Departed Vancouver on July 31 on Radiance of the Seas. Cruised the Inside Passage (our only day of marginal weather - overcast all day). Stopped in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, then cruised the Hubbard Glacier before ending in Seward.
Way too many jewelry and fur stores at all ports except Icy Strait Point. Don't waste your money on a tour of Juneau (there are three things pointed out) - The Mendenhall Glacier was very interesting. Skagway - the train ride up to the pass was a very pleasant excursion (no food provided, only bottled water)
Icy Strait Point was the highlight of the cruise. The Tlingit tribe controls this port - they only allow one ship a day here, so now overcrowded. NO JEWELRY STORES OR MAJOR SHOPPING> Lots of nice excursions - We did a whale watching excursion leaving at 10 AMish and saw thirty humpback whales. Also a great spot for lunch is the Crab Shack on the pier - a huge Dungess crab - steamed - for $26. More
Can get a beer and enjoy right on the dock - easy to pick!
Then rode the zip-line - what a rush! Over a mile long and comes down the mountain side from 1800 feet up. Really fun but over too soon.
Hubbard Glacier was amazing - the ice was so blue and we saw several instances of calving.
Seward to Anchorage - spend the money for the train - a very nice trip mainly through the back country. It goes directly from the ship dock in Seward to the Anchorage Airport (talk about great planning)
Onboard ship the best place to eat is the specialty restaurant (I called it the Italian restaurant) - well worth the $20 (including tip) fee - the Chop House rather ordinary by comparison. Less
What a great day - the whale watching was incredible - saw thirty humpbacks. Then Dungeness crab at the Crab Shack right on the dock and the Zip Line excursion was terrific. There are multiple excursions from this port - everyone I spoke with enjoyed what they did.
The train excursion was nice - about 3 hours total - up and back. They should offer more than warm bottled water - they are missing a great opportunity to sell food and beer to a captive audience. The scenery was magnificent.