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getting off the ship and finding tour vendors

Discussion in 'Alaska & Pacific Northwest Ports' started by dusty, Jun 17, 2004.

  1. dusty

    dusty Guest

    i know that there are tour vendors waiting to take passengers on a tour when you get off the ship. what has been anyones experience with getting good ones and having openings on things to do. we might try this next may and are wondering what our chances of getting a tour in will be. there will only be 2 ships in port with us on any given port day ( skagway, juneau, ketchikan. ). we will not be doing a whale watch or floatplane tour so we are not worried about not getting booked for one of them.

    how about the train ride in skagway?

    has anyone done this before because you wanted to make sure of the weather before you scheduled anything? that is my friends point of view on doing it that way?

    thanks for any experiences you have had.
  2. PEB

    PEB Guest

    I always book my tours in advance. The only difference in weather to affect a tour would be rain or fog and the only tour that will not go in these conditions is a flight tour. Any rain will not be torential downpours they will be a light rain. If there is a specific tour you really want to take I would book it in advance even if it is through a private outfit and not through the cruiseline.

    Consider this you can go on a tour and the weather may be hot with a lot of sunshine, while anywhere on an Alaskan cruise the weather can change in minutes and I do mean minutes. In other words what have you gained by waiting until the last minute to book a tour once you get to the port? You will not be able to even count on the weather staying great through the complete tour. You can count on seeing some great things through the complete tour rain or shine.

    I have been on a tour where it was in the seventies and the sun was shining within minutes the fog rolled in and the rain hit and than minutes later the sun was back out. This was all on a 2 hour tour.

    I would rather know I had a tour lined up than to get on shore and hope that there is an opening with a tour. JMHO
  3. cruisegary

    cruisegary Guest

    There were 5 ships in Ketchikan (2 were half day each) and when we walked into the visitor center on the pier, they were all trying to sell tours. You should not (but could) have no problem. We waiting and got off the ship around 11am and had at least three companies trying to book flights for us.

    We opted for Michelle since she has been talked up on these boards. You can buy train tickets on the pier or in town for the White Pass - we opted out since we have been on lots of trains on on top of lots of mountains - though I am sure it is nice, but $90 bucks each did not sway us. We did a free walking tour in town with the park rangers.

    Sorry to bore you if you read about this the other two times I posted it.
  4. dusty

    dusty Guest

    thanks for the advice. my friend who is going with me cant decide what she wants to do and wanted me to find out what anyone thought of this idea. i like to book in advance and will convince her this is the way we should go.

    cant wait for the next 10 1/2 months too go by.
  5. boatnik

    boatnik Guest

    Do such vendors ever offer tours at a cheaper price???
  6. dusty

    dusty Guest


    that is a good question. i hope someone can tell us. it would be nice huh ??
  7. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    I tried to barter (just for fun) in a few places, but not for tours mind you. Got that "Are you out of your mind look" from the merchants. They do not seem to have the same sence of "doing business" as those warm water countrys.
  8. PEB

    PEB Guest

    Yes some of the local tours can be cheaper but it depends on the type tour. A popular tour is going to cost whether it is from the ship on from a private vendor. Just like anything else it is supply and demand.
  9. gazingm42

    gazingm42 Guest

    When the weather can be questionable at times in Alaska. I like the idea of winging
    it and get what you can. The only tour we have booked is Captian Larry Whale watching

    Since DW and I love to hike and photograph to outdoors. We figure if it great weather
    when we arrive and can not get a tour. We will hike several of the trails outside
    of the ports. Thus we can see Alaska up close and get the shots we really like to

    I have a friend last year did the same. When they got to skagway they got the train
    ticketts 2 for 1 at the port.

    Have Fun!
  10. Marion Paris

    Marion Paris Guest

    Wow - never heard of the 2 for 1 tickets.

    I would like to luck out and get the same offer. The only thing we have booked is Captain Larry in Juneau - we will wing the rest of our trip. Leaving on July 5th on the Regal Princess out if San Francisco, can't wait!

    Thanks for all the comments :dance
  11. sjmcneil

    sjmcneil Guest

    I noticed that you will be sailing on the NCL Spirit next week. I am going on September 4th with my dad. My sisters and I (I have 4 sisters) are sending my dad on the cruise for his 65th retirement birthday. I would appreciate any helpful hints, ship review, etc. once you return. HAPPY SAILING!
  12. dusty

    dusty Guest

    we might wing it at least one port. it will add to the aventure of the trip. and if we cant get on a tour we want we can always SHOP. i know i will be able to book that hehehehe.
  13. nona

    nona Guest

    You can get a better deal sometimes by calling the company direct. Most of them are on the Internet. For instance Adventure Bound Alaska will give you a $15 per person discount for booking this winter and paying in full.
    Between the ships and the agents, the owners of the boat only get about 50% of what you pay. If you want to deal, go right to the company.
    For a free booklet, try calling the Juneau convention and visitor's bureau.
  14. dusty

    dusty Guest


    hey there-- you are helping me out again. this is a good board huh? i will go to the site you mentioned and see what happens. there is just so many really good things to do in each port it is hard to decide what to pick and how to do all the ones we want to do. it will be a great trip and i am ready to go. talk to you again soon.
  15. Night rider

    Night rider Guest

    Hi it sounds like the weather thing is a concern, remember if you go into the Yukon there is a lot less fog and rain. The mountain range separates Alaska and Yukon. We went on the Yukon tour to Emerald Lake which was fantastic. The weather was poor in Skagway and the pass was full of fog but when we got over the mountains the weather was clear and sunny. I hear it is like that most of the time in the Yukon. The Yukon horseback to Emerald lake is pretty unbeatable, we researched it and found consistantly excellant reviews on it, well worth the time and money.

    Good luck...
  16. Irish Lassie

    Irish Lassie Guest

    How can you find out how many ships will be in port at the same time???
    I will be sailing on RCCL Radiance on September 17th and this might be useful information!!

  17. Irish Lassie

    Irish Lassie Guest

    How can you find out how many ships will be in port at the same time???
    I will be sailing on RCCL Radiance on September 17th and this might be useful information!!

  18. gateso

    gateso Guest

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