Yes, since Alaska is a US state, the same FCC rules apply and the walkie talkie frequencies are the same. Victoria is Canada, but I imagine you should not have an issue there anyway.
Your only limitation is the distance you expect to be able to communicate over. Is the person you are tyring to talk with in more than a mile away (very real possiblity in Alaska) or on the other side of a mountain (even bigger possibility) then you probably won't be able to us the walkie talkies then. But on the same excursions or walking around town, then sure.
But, check your cell phone plan. Since Alaska is US, some plans cover it within the normal calling plan.
We always travel with Walkie Talkies...and they work just fine in Alaska....We have a set that has a 20 mile range, but mountains do interfer...I've talked to other people on different ships that were way over 20 miles away...but there was nothing but ocean in between...they work off and on while on the ship..there is a lot of interference but still a nice thing to take along...Happy Cruising..
It would be unlikely to get even half the 20 mile distance reliably under any conditions but I would still like to know what brand radio he was using. The hype that the manufactures use is totally unbelievable for the FRS type radios. Even using the gmrs radios you'd need an external antenna.
I was using a Cobra MircoTALK when I got the outstanding reception...But..as you stated, most of the time they only live up to 50 percent of the distance the manufacturer claims...the long distance transmission happened a couple of times on 3 of our cruises...How and Why I don't know...airwaves are goofy...then again sometimes on the ship they don't work all that well...but this set seems to work better than any of the 3 sets I own...and they are very small and not clunky...Happy Sailing..hope this helps you out...