It depends on what you're interested in - "best" for me may very well not be best for you. Mine are anything that includes a flight, the WP&YR railway at Skagway, and whale watching at Hoonah (Icy Strait Point) or Juneau.
We enjoyed the drive to Emerald Lake out of Skagway. We enjoyed the helicopter/glacier trek we did in Juneau. We enjoyed the whale watch in Juneau. We enjoyed the float plane to the Misty Fjords in Ketchikan. In other words..........I can't really say what my top 3 would be --- we are going back again and this time have added a week pre-cruise so we can explore interior Alaska. We're headed to Seward and Homer and may also get up to Denali.
I just got back from a 7 day cruise on NCL's Pearl and the number one thing I did was the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour in Ketchikan. Totally cool experience! The fishermen, the sealife and the bald eagles made this a once in a lifetime experience.
Number two was this little restaurant in Skagway called Starfire....found some of the best Thai food I have ever tasted! After several days of decent, but bland, ship food, StarFire was a revalation!
You should also definitley go whale watching at some point during your cruise...we saw a mother and a calf fully breaching along with sea lions and orcas...also very cool!
Bring a rain jacket and dress in layers and most of all...enjoy!
My husband and I are considering this exact excursion. Can you tell me the pros and cons of it? Its a bit higher than we wanted to pay for 1 excursion but I am trying to justify the cost! you can email me at well at firstname.lastname@example.org
I just got back from a south bound on Celebrity from Seward to Vancouver. We did a trip in all ports except Icy Strait. In Juneau, the helicopter trip to Herbert glacier was the hightlight of the trip. I can't remember the name of the company, but there are several to choose from. Also did whsat I would call a whale glancing trip. We saw whales but they were quite a ways off. Still worth it I guess. A Flight to Misty Fjords on a sea plane was good even thought we went through some clouds and it rained a bit. Other pelple went on wildlife excurstions and they talked very highly of their experiences. So, it depends what you are interested in. There is a logger show in Ketichican(SP) and city tours in all ports. Then there are the Zip lines if you are into some excitment. Hope you have as much fun as we did. Almost forgot about the Yucon rail and bus trip. We went all the way to Emerald Lake (BEAUTIFUL), had lunch at a lodge and went on a trip on a summer sled pulled by huskies. OUTSTANDING.
We just returned and we did Whale Watching with Weatherpermitting and it was wonderful. Capt. Gregg was great. His wife traveled with us. I would definitely do a whale watch. Also look up Weatherpremitting they were just wonderful. They only do one trip a day and will do what ever time works for you. They also dropped us off at Mendenhal Glacier after we were done.....
Are you booking through a cruiseline? Don't see which one, but here's some suggestions... these are all good
â€¢ Holland America offers a Denali Excursion by Helicopter, priced at $319 per person. This 1.5 hour excursion (50 minute flight) offers a birdâ€™s eye view of the famed Denali National Park and towering Mt. McKinley.
â€¢ Princess offers the Whales & Glaciers Citizen Science Adventure, lasting 3.5 hours and currently priced at $189. â€œCitizen scientistsâ€ collect water samples, net plankton and record humpback whale and other marine wildlife behavior, to document variables that affect Alaskaâ€™s marine ecosystem.
â€¢ Carnival Cruise Lines offers a 3.5 hour excursion for fans of the Discovery Channelâ€™s â€œDeadliest Catchâ€ program, $170. The Bering Sea Crab Fishermanâ€™s Tour, visits the waters of Southeast Alaska in the F/V Aleutian Ballad, the vessel featured on the second season of the Discovery Channel's â€œDealiest Catchâ€.
IMHO, in Juneau the Mendenhall Glacier and the whale watching double excursion is my all time favorite excursion! Between the bears, salmon, eagles, butterflies, seals, sealions and the awesome views there is no comparison. The visitor center and gift shop at the glacier is a don't miss.
Everyone has different likes and dislikes. Here are a few more to consider ...
White Pass & Yukon Railway (seeing a trend here?)
Anything that includes panning for gold
Dog sled & musher's camp
Victoria - Buchard Gardens / Orca watching
Vancouver - Olympic Park
Just my opinion; then again, I am a Sourdough (I lived up there for a few years).