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!
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.
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.
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.
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.