Float plane to Traders Bay in Tongass National Park. Smooth flight and very informative. Spectacular views. AJ was the naturalist we met. He was incredible. We watched about 10 bears feast on salmon and even had 2 cubs playing in a tree just feet from the viewing platform. Easy walk for anyone ambulatory. Take an extra camera or extra battery. Never have seen so much green before. Also learned tons about old growth forests.
Taku Lodge. Absolutely incredible. Another smooth ride. Flying over the glacier from a few different angles made great ops. The meal here was very good. Salmon caught just down from the lodge and cooked over alder wood. Baked beans, reindeer sausage, fruit compote of apples, blueberries and cranberries, a streusel type dessert. The Russian tea was good and warmed us up. The story of the owners was captivating. A bear was under the gift shop but never came completely out. Just his nose and face peeked out from time to time.
We missed the notation in the literature that the ride is a mere 10 - 15 minutes long. It was nice but really not worth the $ - especially since we'd done the float plane. We were lucky that we were seated in the front 2 spots next to the pilot. We could see well out of the front bubble. But if you were in the middle in the back, it'd probably stink. Also, the flight is swift so photos are hard to do. Choppers were in good condition and the company itself - which is right by the ship - seems to be well run.
Liarsville was entertaining and educational. The meal was great - salmon grilled over spruce, baked beans, cornbread, blueberry cake, and I don't recall what else. But it good. The skit was hokey and the replica village a little tired looking. Panning for gold seemed silly at first but then we couldn't quit. Pans are seeded with golden flakes from Canada so be sure to look closely. We learned lots about the Klondike gold rush. We also learned again that many of the workers are there for the summer and then return to America's heartland (Oklahoma among other states) until summer returns.
Another spectacular experience as we learned about the 3 resident pods. We came upon J Pod once we were near San Juan island (?). The oldest orca is over 100 years old and called Granny though she became a great grandmother the week before we arrived. Saw many many whales though likely the same ones over and over. Saw 2 breeches - they're impossible to capture on film but I got a splash and one in the air. Plenty of time to stay in town but we headed back to the ship and shopped dockside before getting back on.