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Alaskan Cruise July 2012... Need help choosing excursions

Washington DC...
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Alaskan Cruise July 2012... Need help choosing excursions

Hi,

My family has a cruise booked for July 2012. The itinerary is Whittier, Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and ending in Vancouver. We have two children who will be 7 and 10 yrs. This is our first cruise as a family. My husband and I have had a couple short Caribbean cruises, but never bothered with excursions on our own because all we were interested in was finding a local beach to snorkel. This is a completely different experience for us.

I am on a budget too. We are willing to spend to get the experience, but I want to be smart about who I book through so I'm not paying extra booking fees, etc. I'm not sure booking through the cruise line is the best, but I want to shop my options. I would appreciate any tips on where to begin my search.

My biggest challenge is to add on a short trip to the beginning of our vacation. We will be flying into Anchorage and I would love to take the kids on the train to Denali, take a Denali guided tour, and then back to Whittier. It looks like I could do that in a 3 day add on, but I don't have a clue where to begin. Will I need a rental car? Are there any package deals or should I be booking everything separately? Secondly, are there any "must-do" excursions for any of the ports I listed? I would love to take the kids on a dog-sled ride!

I could really use some direction and advice. Thanks so much!

Chatham, Ontario
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1. Re: Alaskan Cruise July 2012... Need help choosing excursions

Your best advice may come from the Alaska board:

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28923-i349-Alaska…

In general there is not as much difference in cruise versus private excursion COST as you find other places, However, quality may vary a lot in a small, personal group.

I have a strong bias for Skagway tours. I am a big fan of renting a car (Avis or Sourdough) and driving the South Klondike Highway using Murray's Guide:

http://www.murraysguide.com/

For pictures of the route:

explorenorth.com/library/roads/sklondike-pho…

If your family is 4 (or more) people, the cost savings over the (excellent but $) White Pass and Yukon rail excursion can be significant.

There is an inferior type of dog sledding available at Carcross - on wheels without snow. However, warning: those sledding on glacier excursions have a very high cancellation rate due to bad weather. The disappointment can be very hard on kids.

Chatham, Ontario
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for Cruises
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5,275 posts
47 reviews
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2. Re: Alaskan Cruise July 2012... Need help choosing excursions

Clarification: Carcross is a stop on the South Klondike highway out of Skagway.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Alaskan Cruise July 2012... Need help choosing excursions

Thank you for your advice and I'll check out the other board as well!

Greater Sydney...
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4. Re: Alaskan Cruise July 2012... Need help choosing excursions

As well as the Alaska forum, please read my post on this thread on this forum which is relevant to your inquiry.

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g1-i10703-k5075…

Chatham, Ontario
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5. Re: Alaskan Cruise July 2012... Need help choosing excursions

Frommy, I agree that train + van is the better tour. It costs about $200 pp. = $800 for 4. The car rental/Murray's guide option is.....less.

6. Re: Alaskan Cruise July 2012... Need help choosing excursions

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