The best thing about this tour is that it is limited to about 14 people. The whale watching was excellent. The side trip to Mendenhall Glacier was a disappointment. It is labelled as a photo tour but we took a forced march through the woods where the guide pointed out flowers and gave the general canned glacier talk. We were given little time to take photos, which was a primary reason for choosing this tour. We thought the photographer guide would give us insight into interesting photo opportunities but that did not occur. A few of us located our own photo opportunities but felt rushed. If you are a photographer this is not the tour for you. Take a taxi to the glacier and explore on your own.
We tried to take the local bus to Bight totem park but it was 20 min late and our schedule was tight, so we hopped in a taxi for $33. The driver gave us good information about the area. We were able to take the city bus back for a dollar but had to stand the entire way, so it is not a good option for people with mobility impairments. Shockingly, there were lots of families on the bus and the parents did not have their kids offer seats to the elderly who were standing for the entire 30 min trip.
We booked a 7 hr independent tour with Beyond Skagway Tours. Our guide Brian was excellent, driving us to Emerald Lake in the Yukon Territory, with many stops along the way to view and photograph the diverse scenery. We ate lunch at a local bakery in Carcross, Yukon Territory, which was fun. We were also able to get our passports stamped with a Yukon Territory stamp in town. Brian dropped us off at the white Pass Yukon railway stop so we could take the train back to Skagway. Our friends wanted to do the train trip and it gave us a different perspective on the scenery. It was a great tour and got us totally away from the crowds on the shop tours.