Shore excursions offer an exciting way to experience Alaska. Here is a sample of some popular excursions.
Note: Not all cruise lines offer all excursions listed.
Board your 4x4 Kawasaki Mule off-road vehicle. Ride along a trail into the Alaska wilderness enjoying the forests, valleys and mountainous scenery. Take in the breathtaking views of the mountains and the temperate rainforest that surround the trail.
Bear Viewing & Wildlife Expedition
Journey to the wilds of southeast Alaska for an astonishing brown bear and wildlife viewing adventure. Your exploration begins with a breathtakingly scenic flight with an Alaskan bush pilot. Step off the plane in brown bear territory, where access is limited by permit. Your expert local guide shares knowledge of the area's fascinating natural history, wildlife and brown bears. Enjoy up to a 1.5-mile walk along streams, estuaries and coastal areas as you look for wildlife. Photographers and nature enthusiasts will marvel at this unique opportunity to discover a remote area of Alaska and its wild inhabitants.
Dog Sledding On The Mendenhall Glacier
Join one of the originators of helicopter glacier flightseeing and experience the thrill of dog sledding during this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Fly over lush rainforest, deep blue crevasses and glacier-carved peaks on a spectacular flightseeing tour to a dog sled camp on the Mendenhall Glacier. Hear tales of the renowned Iditarod race, then drive your team or relax in the sled and take in the awe-inspiring scenery. After your ride, visit with the mushers or take pictures with the nearly 300 dogs and puppies before your helicopter flight back to Juneau.
Fly-Out Fly Fishing Adventure
Untouched Alaska wilderness awaits you on this premier fly-fishing quest. Combine the highlights of southeast Alaska - classic floatplanes, world-renowned fishing in remote waters, experienced local guides and abundant wildlife in a pristine setting. This tour caters to the first-timer as well as the experienced fly caster. Fishing is catch-and-release. Pursue cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden and various salmon species. First-class gear and a smoked salmon snack and beverages are provided. The only way to experience southeast Alaska at its finest is a flight to the heart of the back country, which road access simply doesn't allow. Whether you're a fisherman, a photographer or a discriminating traveler looking for an authentic and unique experience, this tour will be a highlight of any Alaska visit.
Glacier Bay Flightseeing
Experience the majesty of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, one of America's premier wilderness areas. Depart from the Hoonah Airport by fixed-wing plane and fly over Point Adolphus and Icy Strait, an important feeding ground for many marine mammals. At the entrance to Glacier Bay, your pilot will point out Lemesurier Island. Massive glaciers reached this point before beginning their rapid retreat just 250 years ago. It is an ideal place to see how the earth recovers from an Ice Age to again become a rich forested landscape. See how the de-glaciated terrain develops into lush rainforests of spruce and hemlock that now line the shores of Glacier Bay. The awesome scenery encompasses 3.3 million acres and is part of the largest internationally protected area in the world. Fly past waterfalls, lakes, deep crevasses and the azure blue meltwater pools of Glacier Bay National Park. Approach the mighty Brady Glacier and experience one of the most astounding views of a beautiful tidewater glacier and the ice field from which it flows. From the entrance of the bay to its end, witness the progression of a land being reborn. The ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit, Glacier Bay National Park, is held dear to its original inhabitants and its grandeur is sure to inspire all who experience it.
Gold Panning & History Tour
Relive Juneau's gold rush history and pan for gold from a creek beneath the ruins of a gold mine. Follow the route taken by Joe Juneau and Richard Harris as they searched for gold over a century ago. Travel by minibus to Gold Creek, the site of the original gold discovery. Try your hand at panning, with a promise of "guaranteed gold." A costumed prospector awards you a Gold Claim Certificate and provides lively narrative. See the remains of the Alaska-Juneau Mine and learn about the area's mining history before returning to town.
Haines Walking Tour
The small, picturesque town of Haines is ideal for a walking tour. Get some exercise and enjoy a personalized look at the history, Native culture, local flora and present-day lifestyle of this unique community. Embark from the cruise ship pier at Portage Cove, at the foot of historic Fort William H. Seward. Your enthusiastic guide will point out highlights, including the old barracks building, the parade grounds and Officer's Row as you stroll the fort. Stop at the former Army hospital, now home of Alaska Indian Arts, where totem poles, masks and rattles are created. Peer into local gardens and walk the lesser-known paths which lead to the town center. At the end of the guided tour you may stay in town to shop or visit the local museum before completing the walk to your ship.
