We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Pre-Paid Cruise Excursion and Tours Vs Renting A Car

Which Ketchikan hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
California
Level Contributor
242 posts
104 reviews
Save Topic
Pre-Paid Cruise Excursion and Tours Vs Renting A Car

I will be on an Alaska Cruise at the begginning of September. The following ports are in my Itinerary: Ketchikan from 6:30-2:00 p.m., Juneau from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. and Skagway from 7:00-8:30 p.m. I am trying to save some money if possible by deciding Excursions offered by the cruise lines VS possibly renting my own car and doing my own tours. I will be carrying GPS system on my I-Phone, and a Garmin as a backup, digital camera and a good set of binoculars. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Lake Tahoe...
Level Contributor
8,764 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Pre-Paid Cruise Excursion and Tours Vs Renting A Car

whatever - kind of hard to do some of these activities with a car such as the White Pass train at Skagway or whale watching in Juneau. Leave your GPS at home as kind of hard to get lost on Alaska Roads

haines, alaska
Destination Expert
for Haines
Level Contributor
7,037 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Pre-Paid Cruise Excursion and Tours Vs Renting A Car

What are you wanting to see and do ?......Are you traveling alone?.....with kids ?

I really don't think you need GPS or Garmin......the only port town you will be in that has a road out is Skagway and you will know you are going out of town when you hit the Canadian border.......just ask for a street map from the agency you rent the car from.......also if you decide to rent a car, be sure to reserve one ahead of time......

Weather in September will be getting cooler and often more rainy, so traveling at your own pace in the comfort of your own rental car would really be beneficial........

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
3,796 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Pre-Paid Cruise Excursion and Tours Vs Renting A Car

It depends on which sights and activities interest you in each port. You need to learn more about each destination and figure out what you want to do. If you do a little research you'll find independent tour operators to use instead taking the ships excursions. An independent may or may not be cheaper; sometimes the advantage of an independent is that you're travelling with a much smaller group. In some instances having a car can replace an excursion. ie if the train in Skagway is too pricey, you can rent a car and drive to the Yukon. (be sure to take your passport).

Borrow an Alaska travel book from your library; lean about each port to determine what you want to see and do. Join tripadvisor's sister site, www.cruisecritic.com which is all about cruising. Read the MEMBER REVIEWS forum and participate in your ship's Roll Call so you can 'talk to' people you will be sailing with. Have fun with your planning!

Ketchikan
Destination Expert
for Ketchikan
Level Contributor
2,243 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Pre-Paid Cruise Excursion and Tours Vs Renting A Car

Really, really depends upon your interests. I host guests each summer and find plenty to see and do with them without fancy tours. I know what they cost cruise ship passengers and there are almost always local alternatives and/or other delightful and mostly free ways to enjoy a day in Ketchikan. That said, I think some opportunities are worth the cash and they include kayaking trips, flying or boating out to Misty Fjords if you enjoy real wilderness scenery, the Duck Tour is fun for the whole family and the very goofy and charming Lumberjack Show which is quite the bargain comparatively. My family focuses on the local museums, walking tour, totem parks, beaches, shops and fish n chips with guests, all of which are accessible by foot or bus and quite cheap.

Gilbert, Arizona
Level Contributor
158 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Pre-Paid Cruise Excursion and Tours Vs Renting A Car

All I have to say is the train trip to the Yukon Territory with lunch at Bennett was worth every penny! It was gorgeous. We were on a Princess cruise and did two tours in Skagway and Juneau...great! No worries about anything! Would never rent a car on a trip like this....but that's us.

Lake Tahoe...
Level Contributor
8,764 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Pre-Paid Cruise Excursion and Tours Vs Renting A Car

Assume you also viewed the townsite after lunch, and perhaps see some of the backpackers completing their hike over the Chilkoot Trail. Also, meeting train from Carcross before your train left.

Gilbert, Arizona
Level Contributor
158 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Pre-Paid Cruise Excursion and Tours Vs Renting A Car

I mentioned this to my husband and he agrees about not driving. There is so much to see but you can't when you're driving. The drivers and guides know where to pull over and little tidbits of local lore and information. I'd just suck it up, get my finance charges down and enjoy the shore excursions...what if you have a breakdown up in the Yukon? Miss your sailing time? Not cool. Good luck!

8. Re: Pre-Paid Cruise Excursion and Tours Vs Renting A Car

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 09 July 2013, 21:16