stand outside in the wind, it is absolutely worth it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/26/2019 at 5:29 PM, sherryf said:

You have it backwards.  The left side is best when going up. (Left while facing the front of the train.) Since the train doesn't turn around, the same side is still best going down, but as others have said, they make you switch sides at the turnaround point on the round trip.

That's why I asked the experts on cruise critic.  Thanks for the clarification.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/26/2019 at 5:29 PM, sherryf said:

You have it backwards.  The left side is best when going up. (Left while facing the front of the train.) Since the train doesn't turn around, the same side is still best going down, but as others have said, they make you switch sides at the turnaround point on the round trip.

When you say "left while facing the front of the train", does that mean if you are standing outside face-to-face with the train? So it would be your right hand side and the train's left hand side?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/5/2019 at 8:52 PM, polyesther said:

When you say "left while facing the front of the train", does that mean if you are standing outside face-to-face with the train? So it would be your right hand side and the train's left hand side?

When you are *inside* the train!  Sit on the left side of the train.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 7/26/2019 at 10:30 PM, kuddles14 said:

What is the price if you book on your own ? Can you book it before you leave for your cruise ? 

 

I am sure that you can find out this information on the train WEB site.  Do a Google search to find it.

 

DON

Edited by donaldsc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

We booked the "Yukon Adventure & White Pass Scenic Railway" Shore Excursion via Royal Caribbean on our last Alaska cruise at the end of May 2019.
 

We also recommend sitting on the left side when you drive up. 
 

We have created 2 videos of our tour. Once a video about the train ride, the scenery and landscapes:

 

 

 

And then a time-lapse video; the 2 hour train ride in about 9 minutes:

 

 

 

We hope you enjoy looking at them. We appreciate your likes and comments, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
 

Best wishes from Switzerland
Fabienne & David 

https://www.swisstravellerslife.ch
https://www.youtube.com/swisstravellerslife

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Such great videos being shared!  To add to others' comments, regardless of which side you opt to sit on during the ride be sure to step out onto the platforms at some point to get a better view of the picturesque scenery as you ride up (or down!). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...