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newcruiser1 01-12-2009 09:36 AM

We are going to Alaska this year and we wanted to take rail up + bus down tour in Sagway. Since we won't have a chance to change seats as we will go by train only one way I was wondering which seats should we choose going up in order to see all the sites?
I heard some people say that the best way to view the whole thing is actually not from your seat but from the platform but we are going to have our 20 months old son with us so I am not sure if it's safe...
Any advice will be very much appreciated!

Dave 01-12-2009 10:06 AM

Welcome to cruise chat.

The platform is very small and a lot of people seemed to Bogart it on our tour last summer, even though the tour guide announced that people should give others a chance. You aren't supposed to spend the whole trip out there. I found the view quite adequate from my seat. Don't take a 20 month old out on the platform.

Heading up, the left side is where you want to sit. The right side will be against the trees and mountain sides most of the time.

It is well worth the money and an excellent train ride.

LisaP 01-12-2009 03:26 PM

Hi newcruiser1, and welcome to!

We did a bus up + rail down in Skagway last year. Yes, as Dave said, the better side for views on the train on the way UP will be the left.

We also thought the bus ride was spectacular! Are you going into the Yukon?

Berick1234 01-12-2009 04:24 PM

Yes, the left side going up is great.....if you are on the train coming down, you will trade sides.....I've been up twice and it was well worth the money...Happy Sailing...

Bob E

LisaP 01-12-2009 04:29 PM

I'm back. An easy way to remember is to match the words that have the fewer letters. So, UP/LEFT, DOWN/RIGHT. (Or, perhaps that the scenery is "downright" beautiful!)

Dave 01-12-2009 04:36 PM

And remember, the combo train/bus tour requires you to have your passports with you since you are entering Canada. The Canadian government has a waiver for those doing the up and down train provided they don't exit the train at the turnaround point.

gdjoslin 01-12-2009 06:00 PM

This was taken on the way down. You can see the side people perfer. Going up you would want the left.
We were lucky the train was not crowed. Also I was the only one outside on the platform.

Richard & Mary 01-13-2009 06:42 PM

I highly recommend the White Pass & Yukon train ride from Skagway. If your taking your cruise in the early part of the cruise schedules like May, you will have fantastic snow capped mountains and the views are spectacular. As stated here... up on one side.. down on the other. We did the up/down and the train leaves just minutes away from your ship. The train ride was a highlight of the cruise. If your a photographer, the outside platform is a must. Just make sure you have a warm jacket if your stepping outside.

Link to the train ride:

Here's a link to our train ride photos....

We also recommend the Island Wings float plane for a spectacular flight to Misty Fjords. This flight originates from Ketchikan.

Here's the link:

Enjoy the cruise......

newcruiser1 01-14-2009 01:04 PM

Thank you soooo much for all your replies!!! it will be our FIRST cruise ever and I am very worried about everything. This is very helpful! I am so glad I found this site!
Happy sailing to everybody!

eb 01-15-2009 09:21 AM

My wife and I did this excursion last June and most of it was great.
Yes, sit on the left if you can, but if you can't the train is so open and narrow you won't miss much. The bus ride down was OK but it took a long time at the border to have the patrol look at your passport and then find your bus and sit there until they let you leave.
I would say the bus trip was 6 on a scale of 10.
I don't know if there are different excursions that exclude some stuff, but the suspension bridge was a waste. It is just a "Bridge to Nowhere" built just for tourist. You can by a drink and snack there and take a picture of yourself on the bridge and you stay too long at this stop.
We also had a stop at the gardens at the edge of town. This is a nice garden that included as part of our tour a lunch. The lunch was nice but the bus driver drops you off and leaves you there for 2 1/2 hrs. That is too long because by the time you finish this tour you have no time to enjoy the town. We ended up just running thru town hitting the highlights and getting a beer at the saloon. If your ship has to dock at the far dock it takes longer to get back to you ship so even less time in town.

On the plus side we are planning a second trip in 2010 to go back and spend more time in the towns and eat and shop etc.

We loved Alaska and will make it a regular trip maybe every other year.

Now before anybody thinks that what I wrote sounds like sour grapes on the train tour, it is not. We liked the tour because of the train ride but wished we could have just gone back to town to enjoy the town.

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