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Skagway White Pass Summit Excursion - thru ship or purchase tickets direct from sales office?


DPJAF
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I have a few question regarding the White Pass Summit excursion during our stop in Skagway. Is it better to purchase tickets through Norwegian or directly from the sales office? I've read that there are certain train cars used for cruise passengers and certain train cars used for other passengers and that the cars designated for cruise passengers tend to be crowded. Is the walk to the sales office an easy walk? - my mother uses a cane to assist her after a knee replacement surgery. Is there transportation or Uber service that can take her the 1/2 mile to the sales office? Has anyone recently done this excursion that can give some advise on what to expect when boarding the train?

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We have both purchased WP&YRR tickets from the cruise line and directly from the railroad.  

 

The one advantage for you, since your mother uses a cane, in purchasing tickets through the cruise line will be that the rail cars will be positioned very close to the cruise ship.  Once the cars are boarded then the rail cars will move toward the WP&YRR ticket office where folks who purchased directly from the railroad will then board.

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I just rode this today. We booked directly and walked into town to the station (from the Railroad dock) and it saved us $100 (for 2). We thought it was a very easy walk. My mom and dad are traveling with us and my mom didn't enjoy the walk but she's got some feet/hip issues. There is a shuttle that is at the end of the dock that you can get for $3 for one ride or $5 for unlimited. There were shuttles all over town picking people up and taking them around. No shortage at all. So that would be an easy option for your mother. My parents opted to use this to get back to the ship.

 

As for the cars, when the train arrived to pick us up it looked like the cruise people were already on it in the back cars. I couldn't see how crowded they were. We got on the farthest back car we could for the regular people and it was pretty open. We all had our own seat and swapped to the other side when the train turned around at the summit so we had the best views both ways. I don't know how crowded other cars were. My advice go away from the direction the crowd is going! We went on the 12:00 train.

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Shel71,

We will be there next month and want to do the train ride if weather is nice.  In looking at the online brochure for the train company, their  price per adult ($134) for round trip is very close to what is offered through Princess excursion ( cruise  is about $5 more per person).
How did you save $100? Were coupons available at the pier or city Visitor Center? 
thanks.

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3 hours ago, Thunderbird19 said:

Shel71,

We will be there next month and want to do the train ride if weather is nice.  In looking at the online brochure for the train company, their  price per adult ($134) for round trip is very close to what is offered through Princess excursion ( cruise  is about $5 more per person).
How did you save $100? Were coupons available at the pier or city Visitor Center? 
thanks.


I see Shel71 has not replied. My guess would be the they were on NCL, which charges $ 179 for the White Pass Summit trip. Each cruise line charges a different amount, so it’s always good to compare prices between the ship and booking directly. 

 

 

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Do all ships dock at the same place or do the larger ones dock further from town?  We will be on NCL Encore.  How far is the walk into town?

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We sailed the Encore and we parked at the aft dock, the one clear at the back. They had golf carts and then shuttles to town if you didn’t want to walk. We booked thru the railway. They pulled up to the cruise dock first and loaded the cruise passengers first in the back and then pulled up a den loaded us. We had to walk over a bit, not real far, to the tracks. We had the 2 front cars. 

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23 minutes ago, kona_wahine said:

We sailed the Encore and we parked at the aft dock, the one clear at the back. They had golf carts and then shuttles to town if you didn’t want to walk. We booked thru the railway. They pulled up to the cruise dock first and loaded the cruise passengers first in the back and then pulled up a den loaded us. We had to walk over a bit, not real far, to the tracks. We had the 2 front cars. 

Thanks for this info.  I think we are going to book a van tour.  I'm waiting for an answer from the vendor about whether they will pick us up at the pier or if we have to get to them. 

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22 hours ago, Thunderbird19 said:

Shel71,

We will be there next month and want to do the train ride if weather is nice.  In looking at the online brochure for the train company, their  price per adult ($134) for round trip is very close to what is offered through Princess excursion ( cruise  is about $5 more per person).
How did you save $100? Were coupons available at the pier or city Visitor Center? 
thanks.

 

Yes, I'm on NCL and the price was $179 through them and $134 when purchased directly, so $45x2 in savings to walk a little bit. You could take the town shuttle for $3 one trip or $5 unlimited trips if you didn't want to walk and still save a bit. If the Princess price is $134 then may as well go through them and save the walking.

 

6 hours ago, DonnaK said:

Do you have to book through the railway in advance, or can you do it at the port?  

 If there is availability on the train you can book on the day in port. If they are full you'd be out of luck so I'd book ahead if this is a must do. 

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The problem I am having with booking in advance is that they are only offering 8am on the website and our ship doesn't arrive in port until 11am.  The cruise line is offering 12noon and 4pm, but at a cost of $30 more per person.  

 

Has anyone else experienced this? 

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Just back from Alaska.  The train was sold out when we arrived. 

 

We had booked a helicopter flight to a glacier with dog sledding.  It was cancelled due to wind, so we immediately tried to get a seat on the train that morning...all times were sold out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone done the Skagway whitepass train just the 12 mile return - getting off at denver and hike then get picked up two hours later? we have kids and wonder if this a tough hike or just a trail that would be managable.

any advise would be appreciated. 

thanks Cathy 

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