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Is it better to book excursions through the cruiseline or independently once you arrive in the port? We're taking our first cruise and our considering the following excursions:


Helicopter & Glacier Trek in Juneau ($399)

Yukon Expedition and White Pass Rail in Skagway ($189)

Kayaking in Ketchikan ($99)

Ghost and Graveyards Tour in Victoria ($44)


It's a lot more than I anticipated on spending on excursions and wanted to get your opinions. Also, if there are other excursion recommendations please let me know! Thanks so much!

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I think if you read this forum much, you will discover that most of us prefer booking independently - but book BEFORE your trip! Booking independently is sometimes cheaper, but always more personalized service. Check out Chilkoot Charters for the Skagway train. We had a wonderful trip with them. The more popular excursions often fill up far in advance. Budget Queen has probably been on every excursion that is offered, and can give you good advice on any you're interested in.

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if you wait until you dock, many of the better excursions could be full.

especially any flightseeing tours. local vendors are easy to work with and know the cruise ship's time in port well.

these are the only links to ports i have, hopefully they are your ports. but you can find some of the ones that are talked about here.




for the same tours, in skagway, you have mentioned...but with a smaller groups, try:


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We have booked independently in every port unless there is not much time in port. These boards have never steered me wrong. I agree with the previous poster--book ahead--as far ahead as possible! I feel the planning is SO much fun!! If there is not much time in port, I book through the ship (such as when we are in Victoria, CA). In Victoria, we enjoyed Butchart Gardens. Here is a link:




In Ketchikan we enjoyed fishing with Ken of Northern Lights. We caught our limit of salmon and had whales around us the entire time. Here is a link:




I also agree with the prior poster--Chilcoot is great! We went into the Yukon, taking the train first, then a van. We went to Carcross and Emerald Lake. I learned a lot of gold rush history and the scenery is beautiful from the train. Here is a link:




In Juneau, we went to a glacier and dog sledded with an Iditarod racer through Coastal. Here is a link:




We've also went whale watching with Captain Larry of Orca.




We also have zip lined.




Have fun planning!!

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