Is it just me or do others feel that the excursion prices for Alaska are a bit steep? I THOUGHT I wanted to go flightseeing and dogsledding...but my goodness, those prices are almost as much as I pay for my 7 day Caribbean Cruises
Anyone know of some reasonably priced excursions?
The White Pass Railroad seems reasonable and popular from what I read. As a "budget traveler" , good luck on this trip, that and perhaps a Glacier Tour at Seward are probably the ones I will take. Otherwise, I think I'll be sticking to walking tours or such. As you mentioned that other stuff is a whole 'nother vacation budget. I've scheduled 5 nights at Alaska after the cruise. This is the first place I've seen B&B prices lower than 1 or 2 Star Hotel prices.
We were surprised, too, at the prices. But then we realized that the towns in Alaska only have 5 months each year to catch the cruiser's dollars, while Caribbean cruise ports have 12 months each year.
Each person would handle this differently. There are some relatively inexpensive tours in the various cities, but we wanted to get beyond the cities. We pretty much decided that our Alaska cruise would probably be a one time thing and we wanted to whale watch, take a floatplane, and do things unique to Alaska. Costly, yes, but I think it would have been worth it.
As you probably know, we would have left tomorrow if I hadn't broken my wrist last week. So the trip is on hold for awhile. But, when we reschedule, we plan to splurge in Alaska!
Mendenhall Glacier tour in Juneau is a good deal, while the White Pass Railroad in Skagway is a great trip for around $110 or so...Totem Pole and Cultural Tour in Ketchikan is a good tour and only about $45.....Alaska isn't cheap but worth every penny you spend there....
Hi again! This is just a hint regarding excursions. I see you are an experienced cruiser, but for rookies, it might prove helpful. We booked a whale watching excursion through Captain Larry's. They came highly recommended and were cheaper than any whale watching excursions on the ship. The tour was also of shorter duration which left us time afterward to explore Juneau.
Problem is, there is a $25 per person cancellation policy, if cancelled more than 72 hours in advance. When I called to cancel because of my wrist, they were nice enough to waive my $25 charge, but still charged the $25 for my husband. If we had booked the ship excursion, it would have been cancelled at no charge. So there are pros and cons to private tour operators. Just be sure you read the fine print!
Also, we booked the dinner theater at Denali Princess lodge. These tickets are non-refundable and we will pursue them through our trip insurance.
Since we didn't expect to have to cancel, we were a little nonchalant about the cancellation policies. We learned!
Flightseeing is always expensive, no matter where you go. Between a high overhead for the tour operator, and no doubt very high insurance prices for his business, it's no wonder. If you really want to do Alaska shore excursions "on the cheap," it's one of the best places to just get off the ship and walk around the ports. No language, signage or currency barriers. If it's your first time in Alaska, though, I'd recommend some of the tours to the natural or cultural sights, such as Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau (not flightseeing, just the land-based tour), Saxman native village in Ketchikan (totem poles), and perhaps more spendy (but worth it) the White Pass RR in Skagway.
Less expensive in Skagway and also fun is the yellow-bus tour (the old 1930s stretch vans, imported to Skagway from Yellowstone & Glacier NPs way back when). The gals giving those tours dress in turn-of-the-century costume and are enthusiastic & energetic (and impressive drivers - you should see some of these old vans!)
Karen - Funny that you should mention the White Pass Railroad. I was talking with my FIL about how fun it was going to be going to Alaska....he insisted that we had to go on the White Pass Railroad, that it was "once in a lifetime" and he is a railroad nut...I am not kidding...models, etc.
Anyhow...did not know that the White Pass RR was in Skagway....and that is not one of our ports