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Need help for a last minute cruise

Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
21 posts
103 reviews
Need help for a last minute cruise

We are traveling on a last minute cruise to Alaska on Nieuw Amsterdam, so the stops are Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan. We have a two year old and need suggestion on excursions. I want things to be safe and because the weather is expected to be in 50s, nothing which exposes us to too much wind. Only thing I have come across is the White pass train. So, any suggestions on what to do is welcome. Also, should I buy the tickets for the train on my cruise?

Thanks everybody!

7 replies to this topic
fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
16,111 posts
33 reviews
1. Re: Need help for a last minute cruise

Who is "we"? Just two parents and a 2 year old? When are you traveling? Have you reviewed the shore excursions offered by the cruise lines? That is a great place to start. Then post back here with 2-3 in each port that might interest you. We can help you narrow down the choices from there.

If you booked the White Pass train through the ship, it picks you up at the cruise dock. Most the time those train cars are filled to capacity. If you don't mind walking a block or two, you can book the train independently. Often that gives you more room in the train cars since they are not usually filled to capacity. Another option is to book through a third party like Dyea Dave or Chilkoot Charter where you take the train one way and the road the other way.

Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
21 posts
103 reviews
2. Re: Need help for a last minute cruise

'We' is mother, father and an almost-2 year old. Sailing dates are May12-May19. Only things I think safe are Mendenhall Glacier & Whale Quest in Juneau + White pass train in Skagway the ones offered by the cruise. I was reading about Goldenbelt Mountroberts tramway, Glacier gardens rainforest adventure and visitors center all good for excursions with a small kid.

Do you think the whale watching is safe enough for a kid? Will it be a bigger vessel? And it says about 5 hours?

And will it be easier if I book it through the cruise?

About White Pass train, I want it be as short as possible. So, a to-fro in train would be 3.5 hours in total? What is the best time to travel? We certainly don't mind walking to buy tickets.

Thanks fti!!!

Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
21 posts
103 reviews
3. Re: Need help for a last minute cruise

Also, how cold is it actually going to be during that time?

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
6,512 posts
4. Re: Need help for a last minute cruise

I think a 2 year old would be bored stiff on a whale watching tour. And some of the small boats won't take young kids, so be sure to check that out.

If you do the whale-watch, I suggest you do it separately. Then if the 2 year old is fed up, you can go back to the ship for a rest. A $35 taxi will get you to Mendenhall Glacier (from the cruise ship--if your child is still up for it, take the taxi from the whale watching boat to save time and money) and you can spend as much (or as little) time there as your 2 year old can cope with. At least there he can run around a bit.

Michigan
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
3,204 posts
264 reviews
5. Re: Need help for a last minute cruise

You might want to consider renting a car in Juneau. That way you would have more flexibility with your two year old. You could drive to Mendenhall Glacier and take in as much as your daughter's attention and wakefulness will allow. They have a lovely visitor center there that is worth a visit, plus some trails.

You could drive along the Glacier Hwy and stop at the Shrine of St Therese. It is a lovely tranquil spot to visit.

A stop at the Eagle Beach Recreation Area might appeal to you.

…alaska.gov/parks/…eaglebeachsra.htm

You could drive over to Douglas Island to check out the ruins of Treadwell Gold Mine if that is of interest.

Edited: 02 May 2018, 15:36
Michigan
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
3,204 posts
264 reviews
6. Re: Need help for a last minute cruise

Skagway: I would also suggest renting a car in Skagway and traveling the Klondike Highway. You can pull off the road for your child to stretch their legs. You might enjoy a stop at Caribou Crossing.

http://www.cariboucrossing.ca/dog-cart.html

If you can make it all the way to Emerald Lake it will be worth it if you are someone who enjoys beautiful scenery.

You will need your passports to drive into Canada, so make sure to bring those if you decide to do this trip.

Depending on your interests, here is a walking map/guide for Skagway:

skagway.com/wp-content/…walkingtourmap.pdf

Ketchikan: Ketchikan has a self-guided walking tour.

insightcruises.com/pdf/ketchikan_maps_walkto…

They have a great museum:

https:/…ketchikan

I am not personally keen on going to Lumberjack Shows, but I know children often enjoy them, as well as many adults:

https://alaskanlumberjackshow.com/

I am sure you can find things that appeal to your family, so you can make the most of your visit to Alaska. Enjoy your time there and please let us know how the trip went.

Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
21 posts
103 reviews
7. Re: Need help for a last minute cruise

Thank you all for the suggestions. In Juneau, we have rented a car and will be doing Mendenhall Glacier, St.Therese, Glacier Gardens rain forest and Mt.Roberts tram.

For Skagway, we have decided on a tour. Would you suggest City and Mountain Summit Shore Excursion in Skagway or Skagway Shore Excursion: Half-Day Tour to the Yukon Border for better views?

Thanks everybody for the great help.

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