Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan - what to do?



We are going to Alaska in July with the new Island Princess. We want to do many excursions. Helicopter (Pilot's choice in Juneau) - Kayak (Tatoosh Islands in Ketchikan) and MAYBE deep sea halibut fishing in Skagway. Has anyone done these particular trips and what would changes should we make?

We could do the helicopter ride in Skagway - because there are many more options for us in Juneau - but not sure which place would be the best for the price.

Thanks for any input. Susan


I have done the helicopter ride in Juneau and the Kayak in Ketchikan. I had a great time on both. The only thing that would prevent me from doing the Kayak again is the fact that I have bad knees and it was hard on me in the kayak. With bad knees and long legs I didn't fit very well in the Kayak. I still had a lot of fun though.

I haven't don the fishing in Skagway. I grew up in a family of commercial fisherman so fishing is not high on my list of fun things to do LOL.

If you like to fish keep the tours the way you have them. You can always go back and do something different the next time as I always do.


We have done the whale watching in Juneau twice now with a 3rd time booked for Sept this year with Captain Larry at Orca enterprises. I believe Peb has done this trip also.
Wondeful trip, but then I'm sure the helicopter ride is also :)


I read a review that recommended renting a car in Skagway. They said the road they traveled ran parallel to the train but they were able to stop whenever and to go a little further AND they enjoyed a picnic along the way. They said you have to reserve a car in advance because if you wait till that day, you won't find one, but didn't say who from (and I wonder too how many car rentals places are in Skagway) or how much. They did say it was cheaper than the train excursion and a very pleasant experience.

Any thoughts about this? Pros or cons?


We are taking the water taxi to Haines and renting an Avis car to go up the valley of the eagles this time.

Last year we took the rafting tour from "Dolly Varden" which is an independent tour operator and really got our moneys worth. Almost half of the cruise lines price.

Haines is only a half hour away on the ferry and it is a beautiful trip.

Renting the car in Skagway is also good but you miss the perspective from the train.

Princess has an excursion that takes you into the Yukon eat lunch and return by train. This is the best of both worlds.

Enjoy your trip


I really enjoyed the train because of both the scenery and the narrative. I think there would be a lot of missed history if you skipped the train.......everyone should do it once! :)


We are traveling as a family of 4 and due to the $$ cost of excursions we have reserved a car in Skagway. Avis is the main rental agency..there is also a company called sourdough rentals. Checking on google for klondike highway 2 should bring up several photo travelogues..with mile by mile listings of where to stop and what to see. Rental car (intermediate) is @$65 for the day there.

Chris Mitchell


Hi there,
We just got back. We did the Saxman Village in Ketchikan....interesting...
In Junuea we went on a whale watch and because of bad weather all the flight seeing tours and helicopter landings were cancelled. There was a lot of very disappointed people. Some got out late in the PM but most did not. We loved the train ride in Skagway. We did the 4 hour up and back trip. It was a beautiful day and the information given was terrific. WE still had plenty of time to come back and have lunch and then walk into Skagway and shop and look around town. Glacier Bay was beauiful and College Fjord even better. Have a great time.


I'd be sure to do a whale-watching excursion somewhere, unless you see tham at home!!! That was the best part of our whole trip!!! We did it in Juneau (booked through Princess) and saw them do a lot of lunge feeding and breaching. It took our breaths away!!!


Capt Larry / Awesome Orca for whale watching in Juneau is great.

I love the trip up into the Yukon from Skagway, you see way more than on the train. I've done this excursion twice and it's one of my favorites in any port. I've travel alone so I take the ship tours as cost is about the same ,but renting a car with multple people would be the best option. Be sure and get all the way up to Emerald lake as it's really something to see.