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“Yukon Adventure”
Review of Al Can Exposure - CLOSED

Al Can Exposure
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
West Orange, NJ
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Yukon Adventure”
Reviewed 12 August 2013 via mobile

We spent a lovely day with Howard last week. Howard has lived in Alaska for many years and is a retired engineer - so he has an interesting perspective. Howard made sure we saw all of the important sites and had knowledgable answers to all our questions. Howard is an older gentleman- i would characterize him as somewhat set in his ways and quite a character! Howard did forget to use his microphone / amplifier for the beginning of the tour and then had a bit of trouble getting it to work properly. He was happy to stop whenever we liked for photo ops and knew all of the best vantage points. We did see several large tour buses and Howard definitely has an aversion to them, but he stopped wherever and whenever we liked. Howard was determined that we see some wildlife. Thank goodness some Caribou showed up or we might still be out there! Overall, we had a great time seeing the spectacular Yukon!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank merylaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

12 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oak Hills, California
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Can't recommend”
Reviewed 28 July 2013

Trip Advisor is my go to website to research everything about where we are travelling to. I had seen this excursion on our cruise ship but the idea of a private tour instead of a large bus tour was very appealing. Howard only had 5 reviews at the time but they were all 5 star reviews so I felt pretty good about booking his tour. He said he would pick us up in the cruise ship parking lot at 7:45 that morning. We were there at 7:45, looking all over for his green Suburban, but no Howard. There was another parking lot adjacent to our ship and we even looked there- no Howard. I finally called him around 8:30 and he seemed confused. Turns out he had parked somewhere different but said he would come get us. At that time, he asked if we would mind sharing the tour with other people. Apparently he had booked our group of 4 and this other group of 2 for the same day ( so much for the private tour). This meant 3 people were in the 3rd seat, 2 people in the middle seat, and 1 person with Howard up front. Howard said we could split the cost of the tour between us since it was a flat rate for 1-6 people. We all agreed and finally got on our way around 8:45.
First off, Howard doesn't like crowds. He likes to get an early start to get ahead of the other tours (which I totally understand) but he was the reason we got the late start. If other tour buses were at the location he usually stopped at he wanted to pass that location up and try and get it on the way back. If he did stop, he would complain about how long it was going to take for our group to be able to get the picture we wanted. He never said "hurry up" but that's how it felt at times. It was difficult for the people in the third row to get out so after the first few stops they didn't even get out of the car for many of the scenic locations.
There was a lot of fog on our way out of town so we had to pass a lot of things up, hoping the weather was better on our way back. He would say "Remind me to stop there on the way back." How can I remind you about something I don't know about? He spent a lot of time bad mouthing other tours (the train, suspension bridge, bicycle and jeep tours especially), constantly reminding us of how much better it was to be with him, for that flat rate, and all the stuff we'd get to see that others wouldn't. He talked plenty on the way up to the Yukon, but it was more like stuff that just popped in his head instead of an organized narrative of our journey.
We saw no wildlife at all. I realize he has no control over that, and he said it was the first time he hadn't seen any wildlife on one of his tours. What I didn't like was his comment on the way back that he needed to concentrate on driving so it was up to us to spot any wildlife. Not an easy thing to do when you're zipping down the mountain at 60 mph. Several times we asked him to stop at a glacier on our way back that had been hidden by fog on the way up. He never did stop there.
When we got back to town, there was a problem with settling up for the balance of the tour. The original arrangement was when booking we paid a deposit (as did the other couple that we split the tour with) so we felt that what we owed him was the balance left after deducting the 2 deposits. He insisted that the balance due was more than that (his figure only took into account 1 deposit, not both). All 4 adults tried to rationally explain to him that his figure did not take into account the deposits left by both groups but he wouldn't budge. He became very angry and rude, and was very belligerent, refusing to even listen to us when we tried multiple times to explain that he wasn't taking both deposits into account. We didn't have a problem paying what we felt we owed him, but certainly had no desire to pay him more.
The bottom line is this. Overall we felt rushed. Everytime we wanted to stop for pictures there was grumbling if other people were there. Our stop at Carcross Desert was long enough to get out, take 1 or 2 pictures and get back in. No walking around on the desert sand. We were there literally 2 minutes. Emerald Lake was beautiful, and I think we were there 5 minutes. I don't need an hour at each location, but 10-15 minutes at the major stops would have been nice. We didn't even get a chance to have our picture taken at the Welcome to Alaska sign because another bus pulled in right when we did and he didn't want to stay. He was definitely in a hurry to get back to town. I really wish we would have had the experience that the other reviewers had. Even if the money thing at the end hadn't of happened I would have still been disappointed in this tour. If I could do it again, I would have rented a car and driven myself or booked a different tour. It just didn't live up to our expectations.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank busteezmama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairns, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“The best day excursion of our cruise!!”
Reviewed 30 June 2013

