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Alaska Shore Excursions - Quantum of the Seas


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Long time listener and I know this has been covered a million times, just not so much recently. I am going on Quantum of the Seas out of Seattle in May 2022 to Alaska and BC. Our stops are Icy Strait Point, Skagway, Juneau, and Victoria,BC.

 

Currently booked for shore excursions, I have Yukon Adventure & White Pass Scenic Railway for Skagway and Mendenhall Glacier & Salmon Bake for Juneau. Icy Strait Point and Victoria, BC are still TBD.

I wanted to get opinions on what the best sight seeing excursions are and getting most bang for your buck without having to walk 5 miles. I noticed a lot of the Mendenhall Glacier excursions involve a lot of walking and one of them said 3-5 miles. Its not that I'm out of shape and can't walk that, but that sounds really intense on a vacation where there will already be a lot of walking. I definitely want to do the Mendenhall Glacier (just unsure of which specific excursion) and am pretty confident in the Yukon Adventure & White Pass Scenic Railway for Skagway as the train trip with the views is the priority for that.

I was wondering if I could get opinions on all stops (Icy Strait Point, Skagway, Juneau, and Victoria,BC) of what the best excursions are. I'm pretty confident in my two excursions for Skagway and Juneau. I am curious about Victoria and Icy Strait Point. Maybe kayaking? Overall, I want something for my fiancé and I that doesn't break the bank and doesn't involve countless miles of walking either. Thank you!

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I'm so glad you asked this.  I'm also going to Alaska on the Quantum, but not until July.  Mine itinerary is similar to yours, but I'll be in Sitka instead of Icy Straight Point.  

 

I have 2 kids - 11 and 14.  We're thinking of a whale watching tour, dog sledding, and maybe panning for gold.  Any recommendations for those?

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We did Mendenhall on our own. Took a shuttle bus that was available at the port and walked to Nugget Falls and back which was about a mile round-trip maybe?

For ISP, again, we went the independent route and booked a whale watching tour which was fantastic. We were on a small boat with only 5 total passengers and the captain. It was one of the best excursions we did on our cruise.

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We go to Alaska in May on the Ovation. I just booked my excursions for Juneau. We are doing the helicopter ride to Mendenhall with a landing on the glaciers in the morning and then whale watching in the evening. 

We have nothing planned for Victoria BC. Wife doesn't really want to see the gardens. Is the town close by? Are there any good places to shop and eat close to the port???

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On 11/28/2021 at 9:37 PM, AshleyDillo said:

We did Mendenhall on our own. Took a shuttle bus that was available at the port and walked to Nugget Falls and back which was about a mile round-trip maybe?

 

How far is the walk from the ship to the kiosk area at the port where you catch the shuttle buses?

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Mendenhall Glacier was okay it's receded so much it was a disappointment this past season. There's a picture of what it used to look like in the visitor center and that's what I remembered. The Salmon bake was very tasty and more than enough food for everyone. Maybe an excursion to a glacier would be better or the dog sled ride? Looking at doing that next year.  

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1 hour ago, 12thman said:

Mendenhall Glacier was okay it's receded so much it was a disappointment this past season. There's a picture of what it used to look like in the visitor center and that's what I remembered. 

Do you think a trip to Mendenhall is still worth the visit for first-timers to Juneau?

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For first time you have no reference like we did so it maybe worthwhile. But don't except to see anything amazing, that's why I suggested the glacier and dog sled excursion. We haven't done it but it looks much better. Maybe do something with the salmon bake and something else. If it's your first time don't think you'll be disappointed. We had memories of how much larger and further out into the bay it was. 

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On 12/3/2021 at 4:30 AM, CJS2766 said:

We have nothing planned for Victoria BC. Wife doesn't really want to see the gardens. Is the town close by? Are there any good places to shop and eat close to the port???

 

On 11/23/2021 at 11:29 AM, Ryy said:

I am curious about Victoria and Icy Strait Point. 

My family and I went to Alaska on Explorer in 2018 and when in Victoria, my family went to Butchart Gardens and then shopping. I went to The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa and played golf. It was a $55 CAD (~$40 USD) cab ride to the hotel - about 30 mins. With the exchange rate, I would HIGHLY recommend this if you golf. We have three sons and none of them appreciated Butchart Gardens and they all wished they came with me. I can give you more details if you're a golfer. But even if one is an occasional golfer, the views from the golf course of Victoria (including where the cruise ships are docked) were amazing. And the golf course itself (I played the Mountain Course) was a fun track. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/28/2021 at 8:37 PM, AshleyDillo said:

We did Mendenhall on our own. Took a shuttle bus that was available at the port and walked to Nugget Falls and back which was about a mile round-trip maybe?

