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advice needed on Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria

Discussion in 'Alaska & Pacific Northwest Ports' started by lisalovlee33, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. lisalovlee33

    lisalovlee33 Guest

    Hi, we're cruising the Sapphire Princess in September. I've already made plans for Juneau. But there're 3 other places that I'm still unsure what to do. For the Juneau, we'll be doing the Trip mining excursion from 12:15 to 3:00. And then do a side trip on our own on the $5.00 bus to Mendalhall falls. I think that should be enough for Juneau.

    Advice needed for Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria.

    Skagway - we're booked on a helicopter-rail trip. Fly over the glasier and return on the rail-road. But the trip is from 7 - 12:30. And the ship leaves around 8:15pm. Lots of gap in between. Any suggestion where we can go?

    Ketchikan - no idea what we can do here - 6am to 12:30pm. Bit early arrival, but where can we go?

    Victoria - worse, time from 7pm to 11:30pm. 4.5 hours in the night. Any ideas?
  2. lisalovlee33

    lisalovlee33 Guest

    Sorry it's me again. Also curious in what clothing I should be bringing. Will be traveling sept 4 - 11. Will it be really cold? Also, will we be seeing any nothern lights at night? Thanks again.
  3. Howie

    Howie Guest

    As far as clothing goes will it be really cold? That depends on what you are use to. For me its not cold but for many it is. You could possibly get temps down into the 50's or even possible 40's if fall starts to sneak in, which is possible. Regardless of the month you cruise in it is always wise to dress in layers. You will be going into a rain forest and you will be going near glaciers. It is better to have more than enough clothes to wear than not enough. I would make sure you had some sweaters or sweat shirts as well as a fall jacket. Gloves and a hat may be needed and they may not.

    In Skagway the town itself is quite interesting but doesn't take long to look around. You can take a trip to Haines by boat from Skagway to spend part of your day. They have some nature tours in Haines.

    Ketchikan is known for their totem parks. They are also known for fishing and kayaking tours. They do have the lumberjack show there. Many flight tours go out of Ketchikan. Ketchikan will have all the shops and torus open even if you arrive at 6am.
  4. didan

    didan Guest

    Hi Lisa,
    We are going to Alaska on August 29 on the Star and will be in the same ports as you. In Skagway, I'm told there is a free, guided ranger walking tour of the town that lasts about 45 minutes. Just sign up for a time at the Visitor's Center - it's supposed to be very interesting. In Ketchikan, we're taking a flightseeing tour over the Misty Fjords. We will be in Victoria at night also - I hear the Butchart Gardens are beautiful and are lit up at night. Also, just walking around the harbor area is lovely - carrigage rides are available.
  5. SeniorSitter

    SeniorSitter Guest

    I've not been to SE AK, so I'm not much help there, but have been to Vicky many times. Definitely Butchart in the evening... even if it's raining, the park provides you with umbrellas! If gardens aren't your thing, Didan is right... a carriage ride to find your way around, and a stroll on the waterfront, or again, if it's raining, dodge the drops and drop in on the Empress hotel, then go out the back way and into some of the great little restaurants in the next 2 block. If you had time, the Crystal Gardens are fun, too. They close at 9PM though. They are part zoo/ part gardens and have a small, but very well done butterfly garden. There are also a lot of clubs within a few blocks. We're booked for flightseeing in Ketchikan, Captain Larry in Juneau and the train in Skagway.

    Have fun!
  6. Hi I am going on the Star on the 29th and where are all you people booking with Captain Larry for the whale sightseeing? I do not see him listed in the excursions,and everyone on these posts sure talk about him,also does anyone know how bad that fire was in Juneau,or are we even going to be able to sightsee? Thanks to anyone who answers.
  7. Howie

    Howie Guest

    Capt Larry works through Orca Enterprises in Alaska their web site is www.alaskawhalewatching.com/
    You can book online or find their 1-800 number on the site and book by phone.
  8. halfdome86

