What type of excursions? There are many types of excursions in Alaska from fishing, flight tours, kayaking, scuba, train rides, panning for gold and eco tours. What type of activity level are you looking for and what type of excursion?
Ketchikan: Tours of the Totem parks can be interesting. Fishing is big here as well as kayaking. A harbor tour is very good here. Flight tours can be had at the information center at the pier here.
Juneau: You can take a cheap tour from town out to Mendenhall Glacier. If you like whale watching this would be the place to do that. We use Orca Enterprises and Capt Larry for whale watches they also have other tours. Helicopter flights onto the glaciers is great here. You can take the trolley bus all over Juneau for $12 and get on and off if you wish. Rafting down the river from the Mendenhall Glacier can be fun.
Skagway: White Pass Railway has some great views and photo opportunities. Tours into the Yukon are also available here. Helicopter flights are big here. You can also take tours over to Haines from here. There is not much in Haines itself but they do have some good nature tours out of Haines.
Flight tours will be the most expensive with whale watches not far behind in price whether from the cruise line or from a private tour company. We originally found some of the local tours we take by sending for information from the area tourist bureau. There will be local people and tour stands set up in every port however some tours do fill up.
If you take a tour on your own make sure you have time to get back to the ship.
No ones mentioned horseback riding with Yukon Horseback Adventures with Southeast Tours. One big bonus - a narrated tour into the Yukon with photo opportunities galore. The best views of Emerald Lake from the hilltops back of the lake. Wow! They offer good service, friendly and informative. You can check out their services they now have their own website: www.yukonhorses.com or you can take the tour through Southeasttours. If you drive in yourself - I believe they can book you in advance, although, I am sure they can accommodate people who drop in. You can also check out Southeast Tours at www.southeasttours.com Enjoy whatever you decide and hope you have a wonderful experience like we did on our Alaskan trip!
Got tired of waiting to board Carnival Spirit to book excursions. I like cruising so that I
can get away from the rush of getting in line and the worry of whether or not I'll get the excursions I wanted.
I just booked all of my tours through Dolly Varden tours, and actually saved quite a bit of money.