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Shameless request for advice from Budget Queen


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Hi there -
I've so enjoyed reading your responses and hope you might offer some advice to us. We'll be in Skagway from 7 am to 8 pm. Originally we had planned to rent a car/van and do the drive so enjoyed by so many. But here's the thing - over 25 years ago, I visited Haines one summer as part of a mission trip. There is a part of me that would love to go back there. But my family also wants to see some of Skagway - the gold rushy stuff. Would it be do-able to take the noon fast ferry to Haines and then the 5 pm return ferry? I don't remember... is Haines a walkable town that we could just sort of wander around there for a while? I actually stayed at the Presbyterian Church during my visit before. Do you have any idea whether it would be easily accessible or would we need transportation? Thought about bike rentals in Haines? Is it flat or hilly?
Lastly - do you know of any private guides who might be able to do a "memory lane" tour that would include the usual highlights plus a stop at the Presbyterian Church?
OK - I know that I've fired more than my fair share of questions at you but I'm hopeful that you are as familiar with Haines as you are so many places.
I welcome any advice and I'm grateful in advance.
Sincerely -
Lisa in Pittsburgh
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Lisa: Hi from a former Pittsburgher who returns often..what are are you in??(North Boroughs and Zelienople here).
Yes, Haines is walkable and yes you could take the fast ferry.. And yes I know a native Alaskan and her husband who would probably be able to show you around or customize a private walkabout... since emails are not in profiles you will have to email me and I can put you in touch with them. They run a small tour company and have known them for several years.

Host Caroline
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That's a great offer to help. You're a good one


some of my cruising photos:
A bad day cruising is better than a good day at work.

The worst cruise I ever took was pretty damned good.

Platinum with RCI, a couple cruises with NCL and 1 with CCL

Clock remove but cruise in Dec
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Caroline - that's exactly what I was hoping to hear! I'll be emailing you.
I live in the north eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh - a bit beyond Murrysville. If you grew up in this area perhaps you know of the Kiski School District - that's where we are. I commute to Pittsburgh every day and it's about a 45 minute drive (without tunnel traffic) a painful experience only a fellow Pittsburgher would understand!
Thanks again for your quick response and your great care for this list!
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In going to Haines anymore from Skagway can be dicey - The Chilkat Cruises Fast Ferry does not honor reservations made in advance. They may tell you there is space available but when you show up they will say there is no room. Happens all the time. What has happened this year is that there is very limited service from the Alaska Marine Highway ferry between Skagway and Haines and it has put new pressure on Chilkat Cruises. Additionally Chilkat Cruises is now under new management and they are still ironing things out for the season. As an independent I would either fly or make arrangements with a new smaller ferry starting up this season.

As far as seeing Haines - an old timer who is also a guide is Carl Dixon with Haines Taxi & Tours. He would likely be able to take you to all the old places you'd like to see and also be able to tell you a story or two. If you call ask for him to do the tour.
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