We took the catamaran trip to Tracey Arm from the Volendam. We transferred to the smaller boat at sea and went up into Tracey Arm while the Volendam continued into Juneau. The catamaran took us to the Volendam at the end of the ercursion, so we only missed about 2 hours of time in this port. This excursions was an amazing experience. The small boat brought us through miles of incredible landscape filled with high peaks and waterfalls. We went right up next to a couple of the falls, so close you could almost touch them. Then we went over to the Sawyer glacier, saw it calving and saw seals on the ice. This was a beautiful trip. The Volendam also cruises into Glacier Bay, which was really wonderful, but the Tracey Arm trip is different and we were glad we had both opportunities. Very worth it. We needed several layers as it was cold and windy. They had some food (burgers) available to buy on the boat. This was a really fabulous experience. We got into Juneau with plenty of time to shop and eat. We ate crab at Tracey's which is right near the ship. A picnic table and paper plate establishment with good crab. We had chowder, crab cakes (spicy) and crab legs, all really good. Then we went to the Red Dog Saloon for a drink and ended up staying the rest of the evening to listen to Brian sing old country (Johnny Cash) we had a great time there.
We took the park ranger led free tour of Gold Rush National Park. It is only a few buildings, but the ranger really brought the development of Skagway and the Gold Rush to life. And best of all, it was FREE!
Scenic Drive Rating:
We took the Traditional Tour with Discover Skagway . For only $45.00 we went in a van up to the Summit, a beautiful drive through the mountains with many photo stops. Our tour guide filled us in on the gold rush and the geology of the area. We also went to the Gold Rush Cemetary. This was an interesting and well priced tour.
We wanted to see and learn about the totems. This site was too far to walk and the tour gave access to the "Native Village." The totems were great and our tour guide did a nice job explaining the customs and native stories. We saw 2 carvers who spoke with us, also good. The rest was pretty much a rip off. There is no native village, just one empty clan house. No displays or demonstrators or other buildings. In this clan house you will see a native dance, maybe 10 minutes presentation. You will also see a poorly done documentary movie of about 15 minutes. This trip should have been $10 or $15. There seem to better much better things to do in Ketchikan, I would not bother with this.