Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Skagway Scenic Drive Excursion Reviews

Skagway Scenic Drive cruise excursion
Overall Rating
Embark on a scenic drive from Skagway, past rugged mountains and picturesque log cabins and into the depths of Canada’s wild Yukon Territory.
Member Image Experienced Traveler2
1 review
Jun 2016
Jim, (one with Army flag on bus) our bus driver OUTSTANDING!!! Scenery excellent!! Stops on the bus like passing into Canada and returning very good.. Restaurant and musher's experience OK, but not as good as one in Juneau!! Love town of Skagway. Hope to get back there again.
Read Experienced Traveler2's full Crown Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image dixielou222
1 review
Jun 2016
Went to White Pass on independent tour. Very historical and saw black bear.
Read dixielou222's full Celebrity Solstice cruise review
Provider: Frontier
Member Image Cruise nonna
2 reviews
Jun 2016
Too long a drive there and back and lunch was pretty awful. The scenery was very pretty and our bus guide very informative both up and back but they should make it a shorter drive and give out snacks instead of going to the lunch location.
Read Cruise nonna's full Norwegian Jewel cruise review
Provider: Skagway tours
Member Image Penelopesmom
1 review
Jun 2016
Magnificent scenery.
Read Penelopesmom's full Star Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image bigeyedgirl
1 review
May 2016
to the summit Driver was very informative and funny Cost 1/3 as much as the railway
Read bigeyedgirl's full Celebrity Solstice cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image Tammy64
1 review
May 2016
The train ride was amazing, with view after view. We had some good food at Liarsville but had very little time to do anything else there. Because of some miscommunication, we were rushed away from Liarsville but weren't able to go to our next stop yet so we got to go to the overlook and then to the old cemetery which was nice.
Read Tammy64's full Star Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image gbachtx
1 review
May 2016
Great bus tour of the mountain pass -- but was fogged in so we were limited in our views. Saw a bid brown bear!
Read gbachtx's full Seven Seas Mariner cruise review
Provider: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Member Image Canuck Chick
2 reviews
May 2016
We took a bus ride up the mountain to the Yukon. Same gorgeous route as the train. Infinitely cheaper than the train and a whole lot less people.
Read Canuck Chick's full Carnival Legend cruise review
Provider: Alaska Coach Tours
Member Image FunInTheSun9
1 review
May 2016
We rented a car from Avis ($142 for a full size vehicle) and drove on the only road you can go on to get to the Canadian border. It took about 25 minutes to get into British Columbia (Canada) over the mountain range, giving you some idea how closely southeast Alaska hugs the coastline. The views are astounding here. Honestly, it looks like those perfect model train tables or dioramas – it is heavenly. The scenery does not give up for about 70 miles, through BC and into the Yukon Territory and up to Emerald Lake. The only real town on the main highway is about five miles from the lake: Carcross (was originally called “Caribou Crossing”). Nice shops, restaurants, and a visitor center are there. Just before the lake is the Carcross Dessert. It has sands dunes and everything, but is not actually a desert as the climate is wrong – but it sure looks like one, and it seems out of place there. It is really a dry lake where glaciers once stood and the glacial silt remained after the glaciers disappeared. If you do this drive, I recommend that you bring two things: 1. Your Passport. Canada may let you in without one, but the USA will give you a more difficult time getting back in without it, and 2. A “Murray’s Guide.” The Murray’s Guide is a $5 document you can download and print from murraysguide.com. It gives mile-by-mile (by milepost marker) highlights of what is flying by your car window and it will take you from the Skagway port all the way to Whitehorse (another 30 miles past Emerald Lake). Best $5 tour guide you will ever have.
Read FunInTheSun9's full Celebrity Millennium cruise review
Provider: Self Tour
Member Image NSnJW
1 review
May 2016
Bryan is great. His knowledge of Skagway and the Gold Rush is amazing. The Gold Rush tales are both entrancing and horrifying. The views from White Pass are beautiful. Bryan was entertaining and I don't remember him being stumped by any question about the Skagway area past or present.
Read NSnJW's full Norwegian Pearl cruise review
Provider: Southeastern Tours
Member Image coffeegirl1958
1 review
Sep 2015
We rented a car and drove up to the Yukon and Emerald lake. Wow what a beautiful drive. You can take all the pictures you want but they don't do it justice. Amazing
Read coffeegirl1958's full Norwegian Pearl cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Debrajump
1 review
Aug 2015
There was beautiful scenery along this route. We went into the Yukon Territory which was amazing. This was our first time to be in Canada. The lunch at the restaurant was great. Great tour guide.
Read Debrajump's full Norwegian Jewel cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image tuitionowed
2 reviews
Aug 2015
We opted for the small bus with a 90 minute drive up to the White Pass instead of the train tour. Very pleasant tour with a very good local driver. Plenty of information with stops along the way. We were dropped off in town instead of the ship so we had plenty of time to explore the city of Skagway.
Read tuitionowed's full Jewel of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image Chumley1
1 review
Jul 2015
3 hours in bus! We did get out a few times. We did get close to a brown bear foraging for berries. We saw the suspension bridge. The driver was our guide and she was nice. Yosemite is more spectacular. Wish I'd spent my limited time in the town visiting historical places.
Read Chumley1's full Norwegian Jewel cruise review
Provider: Shore Excursions Group LLC
Member Image sammie511
1 review
Jul 2015
awesome!
