favorite Alaska excursions

OffToDWD

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2014
Book our first Alaska cruise this morning and I'm already obsessively looking at the excursion options! Too excited!

What are your favorite excursions? We have 2 kids who will be 9 and 14. Also, did you book thru Disney or did it on your own?

Many thanks!!!
 

PrincessShmoo

DIS veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Book our first Alaska cruise this morning and I'm already obsessively looking at the excursion options! Too excited!

What are your favorite excursions? We have 2 kids who will be 9 and 14. Also, did you book thru Disney or did it on your own?

Many thanks!!!
I like the White Pass Railroad. But, we didn't sail with kids. It would depend on your kid's interests whether they're up for a full day trip on an old train.
 

WDWEPCOT

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 2, 2009
Dig sledding on the glacier
Can’t go wrong with anything in Alaska
One of the few places I would be completely comfortable booking on my own and I’m a faithful Disney user but Alaska is super easy to do on your own
Enjoy your cruise by far it’s my favorite !!!
 

OffToDWD

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2014
Dig sledding on the glacier
Can’t go wrong with anything in Alaska
One of the few places I would be completely comfortable booking on my own and I’m a faithful Disney user but Alaska is super easy to do on your own
Enjoy your cruise by far it’s my favorite !!!
Thanks! My little one has been reading a lot about sled dogs and would love that!!

When you booked on your own, was there any specific tour company that you loved and stood out?
 

TeaWithOtters

Mine! Mine! Mine!
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
I just book Alaska for August 2022 - have only done that cruise once before and I am so excited! Thanks for the suggestions on here. I was interested in the White Pass Railway - love to hear what people thought of it
 

Ronneeaght

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 30, 2018
I like the White Pass Railroad. But, we didn't sail with kids. It would depend on your kid's interests whether they're up for a full day trip on an old train.
I'd second both the recommendation for the White Pass Railroad and the caveat that it depends on your kids. It was our favorite excursion pre-kids, but I've pretty much never met a historical education opportunity + mountainous tree views that I didn't like, lol. When we go back with kids we'll do a few local train rides first to try to predict how they would do.
 

  • EXCLUSIVE - Dreams Unlimited Travel Gift Basket!
    Book your Disney Cruise Line vacation through Dreams Unlimited Travel and receive an exclusive, complimentary Gift Basket. This Gift Basket is a result of client feedback as well as posts from DISboards.com; we call it our “What you didn't know you needed on a Disney Cruise Kit”.
    Click Here for Details

  • Ronneeaght

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2018
    Adding a bit more about WPR for those following along, we did the train up /bike down and LOVED it. The train car was just for those biking so it was sparsely populated and we were able to move from side to side depending on where the points of interest were. We also got to spend a lot of time on the train car's "porch" since we were sharing with so few people. And the bike down was just beautiful.

    ETA: you might be able to get a similarly less crowded car with a different excursion than just biking as well. I think there are some that drive up or back and stop at Emerald Lake, etc. Not sure if they also reserve their own train car. Others might be able to weigh in.
     

    Lumpy1106

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2010
    It's been years, but we booked our AK Disney Cruise through AAA. It was absolutely painless. As for excursions, MAN are those pricey! I would say our favorite was the dog sled training on Douglas Island (Juneau). You get to see the puppies, go for a dry-land dogsled ride and climb around on these cool treehouse structures. We enjoyed just strolling around in Ketchikan and Skagway. We did the salmon bake in Skagway and that was OK - not really memorable. LOTS of people did the train ride in Skagway. We took a pass due to the cost - otherwise that looked like fun. Same for the helicopter ride over the glacier in Juneau. I would NOT do the Mendenhall glacier tour or the raft trip in Juneau. Reason being, we have friends in Juneau and got to see those things when visiting them. The buses from the cruise ships do not stay at the Mendenhall glacier very long - you might be able to jog to the face of the glacier and back but that would be about it. The raft trip is likewise pretty short - you are better off finding a white water raft trip near where you live and doing that instead. It would be far less pricey and more enjoyable. You will also likely stop in Victoria Canada - don't do any excursions there. You are there long enough to have a nice dinner - not much longer. Victoria is likewise very walk-able.
     

    TikiThunderPirates

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2018
    Favorite? All of them! Ok really..... Helicopter ride and walk on a glacier tour. We did this in Skagway, and it was our absolutely favorite experience. Drinking glacier water on a glacier. Amazing.

    We also did the Small boat tour experience on Tracy Arm day, and that was well worth the cost for us. It was so great to get so up close and personal with the glacier and get away from the craziness we could see on the Wonder as we pulled away. So many people fighting for railing space.

    In Juneau we took a float plane tour and landed at Taku Glacier lodge for lunch and time to explore. Super memorable, great food, and we saw bears. Also saw mosquitoes the size of humming birds......

    In Ketchikan we went on our own and hiked up into the rainforest. Not for the faint of heart (and I wouldn't recommend the trail we took for anyone with kids, mobility issues, or isn't an experienced back woods hiker - not us. We thought it would be easy enough, it was tough.

