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Old 07-17-2008, 10:42 PM
 
107 posts, read 430,508 times
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We are planning next year a family reunion and the older folks want to go on a cruise to alaska.
I have read all of the cruise excursions,but am wondering from a local's perspective if there are any not to be missed things in these places.
So far i was looking at rafting the mendenhall glacier or doing a zip line.
In skagway manybe visiting a musher camp or panning for gold with the kids. In ketchikan I wasnt sure what to do.
We are a family of five. My husband , myself and a 8, 6 and 14 year old. We live in Oregon and are very outdoorsy types. Love nature and things off the beaten path.
I also love photography and would so enjoy seeing wildlife.
Thanks for any tips in advance!!!!
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:12 PM
 
42 posts, read 178,467 times
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so lovely.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,368 posts, read 35,132,317 times
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The MILEPOST: Alaska Travel Guide and Trip Planner - Home

Your Gateway to the Circumpolar North - ExploreNorth
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 16,324,886 times
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Three great recommendations:

1. Read the excursions your cruise is offering, and pick what appeals to you. Can't go wrong. Tons of wildlife viewing possibilities and some gold panning possibilities.

2. The world's most inclusive travel site: tripadvisor dot com. This link will open on the Juneau page. For other locations, near the top of the far left column type in Ketchikan AK or elsewhere in the Search bar.
Juneau Tourism - Juneau Vacation Reviews - Juneau Vacations - TripAdvisor

3. Cruisecritic dot com will also provide lots of helpful info.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:26 AM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 17,608,077 times
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In Skagway, I'd recommend the train ride. It is expensive though.

In Juneau, I'd favor the zip line over the rafting, although I've done neither. I'd go to Mendenhall Glacier and the tram if it's not in the clouds at the top. You can do a little hiking at both locations. Other things to look at are Glacier Gardens, kayak trips and whale watching.

I haven't been to Ketchikan in years so I don't know what's there now. There is Totem Bight State Park and I've seen a TV travel segment of a logging show there.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:38 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
11 posts, read 35,065 times
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I took a Celebrity cruise last summer to Alaska that was wonderful. We did the following excursions:

Ketchikan - Tatoosh Islands sea kayaking. This was my favorite because it was so beautiful and fun. A harbor seal actually came near my kayak, which I thought was so cool.

Juneau - Mendenhall Glacier trek. We were in a small group and we got to go ice climbing. It was really interesting learning more about the glacier and the helicopter ride on and off the glacier was incredible.

We went on a whale watching cruise at the other port -- Icy Strait Point I think -- and that was my least favorite. We got to see lots of whales right near the boat, which was awesome. But it was very crowded on the boat and people were really rude, not caring who they pushed and shoved to look over the railings. That took away a lot of my enjoyment.

Enjoy your trip!!
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Gramercy
72 posts, read 249,631 times
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Going with a guide to the glacier in Juneau is a cool thing to do. You need a guide to get through the trail maze, but I do it myself when the weather is nice You have to be physically fit since there is a short but intense climbing segment just before you get to the glacier.

I love ice and glaciers, and getting close to one, and even walking on one, is awesome.

There are also brewery tours here. The Alaskan brand of beers is brewed in Juneau.

Just don't spend much time in downtown of any of the ship ports - they are basically built to suck money out of cruise ship passengers.
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:58 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,389 posts, read 11,511,621 times
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Yeah...I've hiked to Mendenhall glacier lots of times on my own, but if you havent done it before, go with a guide because those rocks are nasty and it's easy to lose the high trail. Also the Tracy Arm day cruise out of Juneau is worthwhile. I'm not one for these excursions but I really enjoyed that. The boats arent so big that you'll feel crowded and the captain (his last name was Weber, Steve I think) was really knowledgeable. Just a great way to spend a day.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
11,838 posts, read 26,872,701 times
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Try booking tours through independents, not through the ship. There are some great deals out there. If you book through the ship check the tour operator's website to see if you're paying about the same price or getting ripped off. The off ship operators who provide tours for the ships can give you a lot more detail about the excursions than the cruise lines are able to.
We're heading up in a little over three weeks & we've chosen a couple ship based tours & booked with independents too.

Which line are you sailing on?
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
11,838 posts, read 26,872,701 times
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Oh, don't buy any of your camera's memory cards from places like Best Buy. Their prices are 100% higher than they are from online retailers like newegg.com.
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