Embark on the ultimate halibut fishing excursion in the rich waters of Icy Strait. Board a modern cabin cruiser for a short boat ride to the hottest fishing spots known only to locals. The area waters are teeming with halibut, making angling conditions ideal. There is a maximum of six guests per boat and every fisher is in control of their own pole and tackle, so no sharing here! Icy Strait is known for an abundance of marine life; be sure to bring your camera and plenty of film for once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.
Helicopter Glacier Trek
Experience Juneau's ice field and glaciers in a way that sightseeing alone cannot provide. A world-class adventure begins as you are briefed and outfitted with warm outerwear, boots, crampons and an ice axe. Next, a magnificent flight over lush rainforest, granite peaks and glaciers provides extraordinary photo opportunities. Then, professional guides lead you on an easy, personalized trek through an awe-inspiring icescape. No experience is necessary, but be prepared for physical activity. Bring a camera, a can-do attitude and an appetite for adventure.
Kayaking In Prince William Sound
Experience the natural beauty of a deepwater fjord, its waterfalls, rock formations and wildlife. Your adventure begins as experienced guides lead you through a basic kayaking and safety class. Enjoy an "otter's eye" view as you paddle your stable sea kayak through the majestic waters of Prince William Sound. Your guide provides informative narrative, describing the flora, fauna and marine environment you may encounter. Get set for the adventure of a lifetime as you glide through pristine waters, view spectacular scenery and learn about the region's wildlife. Don't forget your camera as photo opportunities are excellent!
Mendenhall Glacier & Salmon Hatchery Tour
Take a narrated tour of Juneau, see the largest fish ladder in Alaska and admire magnificent Mendenhall Glacier in Tongass National Forest. Your local driver-guide recounts the history of Juneau's gold rush as you depart downtown en route to Macaulay Hatchery, where you see adult spawning salmon (late June through September) or have the opportunity to feed immature salmon fry (May through early June). Learn about the unique and fascinating reproductive cycles of Pacific salmon. The museum-quality exhibits detail the hatchery's annual production of over 150 million salmon and numerous aquariums showcase local marine wildlife. Visit monumental Mendenhall Glacier - one-and-a-half miles wide, hundreds of feet thick and fed by the 1,500-square-mile Juneau Icefield. This meandering river of compressed blue ice ranks as the largest glacier in southeast Alaska accessible by road. The U.S. Forest Service staff offers a wealth of information on glaciers during your visit. The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center features exhibits, interactive videos and a panoramic view of the glacier, offering the perfect vantage point for photos of this world-famous sight.
Enjoy wild Alaska salmon barbecued over an open alderwood fire at a feast for all your senses. After a short, scenic bus ride you arrive at Salmon Creek, the outdoor site for your salmon bake. Savor all-you-can-eat salmon, chicken, pasta primavera, salads, corn bread and dessert. Enjoy musical entertainment while you dine under translucent domes protecting you from the elements. After your meal, stroll through the woods or roast marshmallows over the campfire. Take the short walk to Salmon Falls to pan for gold, view spawning salmon (in season) and the remains of the historic Wagner Mine. Buses depart regularly to the pier so you may return at your leisure.
Whale & Wildlife Cruise
Mingle with the abundant marine life of Icy Strait. Ply the cool, deep waters of Icy Strait in comfort aboard your sightseeing vessel. Travel approximately 17 miles to the Point Adolphus area, one of Alaska's premier whale-watching sites. Relax in the warm, comfortable main cabin as your boat meanders past the magnificent scenery of the Chilkat mountain range. Your onboard naturalist describes the diversity of marine life that congregates here each summer to feed in the nutrient-rich waters. Learn about the behavior and habitat of the wildlife you may encounter, including humpback and orca whales, Steller sea lions, harbor seals, bald eagles and more. Be sure to dress warmly so you can experience the sights and sounds of the magnificent mammals on the outdoor observation deck.
This ZipRider cable ride is the longest in the world at 5,330 feet. If you are looking for true adventure then this tour is for you. The ZipRider is six cables wide and six riders go at the same time, so it is a race to the bottom! Accelerating to 60 mph, pass through a wooded area. Soon after, the bottom drops out and you are 300 feet above ground. During this exhilarating 1.5-minute ride, enjoy sweeping views of Port Frederick, Icy Strait and your cruise ship. Your zip-ride ends with a gentle touchdown on the beach at the water's edge at Icy Strait Point. Your fellow cruisers (not as brave as you) will be at the landing zone to welcome you back. Unlike anything you've experienced before, the ZipRider is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.