The Top 5 Shore Excursions for Your Alaska Cruise

In the past 20 years I’ve been fortunate to cruise to Alaska several times. After visiting the Inside Passage ports quite a few times I’ve tried many of the shore excursions – here’s the top five for you to try!

1. Flight Seeing – If you splurge on one excursion on your Alaska cruise, flight seeing should be at the top of your list! In Juneau you’ll find an abundance of helicopter flight seeing choices to view glaciers or land on glaciers. Viewing the glaciers from the air is nothing short of spectacular! If a sea plane is more your thing, you can choose from many tours in Ketchikan. These flights will take in views of Misty Fjords National Monument; a lush, green forested area with numerous waterfalls.

2. Whale Watching – If you don’t see any whales from the ship, there are great tours in Juneau and Icy Strait Point that offer guaranteed sightings (or your money back!). These two areas are feeding grounds for whales and offer your best chance of viewing. Get your cameras ready for when those whale tales come up or when you get lucky enough to see whales breaching!

3. Lumberjack Show – Don’t miss this fun “competition” between real lumberjacks! You won’t be able to resist the log rolling, tree climbing, chainsaws and all the fun! It’s located very close to where the ships dock and since it’s only an hour or so, you can combine it with another tour on your port stop in Ketchikan. Also, it’s notoriously rainy in Ketchikan and with it’s covered bleachers it’s a nice break from dodging rain drops! The Lumberjack show is a must do when you’re traveling with kids, but it’s also entertaining for all ages.

4. Sea Kayaking – One of the best active tours on an Alaska cruise is kayaking! A great way to work off those extra desserts and get up and close to nature. Kayaking is offered on the majority of the port stops, but I recommend Juneau and Ketchikan as two great places for paddling. My first experience sea kayaking was in Juneau… paddling through the open water was exhilarating! We were also lucky enough to see bald eagles and view glaciers from the kayak.

5. Sled Dogs – There are a few ways to experience Alaskan sled dogs. One way I recommend is visiting the Sled Dog Summer Camp in Juneau. You’ll meet Iditarod mushers and their trainers while learning about the dogs/racing. The Alaskan Huskies are in training and you’ll get the thrill of mushing while be pulled behind a team on a wheeled sled. Don’t miss a snuggle with the pups (this may be my daughter’s all time favorite cruise tour!)! You can also combine flight seeing/landing on a glacier with the once in a lifetime experience of riding a dogsled down a glacier! My clients rave about this one! Lastly, Princess also recently introduced a program where they bring on the puppies to interact (and photo ops!) with the guests on their ships.

Until the next adventure – bon voyage!


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Hi, I'm Kris de Vogel

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