Visiting Alaska is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! You’ll cherish your memories forever, so make sure that you do everything that you can while you are visiting. Activities abound with a wide range of options, from passive to active, so there’s truly something for everyone.
When you look at cruise line excursions, the long list of options can be overwhelming. I suggest that you pick out one or two of your “must-do” tours to pre-book, since some tours get sold out. In the ports where I don’t have an excursion booked, I enjoy hiking or wandering off the beaten path to interact with the locals. And while there are plenty of activities to do on the water, today I want to highlight the best Alaska shore excursions you can choose from on your trip!
Dog Sledding and Glacier Adventure: Imagine the excitement of flying in a helicopter over the Juneau icefield and then landing on a glacier for dog sledding, two of Alaska’s most iconic experiences. Yes, it’s expensive, but everyone who’s done it will tell you it was their absolute favorite experience, and well worth the cost.
Whale-watching Tour: Juneau is known for humpback whales and there’s no better way to see and learn about them than when you’re on a guided tour, led by a naturalist. In addition to whales, you’re sure to see harbor seals and sea lions. The trip usually lasts around four hours and most boats have both indoor and outdoor viewing areas.
White Pass and Yukon Railroad: This narrow-gauge railroad was built during the gold rush to get the miners up into the Canadian gold fields. As you ride in a vintage car, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of mountains, gorges, glacial rivers, and waterfalls as you climb nearly 3,000 feet to the summit of White Pass. Rather than doing a round-trip ride, I prefer to take the train in one direction and then a van or bus in the other direction, because you'll get another perspective from the road.
Icy Strait Point Excursions
Fishing, Hiking, and Nature Hikes: The small town of Hoonah is home to a cruise pier that has a limit of just two ships at a time, making it a refreshingly uncrowded stop. Fishing, kayaking, and nature hikes are some of the excursions at this port. If you are a thrill seeker, be sure to ride the Ziprider, where you’ll drop 1,320 feet in just one minute.
Misty Fjords National Monument by Seaplane - Ketchikan is known as one of the rainiest places in North America, with over 13 feet of rain every year. Fly above the rain in a floatplane to experience the glacier-carved fjords and rock walls jutting thousands of feet out of the ocean. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful - like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Some tours will land on a lake in Misty Fjords National Monument.
If exploring Alaska is on your bucket list, schedule an appointment today to plan your adventure of a lifetime!