Top 10 Shore Excursions in Alaska You Have to Experience

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Alaska is everyone’s dream destination, literally! It is a place where a traffic jam is more likely to result from a group of tourists watching the spectacle of a moose’s birth than by an actual gridlock of modern lifestyles. The things to do in Alaska are limitless. You can watch wildlife, and very diverse species at that, or you can just take it easy and go fishing for halibut. From Ketchikan to Juneau, from fjord sightseeing to eagle watching, everyone sure has a lot to look forward to.

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Learn about the Top 10 Shore Excursions in Alaska

1. The Misty Fjords National Monument Flightseeing Tour

Tours in Alaska

Aerial view of the Misty Fjords National Monument

Ketchikan has the most works of nature in the whole of Alaska and the Misty Fjords National Monument is an example. All this unique landscape and the living creatures contained therein are best experienced via a flight, followed by a touchdown anywhere inside the expansive 2.2 million acres so as to further savor the majesty of this North American wonder. The monument lets you into an endless gaze of fractured granite walls that have been scoured over time by thousands of years of glacial action. The plunge of some thousands of feet between the fjords is sure to give you an exhilarating experience. This sure is one of the most rewarding shore excursions in Alaska.

2. Whale Watching Tours of Juneau

Shore excursions in Alaska

Humpback Whales in Alaska

Juneau is where you are allowed to fish for halibut in its Gastineau Channel, and it’s also a place where you can you go ahead and enjoy the most fascinating expedition on earth: watching the amazing whales float by. The whale watching tours of Juneau are one of the best tours in Alaska and provide good views of eagles, bears and orcas in the same package. Most custom boats that take visitors for this magical experience leave through Juneau’s Auke Bay Harbor, taking people through Alaska’s Inside Passage and into some of the most stunning vistas in North America. Whale watching, seeing sharp rises and the snow caps that you experience on these tours will probably be the best rewards you’ve ever given yourself.

3. Juneau Dogsled Tours of the Mendenhall Glacier

Shore excursions in Alaska

Huskies on Mendenhall Glacier

These tours are probably the reason the phrase once-in-a-lifetime experience was coined. Alaskan and Musher Sled dogs will take you through some of the most awe inspiring sceneries in the land of the midnight sun. Be prepared to be amazed and riled nicely at the same time on the Mendenhall Glacier’s dogsled tour when more than 200 mushing dogs decide to howl and go all at once. The barking at the beginning is almost deafening but very exciting at the same time. Guests who make these shore excursions in Alaska also have a chance to not only pet the sled dogs, but also the occasional puppies that make the team.

4. Juneau Glacier Flightseeing Tours

Tours in Alaska by floatplane

Floatplane with glacier in the background

Alaska’s whole landscape is amazing, chiefly because of the many snow-capped peaks as well as the free flowing glacier activity. Taking all this scenery in while on a flight probably is the best way to go about a glacier sightseeing trip. The peaks around the capital provide an awesome basis for this. This trip, which is full of delights and thrills, will take you to some of the deepest crevasses, very imposing rock faces and azure blue pools resulting from the melting glacier.

5. Juneau’s Mount Roberts Tramway

Things to do in Alaska

Mount Roberts Tramway in Juneau

Everyone who gets to Alaska on a cruise ship should never fail to experience this. Colorfully decorated tramcars are on standby to take you on a serious ride; these can be found right where the ship docks in Juneau. They will sure afford you the best way to experience Alaska’s breathtaking rainforests, as well as the occasional game in the open glades. It offers the most expansive view of Alaska, one that gives you the beautiful Gastineau Channel on one side and the towering Chilkat Mountains on the other side. It sure is one of the best shore excursions in Alaska.

6. Ketchikan Eagles, Lighthouse and Totems Tour

Alaska tours to see totems in Ketchikan

Totem in Ketchikan

Ketchikan is a beautiful city and a trip to the city sights that matter will surely heighten the trip from being just interesting to becoming breathtakingly memorable. The historic Guard Island Lighthouse, the wildlife viewing areas at Vallenar Rocks and the Totem Bight State Park are some of these highlights. During this trip, you will get every opportunity to venture into about 10 American bald eagle nests and right inside their habitat, no less. You will also get to experience countless other Alaskan species. Lighthouse, totems and eagles shore excursion can’t get any better.

7. Guided Kayak Paddling on Sitka Harbor and Islands

Kayak paddling Alaska tours

Kayak paddling tour in Alaska

If you have ever wanted to experience the turbulent water with a kayak, then this is your very own chance. Aside from the fun of rowing, you will take in all the aquatic ecology you can muster from a single day and get a glimpse into some of the most interesting sea creatures of North America. You will also get to explore all the sheltered waterways, coves and harbors, and be able to interact with the local people while also sampling the beautiful scenery of Sitka.

8. Tour of the Skagway White Pass Railroad Summit

Skagway White Pass Railroad Summit

Skagway White Pass Railroad Summit

This trip that is taken aboard the world’s most scenic railway will take you all the way from Skagway to the White Pass Summit, which has an elevation of some 2,865 feet. While the vintage passenger coaches retrace the original routes of the took passage to the summit, you can relax and enjoy the beautiful views of the mountains as well as breathtaking sites such as Dead Horse Gulch and Bridal Veil Falls. The countless glaciers, tunnels, gorges, historic sites and trestles all add up to make your trip memorable.

9. Chilkoot River and Haines Bear Viewing Excursion

Alaska tours to watch grizzly bears

Grizzly bear at Chilkoot River

The Chilkoot River corridor is an amazing geographical phenomenon, especially the strip near Haines. This place offers three possible amazing activities. You can either indulge in the region’s rich cultural heritage, including the archeological sites, or try your hand in the favorite salmon fishing spots. Those averse to both can take it easy in the bear viewing area. The strip also has some very cozy camping areas that you might want to try when on the tour of the north.

10. Haines Bald Eagle Early Fall and Winter Spectacle

Shore excursions in Alaska

Bald Eagles in Early Fall

Nothing beats the excitement around the convergence of the Chilkat bald eagles in the Valley of Eagles in Haines. The spawning chum salmon attract more than 3,000 eagles that, because of the upwelling warm water, have a field day taking in as much of the fish as they possibly can. The sight of countless birds occupying bare tree branches that line the river, each angling for a catch, is something of a spectacle. The eagle spectacle is one of the most enchanting among the many shore excursions in Alaska.

All the tours and shore excursions in Alaska listed above can be purchased when booking a cruise or when you are already onboard. You, however, need to check with the cruise if your preferred tour is available, as these options vary from cruise to cruise. Your now have 10 excellent reasons to consider a cruise to Alaska. Book now!

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