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Alaska excursions


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We went June of this year. In Ketchikan it was a bus ride to the totem park. Not bad. In Sitka it was a bus tour of the city. Cute city, it was easy to explore on our own. In Skagway we took the train, but the included was a bus to White Pass summit. Juneau was the salmon hatchery and a city bus tour with a very distant view of the glacier. I noticed this is now an optional excursion - definitely don’t pay to do this. According to Viking’s site the included is now the gold prospecting. Valdez was just a shuttle to a couple museums. We did whale watching in Icy Strait, the included was a cultural demonstration. In Seward we did the Major Marine seven hour Kenai boat trip on our own - great. The included was shuttles to the Sea Life Center; we did this on our own the next day, and enjoyed it. I learned a lot on the Alaska section of Cruise Critic, and also on the Alaska section on Trip Advisor. The app doesn’t have the trip reports, though. You have to go to their actual website. Enjoy the planning. 

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That list of lame bus excursions is why I cruised Alaska with Silversea who is experienced in adventurous excursions.  Yes, I paid for each of my excursions but my cruise fare did not build in a cost for "included" bus excursions that miss what each port really had to offer.  Silversea also offers a choice of around twenty different excursions per port up to very pricey helicopter and plane back country choices.

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I agree with Phil about the bus rides.  Alaska is one of the most easy places to "do your own thing".  We have taken boat trips, helicopter rides to glaciers, float planes to remote lodges, float planes to just see stuff, train rides, the Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan and never on a cruise line schedule.  You can book all this online if you wish or, for the most part, get off the ship and speak to the nearest friendly Alaskan and follow your nose.  With just a little bit of work and some willingness you can have a better experience and usually cheaper than the cruise ship tours.  Alaska is great.  Used to run ships up there many years ago.  Freighters, not cruise ships.  Have cruised Alaska with Princess and Seabourn.  Have fun in The Great Land..

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In Juneau visit Mendenhall Glacier.  Museum.  Walk the easy nearby trails and watch a mother bear fish for salmon with her cubs (we took a different trail and missed it; friends did not.)  Later I  took the tram cable car near the dock up to Mt Roberts  http://mountrobertstramway.com  Terrific view, restaurant, bathrooms and some easy trails at the top.


In Sitka do your own thing and reserve a wildlife tour on one of the SMALLER say 6 person boats.  Get up much closer.


Skagway if you're active take a 2.5 mile hike (uphill then downhill a bit) and ride a river raft back towards the ship.  Epic!


Our ship offered this tour.  We are mid 70s and had no problem with the vigorous climb.


I'd repeat the Alaska cruise again.  So much to see.








Edited by philw1776
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