I enjoyed Mendehall Glacier more than Hubbard. The whole day went off smoothly and I felt I got my money's worth.
Whale Watching Rating:
One of our best day long excursions. Whale watching is always tricky because there are no guarantees but we did manage to see some Orcas. The salmon bake lunch was delicious (much better than I was expecting).
What can one say? All the superlatives thrown out by those who travelled the White Pass and Yukon Railway just cannot do it justice. The scenery was amongst the best in all of Alaska.
Nature Tour Rating:
This was our only independently booked tour. After disembarking the train in Fraser, BC our tour continued by mini-van with a small group of other tourists up into the Yukon Territory. A brief visit to Carcross and Emerald Lake as well as a barbeque lunch was provided. It was also the only time we got to see bears the whole week - a mother and baby were foraging for food on the side of the highway which made the trip more than worthwhile. A great photo-op.
We never saw much in the way of wildlife - no bears! However, we had an excellent walk through a beautiful and pristine landscape and were led by the best of the tour guides on our entire trip. She knew the history of her Tlingit culture and the stories about the land very well and told them in a very entertaining way that just made you listen wanting to know more.
I was actually expecting Saxman Native Village to be cheesy but the short visit was entertaining enough. One cannot help but be impressed with the modern native society working hard to preserve their heritage while living in our modern western society. The presentations were entertaining and educational. The welcomes we received sounded more sincere than at most tourist sights.