Read sammie511's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image raychill88
2 reviews
Jun 2015
Our feet and legs were sore from our 10 mile hike the day before, so we decided to take bus tour (not usually our thing) to see some sights since the town was pretty dull. The bus tour was $45/per person for 3 hours and we got to see some great waterfalls, scenic look out areas along the highway, we crossed over into Canada (needed to have your passport) and took a great photo at the Canada/Alaska border with the beautiful "Welcome to Alaska" road sign.
Read raychill88's full Star Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image Ralph Shrom
2 reviews
Jun 2015
Bus trip into the Yukon was long, but entertaining and educational. Included a stop at Caribou Crossing, where we had lunch, visited a wildlife museum, and got a first hand experience with sled dogs. The latter was very entertaining.
Read Ralph Shrom's full Star Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image franl24fan
6 reviews
Jun 2015
Was supposed to be bus ride to summit of White Pass, with view stops, stories of original settlers. Then a tour of Skagway with stop at Gold Rush cemetary and historic buildings. Guide told some jokes on way up, made a photo stop, dropped us back off in town hour less than advertised. Not worth the price. Reported to ship shore excursion desk, no call back or refund.
Read franl24fan's full Radiance of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image Sandy from TX
1 review
May 2015
This was my favorite excursion! As mentioned by other reviewers, the scenic drive goes deeper into the Yukon than the train and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. These are smaller buses that hold no more than 24 (we had 18 in our group). The tour director will stop as many times as needed to get good pictures. Lunch is at a small restaurant - soup, sandwiches, fruit and pie. We had chicken wraps that day and they were very good. Very relaxing and well worth the time.
Read Sandy from TX's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image jon_davidson@yahoo.com
6 reviews
May 2015
In Skagway we chose to rent a car again and explore on our own. Skagway is one of the very few places in Southeast Alaska that you can actually drive out of town and connect to the outside world, which means that Skagway is a great place for a day trip to The Yukon Territories. Be aware that Skagway had the longest walk we have ever had from where the ship docked to the actual town. We walked probably close to a mile from the ship to town (from what we saw there are two cruise dock locations and we were docked as the second ship at the further of the two docks so other had a much shorter walk). We rented from Avis which is located fairly close to where the ships dock. If you chose to rent a car reserve ahead of time, you save money and you will get a car. The day we were there several people in line at Avis had to be turned away because there were no more cars. The Klondike Highway is the one road leading out of Skagway and it pretty much follows the same route as the White Pass Railroad. It’s seven amazingly beautiful miles from town to the Canadian border (bring your passport) and then several more amazingly beautiful miles through the very northern edge of British Columbia on to The Yukon. At the top of White Pass there was still several feet of snow on the ground and the lakes were still frozen over in Late May, but as we dropped back down in elevation temperatures got to be very pleasant. We stopped at the “Carcross Desert” which is billed as the world’s smallest desert, in reality it’s a set of sand dunes formed as a part of glacial movement in the past. The dunes are fairly small but it is pretty cool to be walking around on sand dunes and look around and see snow topped mountains all around you. We drove on up to Emerald Lake which is in the Yukon and is naturally colored this really bright emerald green color (the sign says its due to the sediment that naturally occurs on the bottom of the lake). On the way back we stopped at several turn off locations along Tutshi Lake. Tutshi lake is a huge natural lake that offers incredible views. The drive from Skagway to Emerald lake and back was a perfect was amazingly beautiful and it was a really great way to see the interior of the land that we had been sailing past for the past several day. BE AWARE as of May 2015 there are several miles of road construction along the Klondike highway, This construction didn’t really back up traffic, but it did result in probably 20 or 30 miles of having to drive on gravel road. This driving on gravel resulted in lots of dust and in our case a cracked windshield due to a rock being kicked up by a Semi going the other way. I had declined the additional coverage on the car (including glass coverage) but I will say that Avis was more than fair with me. However, I would STRONGLY urge others who chose to rent a car and drive up to Emerald lake consider paying the $8 a day for glass coverage at least. After our drive we got back to Skagway just in time to take a short walk around the historic district. The national park service operates several sites in the historic district where you can learn about the glory days of the Alaskan gold rush.
Read jon_davidson@yahoo.com's full Radiance of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image elevated5301
1 review
May 2015
Very inexpensive way to get up into the mountains for the views and to play in the snow at the US/Canadian border. Most people did the train ride and the suspension bridge which we heard was well worth it too.
Read elevated5301's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image Mister mister
1 review
May 2015
Took a bus tour around Skagway then followed the Whitepass Railway tracks to the Yukon stopping many times for breathtaking scenery and photos. Hiked up to a waterfall, walking past historic gravesites as the tour guide told the stories of olden day Skagway.
Read Mister mister's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Skagway Tours
Member Image mfh066
1 review
Not Rated
Sep 2014

