Guest Author - Dawn Engler
Letís say you've decided to book your cruise, you've chosen your room, and you've picked the hour for your dining experience. The next decision you have to make is whether or not to book a shore excursion or two.
The choices vary by port and what is available in that particular area of the state. The cruise lines offer excursions at the ports of call, and in the embarkation and debarkation points. There is also the option of booking direct with the company offering the tour, just make sure they can work within the parameters of your cruise line hours in port. You don't want to be left behind!
If you don't want to spend a whole lot of money, there are very simple excursions that offer some great options, and additionally won't take up the entire time you are in port. Try a good old fashioned fish fry. How about city trolley tour? In Juneau you could take a tour of town by foot, add in a tram ride up the steep mountainside, and then a hike along a trail overlooking the harbour and your cruise ship down below. You'll also have some time to hit the shops in town for those take home goodies.
The next option for mid-range cost covers a large variety of tours. Many of the cruise options will have some sort of glacier viewing available by bus or boat tours. Gold panning, visiting sled dog camps, kayaking, golfing, river rafting, or relax a bit during whale and wildlife watching tours. Combo tours in town can include a historical walk around town and a quick shuttle to a park for a picnic lunch. Check the particular excursion for information on if it includes a snack or a meal. Many will even provide you with the wet weather slicker you'll probably need.
Into the higher end of pricing, you will find extensive tours. Many of them are simply combinations of two or three other tours. How about a zip-line through the rainforest or a 4 x 4 adventure in the wilderness? You could try some fly fishing, or an all-day outing with a local fishing company. Floatplane destinations fall into this range or imagine a helicopter ride to the Arctic Circle!
There are options for excursions along the interior of Alaska if you've opted for a cruise-tour as well. Denali National Park is an area full of choices to look into. White water rafting, fishing and hiking are some of the top choices.
I've booked four completely varied excursions for my trip! I'll be sure to fill you all in!