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Daveywavey70

Silver Muse Alaska June 17th questions

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We’re considering booking onto the Muse for the 10 night Alaska cruise from Vancouver on June 17th. 

Have any of you lovely CC contributors done any of the following excursions? 

Misty Fjords flightseeing trip from Ketchikan.

Glacier Bay flightseeing trip from Haines.

Heli trip and dog sledding on the Mendenhall Glacier from Juneau.

Stikine River by jet boat from Wrangell.

It will be our first trip to that part of the world so I’d be really grateful if anyone has any experience or tips on the above or suggestions for the best things to do in Sitka and Prince Rupert.

Also On one of the days the itineray is listed as Walker Cove and Rudyerd bay, both for a few hours but with no excursions listed. Does it actually dock or is it just sailing by, and if so what is to do there? Are there any other CCers booked on this cruise?

Many thanks

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Can comment on a few!

 

Ketchikan is rather touristy and can get very overcrowded with other big ships.  Misty Fjords is very scenic, and the flightseeing trip would be worthwhile. You can just take the local bus (about every 30 minutes) down to Totem Bight Park, which is worth seeing

I have been to Juneau twice, and both times the heli trip and dog sledding were cancelled because of the weather.  I gather the trip is more often cancelled than not, but that should not stop you from booking it - just be prepared to be disappointed and have a plan B that can be enjoyed in the wet.

 

We really enjoyed Sitka both times we visited.  The historical park and museum are good and the Russian Cathedral well worth a 15 minute visit.  The people who took the Sea Otter cruise had good wildlife viewing - we did see otters elsewhere, but that was further north than you are going.  Don't bother with the Raptor Centre or the Fortress of the Bears - you are so aware  that these are captive animals when you can see others in the wild

 

In Prince Rupert, we spotted two days before that the weather was going to be excellent, and so we booked the floatplane trip, which was wonderful. Up over the glacier, landing on a lake under a waterfall, and flying back over the logging rivers.  We missed the single bear that the plane ahead of us spotted, but, like you, we were travelling in late June ahead of the bear season. However, those who did the trip to the Khutzeymateen Valley to see the bears were very pleased with the trip, and saw a lot of the grizzlies. 

 

Before I went to Alaska, I was advised that it was good to take a tour in each port, as the ports themselves either have very little to offer, or what they do have is spread out and can be difficult to access.  I tend to agree with this.  Also, there is limited value in booking private tours, as the prices seem to be the same as ship tours (or more, if there are only two of you)

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Many thanks ts, that gives me plenty to work on. I like to plan as much as I can ahead of time so the plan b suggestion is a great idea, having a great plan b in place will certainly lessen the disappointment. The dog sledding is the one I want to do more than anything so thanks for preparing me for that option. 

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8 hours ago, Daveywavey70 said:

We’re considering booking onto the Muse for the 10 night Alaska cruise from Vancouver on June 17th. 

Stikine River by jet boat from Wrangell.

It will be our first trip to that part of the world so I’d be really grateful if anyone has any experience or tips on the above or suggestions for the best things to do in Sitka and Prince Rupert.

Davey,

Wrangell - I would highly recommend passing on the Stikine River tour by jet boat.  Instead, book a tour to the Anan Wildlife Observatory.  You'll get to ride on the exact same type of jet boat and on your way you'll see more bald eagles than you can ever imagine.  But, the real highlight is being able to see mother black bears (and the occasional grizzly) teach their cubs how to fish.  At that time of year the salmon run will be just a few weeks away from starting in mass, but nonetheless there will still be early arrivals making this tour worthwhile.

Sitka - I would forgo all ship tours in this port as there is so much you can do and see on your own.  For example, if you enjoy hiking, the National Historical Park is in a beautiful setting and has lots of totem poles to view.  From there it is just a short walk to the Alaska Raptor Center where for a mere $13 you can see all types of eagles, hawks, and owls.  In 2008 the ship was charging $69 for this tour.  The raptor center is just a mile from town, so you can either walk back or grab a taxi.  In town nice sites include St. Michael's Orthodox church, the Russian Bishops House, and Baranof Castle.

Have fun planning your trip!

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 Many thanks Stumbles, even more to think about. We were not too impressed with the ships tours last time,  they all seemed a little sedate for my taste,

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16 minutes ago, Daveywavey70 said:

 Many thanks Stumbles, even more to think about. We were not too impressed with the ships tours last time,  they all seemed a little sedate for my taste,

I understand.  They definitely can be hit or miss.

