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Icy Strait Point ???


Nicolas LaBarre
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My wife and I are going on the 11 night Ovation of the Seas sailing on May 13, 2019. We only have 4 port days! I want to get the most out of Alaska but excursions over $400 per person are out of the picture. Don't worry we will definitely  be back to Alaska (just after Hawaii and Europe according to my wife LOL).  We aren't super adrenaline junkies but can handle some adventure. We just rode the Dragon's Breath zipline in November so we aren't leaning towards the zipline. I'm stuck right now on the Whale and Marine Mammal Cruise for $189 and the Whales, Wildlife and Brown Bear Search for $255. What do you think? Do you have any experience with either excursion? At first I was tempted to just walk the nature trail in port, visit the cannery museum, get souvenirs and walk into Hoonah. I'm coming down with FOMO though because this is a big trip to only have 4 days on land and I want to do it justice.

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If you could share your itinerary, times in port and what you are interested in for each stop that may prompt more responses.  

Until then Alaska excursions do tend to run more pricey compared to Caribbean cruises.  However each port offers adventures that are not typically found in the Caribbean. 

Sharing the types of adventures along with the budget you seek will help anyone who might respond with ideas.

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We did an independent whale watching tour in ISP and it was amazing.  The boat was much smaller than the typical whale watching boats (6 people!) so we had a more personalized experience.  I wasn't in charge of the booking, so I can't recommend a specific company to use but a quick search on TripAdvisor will give you lots of options.  ISP is small and I would have no issues with straying from an RCL excursion at this port.  

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On 3/6/2019 at 11:29 PM, twangster said:

If you could share your itinerary, times in port and what you are interested in for each stop that may prompt more responses.  

Until then Alaska excursions do tend to run more pricey compared to Caribbean cruises.  However each port offers adventures that are not typically found in the Caribbean. 

Sharing the types of adventures along with the budget you seek will help anyone who might respond with ideas.

My wife does want to do an excursion with sled dogs but we don't know if we should do that in Juneau or Skagway. Here's our itinerary:

 

11 NIGHT ALASKA GLACIERS CRUISE

Vancouver , British Columbia | Sail Away 5 PM

Sea Day

Sea Day

Icy Strait Point , Alaska  Arrive 9 AM | Depart 8 PM

Sitka , Alaska                    Arrive 7 AM | Depart 6 PM

Cruising Hubbard Glacier , Alaska  

Juneau , Alaska                Arrive 7 AM | Depart 9 PM

Skagway , Alaska             Arrive 7 AM | Depart 8:30 PM

Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier , Alaska 

Sea Day

Sea Day

Seattle , Washington : Disembarkation ?

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In both Juneau and Skagway there are excursions that go to a sled dog facility.  In that sense it's easy to get to because it's only a few miles from the ship.  No snow but you get to watch and touch them.  Some excursions include puppies that you get to hold.  

Here is an excursion highlight of one:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2018/07/17/excursion-focus-alaska-sled-dogs-mushers-camp-juneau-alaska

In Juneau I know of a sled dog excursion included as part of a helicopter to a glacier type activity which makes it expensive but very good.  

There may be 3rd party options you can explore directly.

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We are on the same sailing and I checked the port loads for each stop.  Hopefully this level of detail helps others make suggestions.

Last time I checked the schedule shows-

- Ovation only at Icy Straight Point and Sitka

- Juneau has 5 ships, port load - 11970 guests

- Skagway has 3 ships, port load - 6830 guests

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Here is my my last stop in ISP,  September 2018:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/9160-not-so-live-blog-radiance-of-the-seas-alaska-southbound-83118/&do=findComment&comment=83835

The nature trail is pretty short.  Continue on from the post above for some pictures from it and more in the area.  

I really like ISP.  It was one of the stops that sold me on this May 13 cruise since it's absent on Royal's Seattle based cruises.  It's operated by a native corporation but the charter of ISP dictates only one ship at a time.  Often two ships split the day with one in the AM and one in the PM which works since the days are long in the summer.  This May 13 cruise has a long stay in ISP, something absent on most itineraries.  

While there will be lots of touristy junk and jewelry stores in Juneau, those are absent in ISP and I like that.  

 

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16 hours ago, twangster said:

While there will be lots of touristy junk and jewelry stores in Juneau, those are absent in ISP and I like that.  

Agreed!  I loved this port for that very reason.  We before they even had a pier and it was so different from the other ports.  I know they've built up the port area a little bit, but glad to see it still has its charm.

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17 hours ago, twangster said:

Here is my my last stop in ISP,  September 2018:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/9160-not-so-live-blog-radiance-of-the-seas-alaska-southbound-83118/&do=findComment&comment=8383

I really like ISP.  It was one of the stops that sold me on this May 13 cruise since it's absent on Royal's Seattle based cruises.  It's operated by a native corporation but the charter of ISP dictates only one ship at a time.  Often two ships split the day with one in the AM and one in the PM which works since the days are long in the summer.  This May 13 cruise has a long stay in ISP, something absent on most itineraries.  

 

 

Thanks for the info and the pics, very nice.  Does this also mean that “THE Twangster” will be on the May 13, 2019 sailing?  Wow, we will be cruising with a celebrity.

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