Icy Strait Point – a tiny stop which will be enjoyable to those who have never experienced a West Coast rainforest environment. If you’ve lived in the big city, or places such as Texas, Arizona or the Midwest all of your life then this will definitely be a change. At the very least go walking about and experience the shoreline and the nature trail. It will be a pleasant distraction for a couple of hours. The zip line is pricey. Some do. Some don’t. The choice is yours along with your wallet. And always with any E-ticket ride there’s the gift shop at the end.
Juneau – like Ketchikan it is a tourist shopping mall. Native Alaskan moccasins made in Canada, overpriced 12-14” high totem poles, 3 for $9.99 T-shirts and the Caribbean jewelry stores. There are some treasures to be had and it all depends on your tastes and expectations. The tram to the top of the hill is $32 USD tax in and debatable for what you paid for. Yes it is a nice view and yes there are a few trails and a gift shop. I would not have felt I have missed anything if I did not go up. Then again I live on the west coast in Vancouver BC so it’s sort of my back yard. For those from other non-mountainous, non-rainforest areas…get out in nature. It really is just a cool thing to be in it even if you have to pay a bit.
Tracey Arm Fjord excursion
We did do the ship excursion to Tracy Arm Fjord with Allen Marine Tours. Yes ship excursions are pricier but we chose this excursion because the boat has a two level top viewing platform area. Plenty of room for the 40 passengers to get happy snaps. The other non-cruise line company has aft and bow viewing areas which looked a bit crowded. We got to both Sawyer and South Sawyer glacier, saw a bear and stared and the seals lazily sunning themselves on the ice flows. Tracy Arm Fjord is magnificent scenery when the weather is good. I don’t have the experience to say if a ship or an excursion can always or does always make it all the way to the glacier. I’ve read a lot in these forums and am still debating if it is a time sensitive decision or ice sensitive decision for ships to stop short.
Was it worth it even at the higher shipboard excursion cost? We had a beautiful sunny day so yes and more yes. It’s different viewing from a smaller vessel 2 foot off the water than 14 decks above.
Ketchikan – 1600 feet this way or 1600 feet that way. You’ve seen Ketchikan. It’s a shopping mall with the same stores as Juneau. It is okay to walk about and poke your head in the stores. Go see the logger show if you’ve never seen anything like that in your life.