I promise though, the ship's tour to Anan will be anything but sedate.  It's a jet boat ride of roughly 45-minutes (if I remember correctly), led by a guide with a shotgun where you'll walk along the creek to the viewing platform and blinds.  It's a tour unlike any we've ever done before.

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3 hours ago, Stumblefoot said:

I understand.  They definitely can be hit or miss.

I promise though, the ship's tour to Anan will be anything but sedate.  It's a jet boat ride of roughly 45-minutes (if I remember correctly), led by a guide with a shotgun where you'll walk along the creek to the viewing platform and blinds.  It's a tour unlike any we've ever done before.

It sounds and looks (on youtube)amazing, I'd discounted the idea as I thought it was too early in the season to see the bears from what I'd been reading. This is an absolute definite now. Were still not 100% we are going to go with SS. Other option is Oceania Regatta 10 nights which calls at many of the same ports. Have to see how it all works out. Thanks again for the tips. 😊

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We did Alaska last year on the Shadow and it was incredible!

 

In Sitka, we independently booked a whale watching/wildlife tour on a 6-passenger boat and it was amazing. Lots of whales up-close, sea otters, a grizzly, seals and sea lions, puffins and thousands of birds. The captain even took us into a cave. Highly recommended. Contact Capt. Paul Davis at Gallant Adventures.

 

If you like to hike and save a few bucks in Juneau, we took the Mt. Roberts tram and then hiked way up into the mountains. Great views despite some rain. Followed that up with a bus to Mendenhall glacier and more hiking.

 

We did theMisty Fjords float plane in Ketchikan with Island Wings on a rare sunny, clear day. They offer a longer tour than the others and included a landing on a lake. Good value.

 

Enjoy!

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We and our friends are taking Silver Muse Aug 15 Seward to Vancouver with pre-cruise in Denali.  All of us new to Alaska.  Finding these suggestions very helpful.

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We Loved Harv and Marv’s whale watching tour in Juneau.  It was a small boat, 6 max, and we saw many whales and lots of other wildlife.   Our captain was wonderful, and shared lots of local information.

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Hey philw1776,

 

We did the pre-cruise Denali trip and it was excellent. The tour operator was fantastic - all details handled with style. 

 

We had incredible weather and got a great view of Denali on the Tundra bus and then again the next day. You spend A LOT of time on the bus and trains, but they are comfortable, the scenery is great and there are no alternatives if you want to see Denali. We spotted grizlies, Dall sheep, caribou and moose - the big four!

 

The Grande Denali Lodge is an amazing location and the food is good. The stop at Martin Buser's Iditarod dog place is a blast!

 

At Alyeska, we took the tram to the mountaintop for dinner and cosider that a must. Outstanding fod and views. On the way down, we spotted a mother black bear and three cubs right in the back of the hotel and wandered over for some closer pics. The next morning, had a super hike on the Winner Creek trail.

 

Hope your trip to Denali was as great as ours.

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On 1/3/2019 at 9:29 AM, Daveywavey70 said:

We’re considering booking onto the Muse for the 10 night Alaska cruise from Vancouver on June 17th. 

Have any of you lovely CC contributors done any of the following excursions? 

Misty Fjords flightseeing trip from Ketchikan.

 

We did Alaska on the the Silver Shadow a couple of years ago and loved the entire trip!  Although we did that trip on the Shadow we just recently cruised Italy on the new Muse and what an amazing ship, she's my new favorite.  

To answer your question about the Misty Fjords flight seeing trip, we did it and absolutely loved it!  If we cruise Alaska again, that one will be top of my list to do again.  The helicopter tour in Juneau was the other highlight for us.  We did not do one with dogsledding, it was only the heli tour but truly fantastic.  

I've attached a couple photos from our Misty Fjords flightseeing trip.  We lucked out with the weather and it was truly amazing!  

 

IMG_5432.png

IMG_5431.png

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On 1/3/2019 at 4:26 PM, tsavorite said:

Can comment on a few!

 

Ketchikan is rather touristy and can get very overcrowded with other big ships.  Misty Fjords is very scenic, and the flightseeing trip would be worthwhile. You can just take the local bus (about every 30 minutes) down to Totem Bight Park, which is worth seeing

I have been to Juneau twice, and both times the heli trip and dog sledding were cancelled because of the weather.  I gather the trip is more often cancelled than not, but that should not stop you from booking it - just be prepared to be disappointed and have a plan B that can be enjoyed in the wet.

