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Old 04-15-2007, 03:39 PM
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We are first time cruisers and first time visitors to Alaska. When we travel aboard the Statendam this summer it looks like we will have 3 days that we can take excursions.

JUL 25 ~Haines~ (630AM-9PM) The White Pass/Youkon narrow gage railway looks interesting. How long is this trip? Will it fit into the 14 hour+ window? Any other suggestions for this area?

JUL 26~Juneau~ (8AM-6PM) Only 10 hours to do something. Is it better to stay local or try one of the flying/glacier opportunities? Or can you do both in the alloted time (flying/local).

JUL 27~Ketchikan~ (2PM-8PM) 6 hours seems short compared to the other 2 days. Not sure why the hours are so different from the other two (longer sail time?). Same Q~ local stuff or something else?

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions and advice that you can lend me.
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Old 04-15-2007, 03:45 PM
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Hi to you,

You will love Alaska...It's almost a relgious experience...

The White Pass Railroad trip is a most do. You can do it two ways...Take the train both ways, or a bus and train tour...it will fit in about 4 hours, so there is plenty of time to shop.
In Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier is a great trip...the helicopter is a bit pricey...and the bus trip can be combined with a few other sites.

If you get to Ketchikan, the totem/cultural tour is a nice tour....Almost anything you decide to do will be enjoyable...Once there, you will want to go back....
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Old 04-15-2007, 05:09 PM
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Juneau - Definitely Mendenhall Glacier and whale watching (a combined tour we booked through the cruise line). If you book on your own, and the excursion is late, the ship may leave you and its then your responsibility to get back to your ship at the next port. Also be sure to check out the Red Dog Saloon, you will love it.

Sitka - We did a hike through the rain forest (also booked through the ship). We also did a boat trip to a salmon hatchery.

Ketchikan - We did a trolley tour around town but you can also do a walking tour on your own with a guided map. Check out Creek Street (the old red light district) or the lumberjack show.

Have a great time, you will be ready to go back again. We have done 2 different cruises through HAL to Alaska (different itineraries). Want to go again.
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Old 04-21-2007, 10:22 AM
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While it is a legitemate concern, getting left behind while on an independant excursion is something that hasn't happened here in many years. The tour operators rely on your business for their livelihood, and only have 100 days to make it for the whole year. A company that ran late and missed a ship for a client wouldn't be in business very long. Also, these tour vendors know the ship schedule better than anyone, so I wouldn't be afraid to call up an independant vendor and see what they recommend given your port times and other touring schedule.

(Besides, if you're on one of MY tours and something happens, I can probably get you to your next port BEFORE the ship arrives there! - not that I want to be forced to try!...)

-Case
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:21 PM
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Depending on your interests, a trip to the rain forest at Ketchikan, which incorporates a 4 wheel drive trip, and canoe trip, is a good outting.

Juneau: the glacier is excellent. With that much time, try to work in the tram to the top of Mt Roberts and hike around that area. Well worth it, even if it's raining.

White Pass-must do. If you do the train both ways, be prepared that either the trip up or the trip back is a little limited as your view out of your window is of a fairly sheer wall 8 feet away. Still a must do, though.
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:46 AM
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Thanks so much for all of your helpful suggestions. This forum is awsome!
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