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Looking for shore excursion ideas for Alaskan cruise


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I booked an Alaskan cruise for my birthday week in May of 2022 on board the Ovation of the Seas. We make stops in Juneau, Skagway, Sitka in Alaska and Victoria, British Colombia in Canada. I've heard the shore excursions for Alaskan cruises can be pricy. Any recommendations for shore excursions in those locations that won't break the bank?

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You can get some ideas but going through my trip blogs.  Only one Alaska cruise was on Ovation but the shore excursions are the same regardless of the ship.





As you plan your cruise take a look at your arrival and departure times.  Most ports will likely have long days so you can do something in the morning and something different in the afternoon.  

Most ports are the US so renting a car can be a great way to explore if you research the area and make a plan, otherwise there are plenty of excursions to book independently or through the ship.  Search the internet for a particular stop and you should quickly find independent excursions with ratings.  

I'll often do an organized excursion in the morning then self explore for the second half of the day.  

Some ports like Skagway are very close to Canada and some excursions require a passport to cross the border.  Plan accordingly.

If you can, plan a healthy excursion budget.  Alaska is beautiful but you need to leave the port area to experience Alaska best and an excursion or rental car will let you really experience Alaska.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a budget traveler so I get you....


Juneau- On my first trip to Juneau I took the city bus to the fish hatchery, and later took the Glacier Express to Mendenhall did a bit of walking around, and ate salmon. That whole day was like less than $60. Unless you have your heart set on certain vendors, don't prebook as there are a ton of kiosks in Juneau of people trying to sell you tickets to different things like whale watching, rafting, helicopter rides, and tours. On my 2nd trip I did the canoe trip to Mendenhall since I regretted not doing it. While it was fun, you could just hike to Mendenhall. I would have done it, but I'm lazy. On my next trip I plan to just go to Gold Creek for the all you can eat salmon (RC has it listed at $47 which is cheaper than booking direct as the going rate is $56), and walk around Cope Park which is a nice walk from what I hear from the pier. I'd consider doing the Mt. Roberts Tram, but so many of Alaska's activities are based on the weather in my experience so if the weather is nice and not overcast , maybe book the tram. 


Skagway- First trip did a ghost tour which was a lot of fun and didn't cost a lot. Ended the day by going on the train to White Pass. Definitely not cheap, but I did the cheaper option ($130) which was shorter but enough for me. On my 2nd trip I did the 6 hour bus version of the train ride but went into Canada. Tour was called Yukon Klondike Adventure by Bus through Chilkoot Charters & Tours and cost me $95. Included an all you can eat lunch which was really good. They have a half bus/half rail option as well. Anyway was a long day but fun. If I did it again I'd just eat on the ship, walk around town, and if possible rent a car. 

sitka- Never been but will be going on my next trip. I plan to do the Raptor Center, Fortress of the Bear, and the cathedral. From what I read their are cheap shuttle buses.Eat on ship to save $$.


Victoria- same as above. You don't get a lot of time in Victoria so my only plan is to go to the gardens.If there were more time I would have added on whale watching but I could skip it (done my fair share of whale watching...only want to see killer whales). 


In any case, don't book direct through the cruise unless you have to. 


You also can rent a car but when I looked into it, they were always sold out (I did check for cancellations). Not a big deal. I enjoyed getting a tour hearing information. 

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