We tour a Scenic drive tour up into the Canadian Yukon Territory. The driver was engaging with lots of great information about what we were seeing and where we were. He told very interesting stories about the 1898 gold rush and the travels up the Klondike trail. It was foggy in the morning so we didn't see a lot of the amazing scenery on the way up and through White Pass but in the afternoon we got to see everything. He made lots of brief stops at various pull off spots so we could climb out, stretch our legs and get some incredible pictures. We had a great lunch of sandwiches, soup and the best homemade pie I've ever had at the Spirit Lake Wilderness Resort. We had about an hour to explore the small village of Carcross before heading back towards Skagway with more stops along the way at the Yukon and Welcome to Alaska signs for more pictures. After all the time on the ship and our other excursions being on the water as well it was great to have a chance to experience some of the beauty of the interior of Alaska and the Yukon Territory.

Read mfh066's full Norwegian Jewel cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image knittinggirl
19 reviews
Sep 2014
We took a combination tour, and loved it! Great scenic drive into the Yukon, and we had several stops for picture taking. One where we saw Bridal Veil Falls just as the train went past! Those camera enthusiasts may want to bring a longer lens, because my 14-54mm on my m.4/3s lens didn't have enough Zoom. The lunch was one of the best we've had on a shore excursion. Definitely worth booking!
Read knittinggirl's full Celebrity Century cruise review
Provider:
Member Image bluereef
1 review
Aug 2014

On Day 4, Skagway, we booked a private tour with Beyond Skagway Tours. If you have a larger group, this can be well worth the price since you pay by the hour and not the person. The tour was originally booked for 7 hours, but in the end we added an extra hour and 45 minutes. We really did need that much time to explore and enjoy ourselves at each stop.

Stopping to build an Inukshuk near Summit Creek was a highlight for the kids. I think I saw a badger along the way, but only caught the hind end as it went over the edge into the ravine.

We drove into Canada, reaching as far as Carcross. Be sure to get your passport stamped at the Post Office there since they don't stamp it at the USA/Canada border. Eat lunch at Carcross Bistro, a new place whose menu includes buffalo burgers, caribou sausage, salmon salads, and poutine, plus other natural, sustainable, or organic fare.

At Caribou Crossing, a cute little tourist and photo stop, we saw an excellent taxidermy museum of arctic animals including a woolly mammoth. The museum showed a wide variety of animals--including a few oddly included tropical species. The quality of lifelike posing made it easy to imagine them alive. The descriptive plaques were helpful and informative, but too brief for my preference. The halls depicting Yukon gold mining history were excellent in helping to visualize what these explorers experienced. Great historic photos plus reenactment exhibits helped.

Caribou Crossing gave us the only bona fide experience of live animals on our Skagway day: the dogsled kennel. It was a working kennel owned by a currently active Yukon Dogsled and Iditarod Dogsled musher. You can feed the dogs, hold the puppies, and for an extra fee of $36, ride for 1 mile on a summer sled pulled by the dogs. This was a highlight of the tour for our kids.

Beyond Skagway Tours also took us to Carcross Desert which is technically not a meteorological desert because it receives too much rainfall. The sand dunes were created by mica and soil blowing into the area, and it looks like a real desert. The kids enjoyed climbing the monstrous dunes and looking for treasure that Beyond Skagway had hidden there as part of its 100-mile scavenger hunt.

We panned for gold at Tagish Lake and found gold dust. We also picked thimbleberries (giant raspberries) there.

Read bluereef's full Radiance of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Beyond Skagway Tours

Sponsored links

Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.