How often do the cruise ships dock/disembark early in Juneau? Particularly Princess?
The cruise we think we are going to choose is scheduled in Juneau at 8am. However, the excursion we want to take to Tracy Arm on that day leaves at 8am. The tour operator (Adventure Bound) told us sometimes the ships come in early and if that happens we might still be able to join.
I'm wondering if disembarking early is fairly common or fairly uncommon at this port?
We can't find any itinerary which has both an early enough/late enough port time in Juneau to safely accommodate the Tracy Arm tour but also spends a day in Glacier Bay. Anyone know any I might have missed for September that accommodate both of these top of the list items?
I would not chance buying an 8am tour if the ship is scheduled to arrive at 8am. Even if ships "sometimes" arrive early, you have no way of knowing if your particular ship will be early that day. Is there a later departure? How long an excursion is it?
Does the ship run excursions to Tracy Arm? That would be the safest thing to do.
Never place money on a "sometimes" option. Port authorities generally don't like surprises like a cruise ship arriving too early. They have a docking schedule and don't need a lot of variables tossed in.
wwide, I agree with the previous posts and will add that even if the ship does port early, there is no guarantee you'll be able to debark early. They typically debark the passengers booked for cruiseline excursions before beginning the process for the rest of the passengers. Those on outside tours are not provided priority debark unless booked into full suite categories or past pax members with high status in the loyalty programs.
We cruised to Juneau this past May and were in the same circumstance. Adventure Bound told me to call when we got into port and if they had room they would take us. Unfortunately we were due to arrive at 8am, but the ship was not cleared until later. We called Adventure Bound, but it was too late. Our ship did not offer anything comparable. We instead did the Safari By Land and Sea. It was nice, but not Tracy Arm.
We were on Coral Princess in May. We had the all day cruise in Glacier Bay. It was absolutely breathtaking! We saw a glacier calf, which was a wonderous experience. We had a balcony and enjoyed all the scenery from our balcony.
We didn't go to Tracy Arm, so I can't give you any information about that. There have been several posts here about Tracy Arm and it sounds awesome, too.
I don't think you can go wrong either way. Guess I didn't help much, but I wanted you to know that you won't be disappointed in Glacier Bay, if that is the option you choose.
Originally posted by wwide:
Thanks for the feedback.
Definitely we would not book the tour ahead (put money down)- it would be a just show up and see if there's still space available type thing if we got in early.
Looks like we'll have to make a choice - any thoughts on full day scenic cruising (aboard cruise ship) in Glacier Bay versus full day boat tour (smaller boat) of Tracy Arm?
We were on the Dawn Princess last week at Tracy Arm & could not go all the way to the main glacier because of lots of small pieces of ice & had to turn back. It seems that the smaller pieces can jam the side thrusters & they wouldn't be able to turn around. The smaller tour ships don't have that problem.
Adventure Bound often runs a second boat departing at 9:00 am each day. You might call them and inquire whether the "Capt. Cook" might also be running an hour later that day.
Other options for Tracy Arm include Allen Marine (large catamaran tour), Harv & Marv's Outback Alaska (28' small boats) or Alaskan Marine Adventures (35' small boat.) The Allen Marine tour will be similar to Adventure Bound in that it's a large vessel with up to 100 or 150 guests on board. The 2 small boat tours will both be the spendier option, and will max at 6 guests per boat.
I don't know of any itineraries that allow 9 to 10 hours in Juneau AND cruise Glacier Bay. As far as the advice above about booking a Tracy Arm via the cruise line, the only cruise lines that I know of booking Tracy Arm are the ones that sail IN Tracy Arm for 1/2 of the day. They sell a wonderful 5-hour add-on excursion where you depart Juneau ahead of the cruise ship, tour Tracy Arm, then meet up with your cruise IN Tracy Arm to end the day.
Happy Alaska Travels!
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