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Home > Member Reviews > Bucket Listed's Port Reviews of Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Vancouver

Bucket Listed's Port Reviews of Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Vancouver
Island Princess cruise in July 2011
Member Name: Bucket Listed
Cruise Date: July 2011
Embarkation: Whittier
Destination: Alaska
Member Review: Bucket Listed's Island Princess Review
Skagway
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
While in Skagway, we really wanted to see Emerald Lake, so went with Chilkoot Tours to take a van ride up, eat a BBQ lunch at Carcross, do a fun little dogcart ride, and then ride the train back from Fraser. This could easily be done by driving yourself in a rental car, or with other vendors also. It was wonderful to see all the scenery, get good photo opportunities, and learn about the history of the town, gold rush, characters, and the trail.



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Juneau
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
In Juneau we took the MGT bus ($8 one way) out to Mendenhall Glacier. Absolutely beautiful, especially the icebergs floating in the water. There had been a recent historic event with some flooding near the glacier that we were able to learn more about through staff talks and photos. The visitors center is a great place to visit. We didn't have time to hike, as we then went with Harv and Marv's on a whale watch. Binoculars were provided, and the captain did a great job. The smaller boats with 6 or less passengers was appealing to us, but the whales will be there despite the size of the boat so it doesn't make a difference. All of the tour companies know where to go, and how to find the whales. We were fortunate enough to witness a group of humpbacks bubble netting. Quite a happening, and better than the best fireworks I've ever seen.


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Ketchikan
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
In Ketchikan we took an early opportunity to be able to get off the ship and buy a few Ulu knives as gifts for our children. There are shops across the street from the port.

We wanted to go to Anan, and Dave with Family Air had permits for the day. He did a nice job piloting his floatplane through the misty areas to the entry area for Anan Wildlife Observatory. This was the highlight of our trip. We hiked along a 1/2 mile boardwalked path with many steps into the observation deck area. Get your camera ready. Honestly, you don't even need binoculars...the bear are that close. You may even meet them on the path on your way back and forth. The ranger briefs you on what to do should you encounter a bear. There is a second ranger at the deck. Bear would come within feet of the deck, including moms with cubs. We were fortunate to see both black and brown bear with cubs, countless eagles, and bear catching salmon in the stream...awesome, like I said before. We were able to be there for 3 hours before needing to make the hike back to the entry to meet Dave again for the trip back.



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Vancouver
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Cruising into Vancouver is a lovely sight. It is the most urban of all locations on the sail. Debarkation went without a hitch, and we were off the ship within 10 minutes of our assigned time. It was relatively easy to find your way around and out of the cruise terminal location. We enjoyed touring Vancouver with friends: Stanley Park, Cliffwalk, and the Capilano suspension bridge. We had lunch at a quaint little restaurant across from the entrance to the area.



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