For ISP, again, we went the independent route and booked a whale watching tour which was fantastic. We were on a small boat with only 5 total passengers and the captain. It was one of the best excursions we did on our cruise.

Can you tell me which company you booked with for the whale watching in ISP?

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On 12/3/2021 at 7:30 AM, CJS2766 said:

We have nothing planned for Victoria BC. Wife doesn't really want to see the gardens. Is the town close by? Are there any good places to shop and eat close to the port???

The ship docks right in the harbor.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/3/2021 at 6:30 AM, CJS2766 said:

We go to Alaska in May on the Ovation. I just booked my excursions for Juneau. We are doing the helicopter ride to Mendenhall with a landing on the glaciers in the morning and then whale watching in the evening. 

We have nothing planned for Victoria BC. Wife doesn't really want to see the gardens. Is the town close by? Are there any good places to shop and eat close to the port???

The gardens are worthwhile and she might change her mind... downtown Victoria (right at the harbor) has nice walking and some cute little shops, plus it's fun to watch the seaplanes take off and land.  If you have the time the Museum is really good and they have solid whale watching choices right there as well.

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2 hours ago, Riley said:

The gardens are worthwhile and she might change her mind... downtown Victoria (right at the harbor) has nice walking and some cute little shops, plus it's fun to watch the seaplanes take off and land.  If you have the time the Museum is really good and they have solid whale watching choices right there as well.

I like the sound of these options. Honestly? I think my wife would prefer this way more. Thank you for the advice!!!

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On 11/28/2021 at 6:37 PM, AshleyDillo said:

We did Mendenhall on our own. Took a shuttle bus that was available at the port and walked to Nugget Falls and back which was about a mile round-trip maybe?

Hello Ashley!

We are planning to do Mendenhall Glacier on our own as well.  How long was it from the shuttle at the port and back?  To clarify, how much time did you spend there?

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2 hours ago, CruisingNewb said:

Hello Ashley!

We are planning to do Mendenhall Glacier on our own as well.  How long was it from the shuttle at the port and back?  To clarify, how much time did you spend there?

It was about a 20-25 minute shuttle ride. We spent maybe 2 hours there. We didn't pay for the pass, just walked the path to Nugget Falls. It was rainy off and on so we didn't want to get too drenched. If you pay the fee there are other trails to hike with photo ops and such so you could spend considerable more time there than we did depending on your interest and physical capability.

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18 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

It was about a 20-25 minute shuttle ride. We spent maybe 2 hours there. We didn't pay for the pass, just walked the path to Nugget Falls. It was rainy off and on so we didn't want to get too drenched. If you pay the fee there are other trails to hike with photo ops and such so you could spend considerable more time there than we did depending on your interest and physical capability.

Thank you so much!  Your experience aligns identically with our plans for Mendenhall Glacier!  

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  • 1 month later...

Rookie poster for RCB here.  While not on an RCL ship, Mrs Fan and I went on an inside passage a few years back with another line.  We did the White Pass and Yukon trip.  Then booked independent, a float plane trip and a whale watching outing.  The train trip is a near all day excursion.  We literally walked from the ship to the train and then got back just an hour or so before leaving port.  The float plane was a blast. Got to ride in the co-pilot seat for part of the trip. Pricey but worth it.  Then the whale watching trip was excellent.  Smaller boat (still probably a 35-40 footer) with 8 people.  The mate brought a cooler of drinks (including beer/wine) and a huge slab of smoked salmon with crackers.  Less money than what the cruise line offered.  I saw the cruise line excursion, people were shoulder to shoulder and a crowd of 40-50 (or more).  

We are going with our 3 grown kids and their spouses in June 2023.  Looking hard at the Quantum. I might do the whale watching again or look at a 1/2 day fishing excursion. I want to hit some of the craft brew places that have popped up since we were there last.  The WP & Y train was great, but I'll skip it this time (even though I am encouraging my kids to go).

Also, I am telling them that they MUST get a balcony (Mrs Fan and I are gifting them enough to cover about 2/3 of the balcony cabin cost).  I told them there is much to see while sipping a glass of wine, or morning coffee, from the balcony on an inside passage trip.

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