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Inside Passage questions

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Netherlands
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Inside Passage questions

We have booked a day trip to go from Skagway to Juneau (and back) this summer, using Fjord Express.

As I’m thinking of maybe doing a proper Inside Passage cruise sometime in the future, I was wondering how experienced IP travellers would rate the Skagway to Juneau stretch compared to the entire IP route. Average in scenery compared to the rest of the route or better/worse?

Would doing the entire cruise (classic IP route, departing from Vancouver) add a lot of experiences I won’t be getting on the Skagway to Juneau trip? PS: I mean experiences during the cruise itself, not experiences in Vancouver.

I also wonder how much you actually get to see of the Skagway to Juneau stretch when travelling on one of the large cruise ships; looking at the Skagway cruise calendar it seems that almost all ships arrive and depart Skagway when it is dark outside? Maybe the same goes for other stretches?

Any input is appreciated.

Ingrid

Greater Sydney...
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1. Re: Inside Passage questions

G'day Ingrid,

You have correctly presumed that the cruise ships sail mainly at night between the ports of call. On a Vancouver round trip there is quite nice sailing on the first day between Vancouver Island and the mainland, and if you book the *right* cruise you will get to experience Glacier Bay National Park, and perhaps Tracy Arm or Icy Point.

The cruise offers the usual good dining and comfort, and casino and shows, neither of the latter had any interest for us.

haines, alaska
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2. Re: Inside Passage questions

Having made this same trip many times (on state ferry though not the Fjord Express) I think the scenery between Skagway and Juneau is definitely better that the rest of the inside passage, more glaciers and waterfalls......second only to Glacier Bay, if you take a cruise in the future, make sure that Glacier Bay is on your itenerary......

Netherlands
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3. Re: Inside Passage questions

Frommy and Mombear,

Thanks for your responses; they are really helpful!

I may reconsider my IP plans since I would primarily be going for the scenery, not for the meals on board :) Sailing mostly at night doesn't sound very appealing to me, even more so if this summer I will already be seeing (by day) what I now understand is a beautiful stretch of the route.

Ingrid

Phoenix
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4. Re: Inside Passage questions

We just returned from an inside passage cruise with the Diamond Princess. Most of the cruising between ports is done at night. I would choose your cruise depending upon which port of calls interest you. There are many excursions available at each port. We visited Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Since we did a southbound cruise we also got to spend a day cruising in Hubbarad Glacier area and a day cruising in the Glacier Bay. Trip of a life time. Amazing memories. If you need suggestions for in port excursions done pirvately vs. through the ship just ask me via PM and I'll tell you what we did. Also remember it doesn't really get "black" dark outside in the summer up in Alaska. The further north you venture, the brighter the night.

Champaign, Illinois
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5. Re: Inside Passage questions

what are your recommendations for shore excursions in Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan?

Phoenix
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6. Re: Inside Passage questions

my choices for excursions were

Skagway - Chilkoot Tour - white pass summit rail to Fraser BC /van back to town and then in afternoon Temsco Helicopter to top of glacier and dog sledding

Juneau - Harv and Marv whale watching, Mendenhall Glacier

Ketchikan - Anan bear observatory via floatplane (must have permit or find company ie Family Air that has one to go there). We were there July 16 and it was something I'll never forget!!!!!!!!!!!!

fti
MN
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7. Re: Inside Passage questions

>>what are your recommendations for shore excursions in Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan?

Welcome to TA.

Unfortunately our "recommendations" really might not help you much unless you know some of your interests. If someone else's recommendation is "Deadliest Catch tour" or "fishing" I can safely say, "Thank you but no thank you." If I told you a highlight of my time in Skagway was to hike the Upper Dewey Lake Trail, probably 5-7 hours depending on your ability and number of stops, wth an elevation gain of 3,100 feet, you might say to me, "Thank you but no thank you."

And though I loved Anan Creek and spent three nights/four days there in July (coming from Wrangell), I would never consider that as a day trip from Ketchikan solely based on the cost. We paid for two people for the entire four days about what it would cost for one person to fly there for the day from Ketchikan.

Edited: 01 August 2010, 21:59
8. Re: Inside Passage questions

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