Please recommend side trips



We are going on an Alaskan Cruise on July 12 from Vancouver. I was hoping that everyone would recommend the one side trip that we should not miss on the way up. We are going on Carnival - Spirit and stopping in Ketchikan and Juneau and Skagway and Sitka. This is our first cruise and we are hoping for as many votes as possible. Thanks in advance for your help.


The one "can't miss" side trip I'd recommend on an Alaska cruise is a helicopter flight and landing on a glacier. We've done flights in Skagway and Juneau, and it was the highlight of each trip. We flew with Temsco each time, and booked directly with them, just walked into the flight office. Amazing views you'll not get otherwise.
The White Pass train ride in Skagway is very nice, but if the weather is cloudy, the views are more limited.
If it's clear in Juneau while you're there, be sure to take the tram up Mt. Roberts, a fun ride and great views there.
I wish I could do my first Alaska cruise again, you're going to have a great time! --Bob


I'm going to Alaska for my second time, later in August.

The White Pass train is really nice, especially if you don't want to expend a lot of energy (you of course sit the whole time..but get to see some spectacular scenery!)

The tram is nice, too -- we didn't do that last time, but are going to try to do it this time.

We'll be doing a whale watching excursion in Juneau. We didn't do that before, but everyone around us who did were exclaiming how wonderful it was.

If you're able to get to Haines (some of the cruise lines offer excursions there) it is quite a nice town, and you'll see lots of bald eagles. There are several quaint museums there. The tour my husband was on stopped at several of them, but only for a short time. He's going back to Haines this year "off tour" to spend more time there.


I did both the Temsco helicopter (Skagway) and a floatplane flightseeing tour (Ketchikan), and if I had to choose one, it would be the plane. I booked with an independent after scanning the boards - Island Wings. Michelle was great, flight time was long. We did have perfect weather, which apparently rarely happens in Ketchikan.


We really enjoyed a wildlife boat trip in Sitka, the train in Skagway, and the museum, shopping, and dinner in Juneau. Our accompanying friends think the helicopter landing on the glacier, from Juneau, was the high point of their trip.