Ditto to the previous reviews of this day trip!! We had a most enjoyable, scenic and informative tour with Howard and Barry and it was great value for money! There were only the 4 of us (though his very comfotable car holds 6) so it was private and we were able to stop off at many scenic spots to take photos. Howard spotted some Dahl Sheep on the side of the hill and we were also lucky enough to see bears! Emerald Lake is just stunning and the wonderful scenery endless! At our request, we were dropped back into town for a peruse and it was then just a short walk back to the cruise ship.
Loved this tour and you will too!!!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Michaela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, NE
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Add another 5 stars”
Reviewed 10 June 2013

Whenever we go on vacation, I check out Trip Advisor for things to do and maps and such. This time I came upon this trip to the Yukon and after looking up the scenery and checking prices for different tours, I booked this one from Howard. (the owner) There were 5 of us on this trip and we were all blown away by the scenery and the knowledge that Howard and Barry had concerning this drive into the Yukon. (Barry was the driver that day, but Howard rode along, too) We were met by them at the cruise ship pier about 2 or 3 blocks from the ship. The ship ran late getting us into port and I was kind of concerned about whether they would still be waiting for us, but they were there. We had a quick introduction and headed off because they wanted to get a head start on the tour buses. The trip was beautiful and they took it at our pace. If we wanted to stop to see something, we were told it was no problem. They also told us if the day got a little long, that would be okay, too. One of the things I enjoyed was how much they really love doing this trip. Howard told us it was his way of living the dream.
On the way there, we stopped to take pictures at the sign to welcome people to the Yukon and then several more times to admire the stunningly beautiful vistas. We saw mountain sheep but they were quite high on the mountain. We saw a porcupine and although we looked for bear, we didn't come across any. We got to Emerald Lake and the scenery just took our breath away. WOW! We ate lunch in Carcross and spent some time there and we got our passports stamped and then began the return trip. We stopped a few times on the way back, which allowed everyone time to stretch. As we were driving back we did see three bears; a mother and two cubs up on a rocky outcrop so we stopped to observe for awhile. We didn't get to sit for long because we were on the highway. When we got back to Alaska, we stopped to take pictures at the sign that said welcome to Alaska. We had no problems at the borders for either Alaska or Canada. When we got back to Skagway, we went to an area where you could look down on the town and the cruise ship. It was a very nice overlook and, of course, we took pictures there. Howard then took us to his place where he stamped our passports with his own Mile 0 stamp. (very nice) Some of us chose to be dropped off in town while the others wanted to be dropped off at the ship and that was no problem. It was a lovely trip and we had a beautiful, clear day to soak in all the beauty of the drive there and back. We were out with them about 6-7 hours but it went by very fast because there's so much to see.
I would suggest if anyone has mobility problems, to check with Howard before you go as his vehicle is a Suburban and if there are more than three or four people, someone has to take the backseat, so are climbing in and out at stops.
Definitely bring your camera, the views are fantastic. Either be prepared to buy your lunch or bring one along and then just enjoy!
Would definitely recommend.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank RandRColumbus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cape coral florida
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
“add my 5 stars to the others”
Reviewed 26 June 2012

This was a wonderful trip for the 4 of us in Howard Mallory's clean and spotless vehicle. He picked us up at the dock in Skagway for our drive up the Klondick Highway to Emerald Lake. Our return trip was by the White Pass and Yukon Railroad from Fraser into Skagway. A former engineer Howard was a wealth of knowledge and coordinated our visit with the printout I had made from the Skagwaynews.com. We saw a bear eating dandelions near our vehicle and Howard had the amazing ability to spot mountain goats by eyesight that required our use of binoculars!! He insured that we stopped where we wanted to and this was quite a plus as we observed other tourist bus, vans and jeeps zoom by with their passengers. He is a careful and conscientious driver and we felt quite safe with him. This was, in effect, a private tour. His vehicle can hold 6 persons quite comfortably and he charges a set price for 1 to 6 persons. I remember our stop at a mountainside stream where we emptied our cruise-ship water bottles and filled them with the COLDEST clean water that stayed cold for hours. Yeah, we got a little wet but these are the things one enjoys when you travel in a small group. Yep,you will stop at all the signs for pictures and take pictures of some of the most gorgeous scenery you will ever see in your life. At the end of our rail trip in Skagway he was actually waiting for us and we visited his family for a bit. In a heartbeat, I would make this trip again...and with him. Many thanks.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank whiteshadow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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