    We booked everything through DCL. The Port Adventure on Tracy arm day had to be booked through them. With our other two port adventures being flight related, we felt safer knowing if things get delayed we would have some help getting back to the boat! The tour company actually have protocols set up for if you have to spend some time -hours to overnight- out on the glacier after the helicopter ride. Weather issues can happen. It's rare but we just felt more comfortable with Disney.

    On all 3 of our DCL Port Adventures we saw kids in your age group on out adventures. They all seemed to have a good time, I didn't take a pole however.
     

    anjuan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2012
    I think Alaska is one area where it's pretty easy to book tours on your own. Our favorite was whale watching in Juneau with a small tour operator called Jayleen's Alaska. We also did the White Pass Railroad and dog cart pull with Chillkoot Charters that was really great.

    Alaska was our favorite cruise by far!!
     
  • WDWEPCOT

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2009
    I will look up all my info and send you a message with it - I believe I still have it as I did a lot of research but the companies are all the same ones Disney use and what’s really nice about Alaska most all are close to port - the only thing you have to worry about is weather
     

    HiStitch626

    Tookie bah wah bah!
    Joined
    Sep 21, 2020
    The two excursions that my now 20-year-old nephew recalls most fondly from our trip seven years ago was whale watching in Juneau, and the Bering Sea crab boat in Ketchikan. We booked Juneau through a small private company. The crab boat tour can be booked through Disney or independently.

     
    Last edited:

    OffToDWD

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2014
    I will look up all my info and send you a message with it - I believe I still have it as I did a lot of research but the companies are all the same ones Disney use and what’s really nice about Alaska most all are close to port - the only thing you have to worry about is weather
    That would be awesome - THANKS!!!
     

    OffToDWD

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2014
    The two excursions that my now 20-year-old nephew recalls most fondly from our trip seven years ago was whale watching in Juneau, and the Bering Sea crab boat in Ketchikan. We booked you know through a small private company. The crab boat tour can be booked through Disney or independently.

    Wow - I just checked out the site for Bering Sea crab boat... they're humongous catches! Fun!
     

    Geomom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 17, 2010
    Skagway: Chilkoot Charters: Yukon bus up with lots of photo stops, white pass railroad down, with dog cart ride, includes lunch. This was the highlight of our trip!!! We liked doing the train down as we were tired from the first half of the day, and sometimes Skagway is foggy in the morning. If you look at our trip report in my signature you can see it was still foggy in the afternoon near the peaks, but much less than morning.

    Juneau:. We took one of the glacier buses out to Mendenhall glacier and walked the trails/went to visitor center.

    Ketchikan: We did the Disney excursion of visiting a Tlingit (sp?) Village to see totem poles and then the lumberjack show.

    Vancouver:. We did the Sea to Sky tour (with Landsea Tours) on debarkation day as we had a 10:30pm flight home. Really enjoyed it! We spent 3 nts precruise in Vancouver, walked around Stanley park/aquarium one day, and used public transportation to get to Lynn Canyon the other day.
     
    Last edited:

    anricat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2014
    We were on the same sailing as Geomom and I'll second the bus up train down with Chilkoot in Skagway. Getting off the bus a lot on the way up was really nice. I wouldn't have liked the round trip train.

    We took ourselves to the glacier in Juneau in a cheap rental car (depending on the number of folks in your party, this is more economical than the bus) and we also did a half day whale watching with a SMALL boat (private excursion with one other family) and it was incredible. Don't do a big excursion if you do whale watching. We saw those boats packed with people and they looked miserable.

    My trip report is in my signature if you'd like to read it. I read a lot of trip reports and I found that they were really the best source of information as I was planning.
     

    GBBTomorrow

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2009
    Adding a bit more about WPR for those following along, we did the train up /bike down and LOVED it. The train car was just for those biking so it was sparsely populated and we were able to move from side to side depending on where the points of interest were. We also got to spend a lot of time on the train car's "porch" since we were sharing with so few people. And the bike down was just beautiful.

    ETA: you might be able to get a similarly less crowded car with a different excursion than just biking as well. I think there are some that drive up or back and stop at Emerald Lake, etc. Not sure if they also reserve their own train car. Others might be able to weigh in.
    This sounds amazing! Three questions: were the bikes provided as part of your excursion? Did they provide helmets? And was the grade very steep on the way back (as in, would this be safe for a novice or do you need to be an advanced rider)?

    Thanks for this great tip!
     

    MichelleCanada

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 21, 2017
    I like the White Pass Railroad. But, we didn't sail with kids. It would depend on your kid's interests whether they're up for a full day trip on an old train.
    We also did this with our son who was 8 at the time. We did the one where you take the train one direction and a bus transfer the other way. He loved it and so did we. The views were incredible and it was a relaxing day :-)
     





    Connect

    TODAY'S HEADLINES

    Book your Disney Cruise through Dreams Unlimited Travel and receive a Shipboard Credit and an Exclusive Gift Basket!



    Top