You must go to the Mendenhall Glacier. No need to book through the ship unless you want some other attractions added on. Just get off the ship and pay $10 each pay per person for the Glacier Express bus. Runs every 20 minutes. The Visitors Center is great and just walking around and seeing the glacier is amazing. Take the trail near the drop off point as well to see a wonderful creek and maybe some wildlife. Salmon are in the creek spawing in August but not now. Of course you can spend big bucks and do the helicopter thing and it is probably amazing. Your money you choose. Again the town is overrun with jewlery stores. Red Dog saloon is fun and Tram to the top of Mt Roberts could be nice with hiking trails at the top if you are inclined.
Didn't do any excursion. Kind of wanted to fish but thought we were between seasons, King and Silver so didn't pursue it. Come to find out the King salmon season was 4 weeks late so they were still catching fish. Did not hear of reports from people coming off the charters how it was so don't know if they were successful. Toured Creek street and saw some salmon below the steel bridge but none in the creek yet, too eary for the spawing season. It's amazing when they run, the creek is full. It is sad to see these Alaska towns overrun by jewelry stores. Wish there was some way to ban them and just have native crafts and local shop keepers. If you want to splurge I'm sure the floatplane trips were wonderful.
Our Railway trip was truely a highlight. It is amazing scenery and fun to be on the train. Elle was our guide and did a great job. Since we were the first of several trains for the morning we got to go an extra 7 miles to Fraser, BC to turn around. The landscape for the 7 miles was something out of National Geographic. Above the tree line, barren and beautiful. The views from the train are excellent and the story of the Yukon Gold Rush were amazing and helped one to understand the grit of these early explorers. Rain began on walk back to the ship from train so stayed on board for afternoon and didn't explore the town.
I wish the cruise line would allow extra time here vs. Skagway. This is a wonderul stop. We did the Butchart Gardens and they were truely beautiful and so glad we went. Unfortunately in doing this there is no time left to explore the city althought the bus driver did give us a quicky tour of downtown and the lights on the way back to the ship so we got to see it but would have preferred a couple of hours to explore after the garden.