Icy Straight Point Hoonah is maybe the weak point in this itinerary. There is not a pier so everyone has to tender in. Tendering went smoothly. We did the zip line the first week and had whale watching planned for Juneau so didnt want to do that here also. The second week about half of our group went bicycle riding. The rest of us stayed on the ship for a day of relaxing. There just isnt much to do here.
Juneau was a great time. We did whale watching with Harv and Marv. It was so good the first time that I did it again the second week. We were fortunate enough to see bubble net feeding both weeks. The Harv and Marv crew is outstanding and Id highly recommend them if you want to experience the whales. After whale watching we stopped at Mendenhall Glacier viewing area for about 15 minutes. The first time it was a mob scene and I wasnt looking forward to doing that again, but the second week there was almost no one there and down one of the trails there was a BEAR eating salmon! I was psyched! Whales, eagles, and bears all on the same excursion! (wed seen eagles flying around the shore during the whale watching) The Red Dog Saloon and Alaska Brewing Company store are worth visiting if youre a beer aficionado. Lots of shopping here and the Tram to the top of Mt Roberts is worth it for the close ups of the eagles that make the treetops there their home. You can also hike down from the top of Mt Roberts and there were bear sightings reported from that hike.
Ketchikan is a charming little town. Exploring on your own, flight seeing over Misty Fjord, and shopping are all worthwhile here. Creek Street is fun as is going up the Funicular and walking down Married Man Trail to the salmon ladder at the bottom. We walked to the salmon ladder twice and it's fascinating to watch. Lots of great shops here. Im not big on jewelry shopping, but our two 15 year old girls had fun going from store to store to collect the free charms. My sister and a niece did do some jewelry shopping and were happy with what they found. There are quite a few t-shirt stores and some great stores with Alaska items that you dont see most other places. Flight seeing with Island Wings was outstanding and highly recommended. You can also take the city bus to Totem Bight State Park and Saxman Native Village.
In Seward we did a half day kayaking trip with Kayak Adventures. It was a great trip! Our guides were wonderful. Most of us had never kayaked before and they had us out paddling and feeling comfortable in no time. They showed us a salmon spawning area, eagles, porpoises, and various sea life along the shore. It was a very nice, relaxing time. Id do it again in a heartbeat. If youre lucky enough to have Buddy as one of your guides, you will enjoy his gentle soul and his respect for where he lives.
Skagway is a cute little town, but its quite a hike to get in there! There are golf carts running people back and forth to the city bus. The golf carts are free; the city bus is either $2 for one trip or $5 for hop on hop off all day. We did not do the train which is probably the number one thing to do. Two of our group did a helicopter flight seeing trip, which they raved about. Most of us just wandered into town and did sightseeing and shopping. Some of us ate lunch at the Red Onion Saloon, which was reasonably priced and very tasty.