    halfdome86 Guest

    The fires weren't in Juneau or even really close. We were in Juneau last month and the skies were hazy but not smoky smelling nor was any ash falling. The fires were far enough away. The haze didn't effect any site-seeing nor the Orca Ent. whale watching.
  9. To Howie Thanks ever so much, I was able to get the last two seats on the 3:30pm tour the 31st of August. I asked him about the fire, he said it was real bad, they lost a lot of the downtown and the orca tour shop had to close for two days due to smoke. Anyway thanks a million,from the pictures on his website it looks like it will be worth the price of tour. Korina
  10. Halfdome 86, Hi thanks for info but this fire happened about a week ago. The guy at Capt Larrys when I made my reservation said someone left tar out on a roof and the ben franlin store caught fire, fire department called but could not save, loss several other shops in the old district area that were onver 100 years old and the smoke was so bad all of downtown Juneau was closed for two days. He assured me smoke is gone now since I have asthma and businesses are up but it looks quiteawful without some of the businesses there anymore. Thanks
  11. halfdome86

    halfdome86 Guest

    Wow, I hadn't heard that. I guess I need to know my facts better before responding. ;^)
  12. Hey everyone, If you go to the community board page about half way down you will find article on fire in Juneau,click on the url and it will take you to the newspaper article w/picture.
  13. alohagail

    alohagail Guest

    We just did the mining tour last week in Juneau and were pleasantly surprised to find it really interesting, even to our 14- and 11 year old. We had never been underground in a real, working mine before so it was a neat experience.

    In Skagway, we did the Chilkoot trail hike/river float, and then the Dry Dog Sled tour. We found both to be very good, as well.

    In Ketchikan, we went on a Deluxe City Tour which certainly showed us all the sights of the city in a brief time but was a bit dull.
  14. lisalovlee33

    lisalovlee33 Guest

    Thank you all who had replied to this post, but a few follow up please.

    To Howie or anyone who knows:
    You mentioned taking a boat to Haines in Skagway. Will we have sufficient time if we have about 4 - 5 hours to spare? Is this guided tour or something we can do on our own? We're pretty tight on the budget.
    Is the town of Skagway near where the ship is docked?

    To everyone :)
    The Buchart gardens in Victoria sounds wonderful. Does anyone know if we could do it on our own? Does the ship dock close to the town? Any buses to take us to town if not too far?

    Other than the free city tour, are there any trails or walks not too far away to do? We only have about 4 hours here. Can someone suggest what we can do in this short period of time, on our own. (spent all the playing money on heli-hike in Skagway and mining tour in Juneau)

    To Alohagail or anyone who knows:
    I'm happy to hear the mining tour was interesting for you. Were you guys on the Historic Juneau Goldmine tour (12:15-3:00pm)? It says.
    ... following a short ride to the site of the mine's ruins, your driver set the stage as you make your way through the rainforest and up Mt. Roberts..
    Do we get lots of time to sightsee Mt. Roberts as well?


    (9 more working day to cruising!!!)
  15. alohagail

    alohagail Guest

    We went on the Historic Juneau Gold Mine Tour which has this description:

    Relive mining heritage on this unique tour to the world's largest gold producing mill and hear the story of the great mine, including approximately 45 minutes underground with demonstrations. Try your hand at panning for gold, also.

    It was tour JNU-F, and was $59 per adult.

    As for seeing Mt. Roberts, there was not really any special time to see this.
  16. lisalovlee33

    lisalovlee33 Guest

    Oh ok, I thought Mt. Roberts was a big deal since there's cable car ride and all that.. Thanks..
  17. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    Victoria/ depends on which ship you are with as to how long you will be there and the timing for the gardens. Butchart has a web page you might check there for the days and nights they will be open. The dock is not too far from downtown but I woud think a taxi or shuttle would be best. The gardens are 30 mins north of Downtown at least and there are buses that go but your time in port is the big hang up.
  18. cruiseryyc

    cruiseryyc Guest

    Due to the time in Victoria, I would definitely take a ship tour to Butcharts as they will always get you back to the ship in time.
  19. lisalovlee33

    lisalovlee33 Guest

    Thanks all for the kind advice.
  20. Night rider

    Night rider Guest

    I agree with Skagway not taking to long to see the highlights.

    I have to suggest the Yukon Horseback through Southeast Tours. We went inland to see Emerald Lake and tour aroungd it on horseback. I can't stress how beautiful it is. The views above Emerlad lake look fake they are so beautiful, we couldn't get enough and didn't want to leave.

    We also stopped and watched a bear for about 10 minutes, it just sat on a hill looking at us walking around. The guides were fantastic and very knowledgeable about the Yukon, we all got to visit after the tour in a old cookhouse with plenty of tasty snacks offered with cowboy coffee and sadas.

    The price was very reasonable at $149. each for about 5.5 hours. You don't want to miss this tour...

    Happy travels.

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