Had a great time on the Hoonah Bike Trek. The guides where two local girls, one in high school and one who had just graduated. We rode through the town, down to the airport, and back. On the way back we stopped by a carving project that the National Park Service is funding, a big house that tells the story of the local Tlingits and how they came to be in Hoonah.
Icy Strait was, by far, my favorite port. No tacky jewelry stores, no obnoxious hawkers, just some beautiful scenery.
Bike and Brew and Glacier View tour. $99 for a ten-mile bike ride, TWO breathtaking views of the glacier, entertaining local guides, and a beer tasting flight. It was an excellent deal and we had a lot of fun.
Our original excursion was cancelled and we didn't plan on taking another one. I'd been to Ketchikan before and knew my way around so we thought we'd play it by ear. At the end of the gangway a tour bus operator still had some seats open that he was selling at a discount. We took the bait.
The driver was a bit of a weirdo. Also, they used the promise of a possible bear sighting to lure us. The "ideal bear watching spot" was crowded with four other tour busses, plus it was low tide, plus there were no fish in the water, and it was an active construction zone. So, ideal bear-watching, right? But at the stop at Rotary Beach we saw a ton of bald eagles and got some very good close-up shots, so it wasn't all bad.
Don't bother leaving the boat unless you're doing a shore excursion. It's just block after annoying block of the same touristy stuff you see in other ports.
My fiance booked a photography tour through ShoreTrips.com. It was 6.5 hours in Haines, and he had a great time.