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Local trips in Alaska?

Worksop
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Local trips in Alaska?

Hi - my husband and I are going on the Holland American Oosterdam on 22nd Sept, and wondered if anyone else was going???? If so, would you be interested in taxi sharing rather than paying extortionate ship tour prices.

Does anyone know if there are local companies in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria.

I know ship run tours are safe in case of unforeseen delays - but are so costly.

Thanks

Val

haines, alaska
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for Haines
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1. Re: Local trips in Alaska?

Val, there are taxi cabs at the dock in Juneau that rent by the hour that will give you guided tours........I think they are about $70 per hour or so........there are also the blue buses at the dock that can take you out to Mendenhall Glacier that run every half hour, $17 pp round trip.......

Many, many other tours available in all ports that are dependable and affordable........you do not need to book through your ship........"unforeseen delays" ??.....bet you heard that phrase from your cruise line agent....another one they use is "be sure and book ahead of time, because this tour gets sold out"......

Many cruisers have booked their excursions independently, directly through the provider and have had very memorable trips.....

Pick two or three of you ship excursions in each port that appeal to you, and post back here on the forums......you should get excellent suggestions from folks who have booked alternatives to what the ship offers, sometimes saving you money or at least pointing you towards less crowded excursions that will give you a better experience.......for example, whale watching is most often suggested for Juneau and by booking independently from the ship you will go out on a boat with fewer than 10 people, instead of the larger boats with as many folks as the cruiselines can cram on them......

Worksop
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14 posts
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2. Re: Local trips in Alaska?

Thank you Mombear, we appreciate your advice. Re the unforeseen delays, much to our embarrassment we really did nearly 'miss the boat'! My husband and I prefer to do our own thing, use local transport/people etc - we had been to Pisa and left ourselves plenty of time to get back, all was going well until the bus broke down, then it was one thing after another, the final straw was a parade in the local town meant that the taxi's would not take us, we had to get a policewoman to insist someone did - we got there just as the ropes were being released! We had been trying to contact the emergency numbers for about 3 hours, apparently no one checks to see if the telephone numbers are manned and actually work! (which they didn't) - so a warning to other shipmates - don't rely on the official numbers. Also, to be fair,re 'book now' many people couldn't go ashore in St Petersburg as the excursions were fully booked. Thanks again for taking the time to reply - I shall research the destinations and book with someone local. Val

haines, alaska
Destination Expert
for Haines
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7,095 posts
33 reviews
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3. Re: Local trips in Alaska?

Val, that sounds like a nightmare......but just to reassure you, there has never been anyone on an Alaskan cruise that has missed their sailing by taking a tour with an independent.........I recall one incident where a woman missed the boat, because she was shopping and had lost track of the time, but all local tour providers are very well aware of the ships' schedules, so you really don't need to worry......

Wasilla, Alaska
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for Alaska
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4. Re: Local trips in Alaska?

Have you visited the Cruise Critic boards for Alaska: boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=55

You'll find lots of threads there discussing this topic.

Chicago
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for Pompano Beach
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5. Re: Local trips in Alaska?

I toured Alaska independently last year with no issues in port. I wrote a detailed trip report earlier this year if you are interested. Also provided several reviews as well.

Edited: 24 August 2013, 18:37
6. Re: Local trips in Alaska?

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