Help with Alaska Cruise excursions

My family of 4, with DS16 and DS11, are going on an Alaskan cruise aboard the Wonder in June. Any suggestions on excursions from those who have done them before? I wish we could just stay at Juneau for more than a day, as that one seems to have some of the best ones.

Has anyone done any of the dog sledding excursions, and are they worth it?

We did a Disney Caribbean cruise in 2019 and were supposed to go in 2020, but it got cancelled due to Covid. Excited to get back on one of their boats.


We didn’t do Disney for our Alaskan cruise so I don’t know exactly what excursions they offer. But generally, we had a great whale watching excursion at Juneau. If you’re stopping in Skagway I would definitely do an excursion that involves the train. It was pretty cool.


Do you like Podcasts? Rope Drop on Deck is a good one and they have a number on Alaska. I believe they had a dog sledding booked and it got cancelled so they want to go back lol. We are looking at an Alaskan cruise (not DCL) in 2025 so I also have been looking at excursions but don’t have any experience.

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We are also going to Alaska in June. We are on the 6/17 sailing. DH, DD 16 and DS 13. DH and I went on an Alaskan cruise for our honeymoon in 2001 so my experience is old. We were trying to go back with kids for our 20th anniversary and have rescheduled twice.

On our previous trip, we did a combo kayaking/train in Skagway which was good. I don’t think my DS would appreciate the train though. A lot of sitting and looking at amazing scenery. In Juneau, we did the helicopter to the glacier without the dogsled which was absolutely incredible to see and do and I would highly recommend. We did a bicycle thing in Ketchikan which we enjoyed. It was august so the salmon were running and we saw bears so that was cool. 20+ years ago we were about the youngest people on our cruise and we seemed to find the other younger people on our more active excursions.

There are a decent amount of recent trip reports on the dis boards with excursion reviews. Tom Bricker has some worthwhile insights on Alaska on his Disney tourist blog too.

I have booked a few excursions through Alaska Shore Tours. Decided to splurge on the helicopter glacier dogsled in Juneau and doing kayaking in Ketchikan. I think we are going to sign up for the rock climbing and rappelling in Skagway through Disney.

I really think you can’t go wrong in Alaska. I know my family wants more active excursions so that is what we are doing.

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My kids definitely want to be active, so we are hoping to do a dogsled one and maybe a boat/hike combo. I just don’t know if the dog sledding ones sell out super quick. Our sign-up day is Tuesday, so I guess I’ll find out soon. I’ll definitely check out the Tom Bricker articles.

When we did an Alaskan cruise (non-DCL), we did a floatplane flying tour over a glacier at Juneau. We did a whale watching one at Icy Strait Point, which was a highlight of our trip. We got to see pods of whales do bubble-feeding. That is so neat! It’s certainly not an active excursion, but whale watching certainly far exceeded my expectations for what it would be like. Look for a video of bubble-feeding, that might be something to try to fit in at one of your ports.


Stayed up to midnight last night to book our excursions, and here’s what we got:

  • Glacier Viewing at Stikine Icecap - doing the Glacier Explorer

  • Icy Strait - Whale Watching and Seafood Feast Combo

  • Juneau - Dog Sledding Summer Camp - I wanted to do the one where you take the helicopter to the glacier, but DS11 said he didn’t think helicopters are safe and he wouldn’t get on one.

  • Ketchikan - Misty Fjords and Wilderness Explorer

  • We are probably going to try to book the Vancouver debarkation day excursion since our flight likely won’t be until 10 pm

We pretty much got everything we wanted. There were a LOT of options in Juneau that looked great, I wish you had two days there. DS15 wanted to do a sea kayak and we looked at some of the hikes, but DW was a little worried about the weather if we caught one of those on a rainy day.

Now I just need to book the flights. We each got a $70 credit on our accounts with American last summer when a flight got changed, but the problem is that to redeem them I have to make a separate reservation in each person’s individual AA account, and then I don’t see a way to link them in the AA app to one account to manage them. I already used mine on another trip, but it’s still $210, but seems like it’s going to be a bit of a pain when checking in at the airport.

And man I didn’t realize how expensive the hotels are near the terminal in Vancouver. Even a Hampton in is about $600 per night once you include taxes!

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Could you fly into Seattle, then find a hotel on the US side, and drive over to Vancouver?

I looked at that. The drive from Seattle is over 2 hours. There are some shuttles, but it really wouldn’t save you that much money when all is said and done. And that adds another headache or potential problem.

I think you have great choices. I’ll be doing the same thing next week!

How early are you arriving? It you are only a day early and not spending time in Vancouver, you could stay near the airport (not at the hotel in the airport, that one is ridiculously $$$) and then take the sky train into the city for the cruise. Apparently, the waterfront station is right near the cruise terminal. I’ve been told by many that the train is easy and cheap. We are planning on using it to get downtown and back. Staying at the Delta Marriott near the cruise terminal for 2 nights before the cruise and somewhere cheap near the airport the night after. DH travels frequently and we had some points to use which helped. We ended up with an early flight home the day after because the ones late in the day after the cruise were about $500 more per person!

Also remember the Canadian $ conversion. I was in Toronto in October and I kept forgetting and thinking things (especially drinks) were really expensive!

I’m getting really excited about this trip.

We are in NC and there is a single direct flight both ways from Charlotte and they are actually the cheapest. So we arrive on Saturday night around 9 pm PST and get on the boat on Monday, so two nights. I didn’t want to test it by traveling on Sunday and have some sort of delay or flight cancellation.

Coming home, the direct flight was again the cheapest, but it leaves at 10 pm after getting off the boat at 8 am, so we are planning to do the debarkation day excursion that takes you through Vancouver and to the suspension bridge. You take your luggage with you so we don’t have to worry about what to do with that while we play. And then it takes you to the airport around 3 pm, so we don’t have TOO long to kill at the airport.