 

We really enjoyed Sitka both times we visited.  The historical park and museum are good and the Russian Cathedral well worth a 15 minute visit.  The people who took the Sea Otter cruise had good wildlife viewing - we did see otters elsewhere, but that was further north than you are going.  Don't bother with the Raptor Centre or the Fortress of the Bears - you are so aware  that these are captive animals when you can see others in the wild

 

In Prince Rupert, we spotted two days before that the weather was going to be excellent, and so we booked the floatplane trip, which was wonderful. Up over the glacier, landing on a lake under a waterfall, and flying back over the logging rivers.  We missed the single bear that the plane ahead of us spotted, but, like you, we were travelling in late June ahead of the bear season. However, those who did the trip to the Khutzeymateen Valley to see the bears were very pleased with the trip, and saw a lot of the grizzlies. 

 

Before I went to Alaska, I was advised that it was good to take a tour in each port, as the ports themselves either have very little to offer, or what they do have is spread out and can be difficult to access.  I tend to agree with this.  Also, there is limited value in booking private tours, as the prices seem to be the same as ship tours (or more, if there are only two of you)

 

 

Hi.  We are considering booking for 2020.  When is the bear season please?  Thanks.

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Bear season (for viewing, not hunting!) depends on the timing of the salmon run.  Can start early July, but usually mid-July and carries on until mid-September.  

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One of the most memorable excursions I have ever taken ( anywhere) was the helicopter flight up to a glacial ice field for a dog sledding experience. We had a guide, Peter, right out of central casting who was a font of interesting, pertinent information. The scenery was gorgeous. Bright sun, glittering snow and narrow passes through the mountains to get to the glacier. The copter pilot looked about 14, but was very competent and obviously  experienced. The camp itself was primitive with several portable buildings able to be moved to follow suitable ice fields as the weather warmed.

 

The dogs each had little tidy white houses and all of them were sitting, on the roofs ,howling, as they waited to have their turn to get hitched and to run. “Pick me! Pick me!” Our team was hitched up and waiting...and barking,  even louder than the ones perched on the dog houses.

 

The ride itself was fast, but felt safe....we went in a huge open oval. The terrain was undulating. Peter offered to let me take a turn at driving, but the team was really fired up and it might have been scary to try to control them....besides I was having too much fun just tearing along and being in the moment. Once during the ride, we stopped and while my husband chatted with Peter, I got to play a bit with the dogs. These athletes were sweet and responsive, but when Peter got back in command, the dogs snapped to attention, starting barking again and strained against their harnesses...raring to go. 

 

Some excursion memories, maybe most, tend to run together. Was this temple in Vietnam or Cambodia?  Our afternoon on the glacier was unforgettable. It may have been expensive, but the experience was priceless.

 

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Many thanks CruisinPashmina. This is one excursion we are so looking forward to. Bookings opened today at 120 days out so straight away I booked this and the Anan Bear tour as recommended by Stumbles. Also booked some meals including la Terrazza for summer solstice night, hoping far an outside table that night as we sail away from the midnight sun. 

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8 minutes ago, Daveywavey70 said:

I booked this and the Anan Bear tour as recommended by Stumbles.

Hope you enjoy Anan as much as we did!

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59 minutes ago, Stumblefoot said:

Hope you enjoy Anan as much as we did!

I’m sure we will. Just hoping it’s not too early in the season.

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If you wish to do the Glacier Bay flightseeing from Haines then I would recommend contacting a couple of the local flight services and doing it yourself. We walked off the ship and took a trip with one of the two I had investigated, at less than half of SS’s cost and had the plane to ourselves.

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Many thanks Silver Spectre. I Have been looking at booking that  tour independently. I take it it’s quite rare you can’t get into port in Alaska, Most ports look to be docked not tender.

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29 minutes ago, Daveywavey70 said:

Many thanks Silver Spectre. I Have been looking at booking that  tour independently. I take it it’s quite rare you can’t get into port in Alaska, Most ports look to be docked not tender.

I recall that Haines was a dock.

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I checked my photos (from 2009) and the company was Mountain Flying Services, we went up in his Bush Hawk which was almost new (there is a picture on the website), looks like he has a new plane now. Good luck.

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