My husband did a Halibut hunt arranged by Celebrity here. As usual the weather was rainy with heavy rains and winds. He thought maybe the tour would be cancelled, but it wasn't. The tour company did have heavy rain gear for all the guys on the boat (there were 3 of them), The boat was a 20 foot open boat and they were exposed to the weather much of the time, the waves were strong and the fishing poor. Now we know that if you are fishing you aren't guaranteed that you will catch something, but all the guys felt this tour should have been cancelled. A couple rock fish and a turbot were caught, no Halibut. So our word of advice would be to check on the policy of cancellation, and what type of boat you will be fishing in before signing up for a fishing tour. I had a wonderful time, despite the rain, shopping at the local quilt shop and souvenir stores. I was prepared with a good rain jacket and a water repellent tote bag to carry my purchases. There is plenty to see in town in Ketchikan.
Icy Straight was a tendered port. It was easy to get off the ship. In this port we hired Teckk Outfitters for a Bear Watch. We saw bears and beautiful scenery. We took a walk through the woods, over some shallow waters, and down animal trails. I was worried because my knees give me trouble sometimes, but I was able to navigate the whole trail without difficulty. We saw salmon breeding in the streams some of them were already dead. It was quiet and peaceful in the woods. Our guide was mindful that we were in bear territory and had a gun with him, to keep us and the bears safe. The windy road/some paved and some gravel might be a cause for concern if you get carsick, but I do and didn't have a big issue with it. If I had known it was that windy I would have prepared with taking a Bonine with me. The walk back from town took quite a while and it is better if you take the shuttle. We didn't want to wait for it and decided to walk, about halfway back to the port I decided I should have taken the shuttle, too late, we walked the rest of the way and slept really good that night.
We did this port on our own, Our ship docked right outside of town near the Mt. Roberts Tram. We took the MGT bus to Mendenhall Glacier for $16.00 each, about a 30-45 min. drive and it dropped us off near the Visitor Center. Then we walked around on our own at our own pace. We saw bears, glacier ice in the water, and took lots of photos. We were able to stay until we felt we had seen everything we wanted to. Nugget falls is awesome, worth the walk. No wait for the bus to go back to Juneau. We then took the tram to the top of Mt. Roberts, but felt it was a little too much money for what we did up there. The scenery was very nice and a great little gift shop. Then we took the tram down the mountain and I went to a quilt and yarn shop. Both were very nice and I spent some money there too. We didn't want to do a whale watch this time because we did it before in 2002. We were trying to do different things than we did that time.
We did this port on our own rented a car at Avis. Downloaded Murrays guide and it was very helpful. We went to Emerald lake and it is as beautiful as everyone says it is. The color was simply a beautiful shade of blue/turquoise. We wanted to look at the Suspension Bridge, but didn't because it cost $27.00 and just to look it seemed too expensive. It was cloudy, misty when we started out, but once we were over the mountain and into the Yukon the skies cleared and we had a beautiful day. Easy crossing the borders, just have your passports available. Once back in town we went to the Rushin Tailors quilt shop. The fabrics in the Alaskan ports are so different from what we have in the lower 48 that it is well worth it to try and find the shops.
We weren't expecting to have a city tour in Seward. We had signed up for the Kenai Fjord tour with lunch offered by the ship before our drop off at the Anchorage airport. of course it is raining again. Our bus picked us up by 8:30am then we were all dropped off in town where we had to find something to do for 2 1/2 hours. My husband and I opted for a tour of the Seward Aquarium. We had seen it before and it was a dry, comfortable place to spend our time. When the bus picked us up it was off to the Kenai Fjord tour. Now if you are prone to seasickness, be sure to take some precautions well before your tour leaves. It was rough out in the Gulf of Alaska. We saw whales, eagles, puffins, otters, and other sea birds. The all-you-can-eat lunch consisted of Salmon, Prime rib, salad, bread and butter and dessert and a beverage was very good. The upper and lower viewing areas were enclosed with tables and chairs for sitting and visiting. There were open spaces out on deck, but it was rough and raining so not too many people took advantage of the open areas. They also had a naturalist on board looking for wildlife. They offered a neat little program for the kids on board to become Jr. Rangers. 2 kids completed the requirements (don't think it was too difficult) and they had a ceremony and were awarded pins and certificates. Those 2 were really happy and proud. Just a neat thing to do.