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Old 06-25-2013, 10:44 AM   #1
peachygreen
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Private Alaskan Excursions - How far in advance did you book?

I know most require a deposit or to be paid in full at the time of booking (private excursions), so how far in advance do you need to book for excursions in Alaska? Are there certain excursions that sell out much faster than others?
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
AZMermaid
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We booked with Harv and Marv whale watching about 6 months ahead
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:20 AM   #3
jdb in AZ
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The best shore excursion we took in Alaska was a float plane trip to Misty Fjords out of Ketchikan. We booked it right on the dock that morning.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:27 AM   #4
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3-4 months for Chilkoot Charters and Tours and Rum Runner Charters
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:44 PM   #5
CruznLexi
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When I booked a whale watch tour years back I booked. 6 months out and they did not charge the card. For my deadliest catch tour I booked in mid march for July. I saved 30 per person.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:13 PM   #6
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I booked privately roughly 6 months in advance. Some excursions seem to be exactly the same as the Disney offerings, but usually cheaper, especially if you have an 11 or 1w year old. Disney considers 10 an adult, while most tour operators consider up to and including 12 a child. Good luck!!
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:16 PM   #7
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We booked ours back in January/February for August - we were able to book everything we wanted.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:53 PM   #8
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We originally booked all of our (non-Disney) excursions in Alaska months ahead of time like most of the other posters. Then, I tripped at work less than two weeks before we sailed and had a huge splint on my right hand that meant my excursion ability was severely limited (no zip-lining, no kayaking, etc). So we had to re-book. We were able to cancel all of the excursions with no penalty (since it was a medical issue), and found new excursions that I was able to do. So, although we were looking at some of the less-thrilling excursions (hiking, floating, salmon center, totem park), we had absolutely no problems booking excursions less than two weeks (I think we finalized the last one less than a week out) from sailing. Granted, we were two adults on the very first (and thus least crowded) sailing of the year, so your own experience may vary, but we were quite happy with all of our excursions and in the end, it was totally not a problem that we completely started our planning process over at basically days out.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:06 PM   #9
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We are going in late July and also booked Harv & Marv's 4-5 months in advance. The remainder of our excursions are through the ship.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZMermaid View Post
We booked with Harv and Marv whale watching about 6 months ahead
We also booked with Harv & Marv for our upcoming Alaska cruise back in January.

Could I ask you a question? I keep seeing other posts saying that the Harv & Marv bus picked them up at the dock - but our email confirmation says we should take a shuttle bus at the dock to the base of the tram that goes up the mountain & that's where the Harv and Marv bus will meet us. Is this what others are doing?
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:39 PM   #11
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We booked a whale watching excursion in Juneau with Orca Enterprises. I highly recommend! DCL docks at the AJ Dock which is farthest from the "end" or "beginning" of the docks (however you look at it) so DCL provides a free shuttle to where the tram is so ppl don't have to walk the entire length of the dock to the main pickup area for most excursions as well as "town". It's quite convenient but keep in mind the last shuttles to AJ are at 4:00 and its about a 20 minute walk. With a 4:30 on board, you'll want to be at the tram pickup at 4.....
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:01 PM   #12
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I booked chilkoot 6 months in advance, but some friends just booked 2 months out. The only issue was they wanted to do bus up and train down, but that itinerary was full.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:40 AM   #13
Tsunami
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbru View Post
We also booked with Harv & Marv for our upcoming Alaska cruise back in January.

Could I ask you a question? I keep seeing other posts saying that the Harv & Marv bus picked them up at the dock - but our email confirmation says we should take a shuttle bus at the dock to the base of the tram that goes up the mountain & that's where the Harv and Marv bus will meet us. Is this what others are doing?
Ours is at the dock. The confirmation says "We will be meeting you right outside your ship's disembarkation area. AJ - Alaska Juneau Dock. Disembark your ship and walk up the gangway. Once you reach the top you will be underneath a canopy. Turn right and follow the sidewalk 40 feet. You will see our representative holding signs."

We have a 9:50 tour time.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:00 AM   #14
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We couldn't get Chilkoot train up/bus down 2 months out.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsunami View Post
The confirmation says "We will be meeting you right outside your ship's disembarkation area. AJ - Alaska Juneau Dock. Disembark your ship and walk up the gangway. Once you reach the top you will be underneath a canopy. Turn right and follow the sidewalk 40 feet. You will see our representative holding signs."
This is what our Harv & Marv confirmation says too.
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