10 Best Alaska Shore Excursions
06 Sep
Trust me, I understand. It is completely overwhelming. You type “Alaska shore excursions” into google, trying to figure out what it is you need to do on your Alaskan Cruise, and the search results are simply endless. Staring into this rabbit hole, you see a few things that the internet assures you, you have to see: Mendenhall Glacier, humpback whales, the Yukon, etc. With all of the natural wonders of Alaska to explore, the list of “Must-dos” is endless.
That’s why I’m here. After heading to Alaska from my own gorgeous home state of Montana, I had the opportunity to try out some of the best Alaska shore excursions. I knew from experience that while beautiful landscapes can be endlessly explored, there was always a list of “musts” that I gave my friends who visited me in my previous home. So, I set out to create the same list for people heading up to the great state of Alaska, and here it is! After an amazing and thrilling summer of research, from Mendenhall Glacier to Misty Fjords, here are the best Alaska shore excursions for 2018!
While you’re at it, click here to take a look at a full list of the excursions we offer!

 


Glacier 4×4 Adventure

 

Growing up down in Montana, ATVs were everywhere, so I was a little skeptical going into this excursion, about whether it would be something notable given where I grew up. Well Boy Howdy, I was wrong. This tour, one of our newest Alaska shore excursions, offers some of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen, along with the exciting adventure of the 4×4 tour! I can safely say that the picnic lunch I had on this tour was one of the most scenic meals I have ever eaten.

On this thrill-seeking tour, you start your journey with a trip up the historic Klondike highway, before hopping in the ATV with your knowledgeable guide. From here, journey through the wilds of British Columbia with gorgeous views all around, including a view of the secluded Paddy’s Peak. Pro-tip: Don’t forget your passport!

 

    • Price: $$
    • Port Town: Skagway

 

Glacier 4x4 Adventure

Featuring stunning views of Paddy’s Peak and the beauty of British Columbia, this tour is among the perfect Alaska shore excursions for the thrill-seekers in your group!


Taku Glacier Adventure by Air, Water, and Ice

 

I know, I know, everyone has told you to try the helicopter & dogsled combination. But what if I told you I had a better way for you to experience everything Alaskan glaciers have to offer? Would you at least lend an ear? Well gather round, because I have tried many a helicopter tour, but this is easily one of the best Alaska shore excursions for helicopters and glaciers alike: The Taku Glacier Adventure by Air Water and Ice.

This breath-taking excursion takes you South of Juneau to the Taku Glacier by helicopter. When you first arrive at the glacier, you will hop on an airboat that will take you right up to the face of the glacier. After returning to the helicopter, return to the air before landing right on Taku for 20 minutes of exploration by foot. When you return to the air, you get your 3rd aerial view of the glacier before returning to Juneau! None of our other Alaska shore excursions will allow you to see more of what these rivers of ice have to offer! Personally, I am still daydreaming about the views out the helicopter window on this one.

 

    • Price: $$$
    • Port Town: Juneau

 

Taku Glacier Adventure

Experience Taku Glacier from every possible angle! If you are looking for a helicopter tour in Alaska, this is hidden gem definitely needs to be on your “must-do” list.


Orcas Cove Sea Kayak

Wildlife, sea water, and a wanderer’s tales. That’s what you will be treated to on this amazing adventure, among my favorite Alaska shore excursions for kayaking. This tour made my list of favorites by combining an active tour, beautiful scenery, wildlife opportunities, and the kind of guides who know how to keep you hooked all day!

On this tour, head out into the inside passage by motor boat, to the remote location of Orcas Cove. This is spot features calm waters away from the busy fishing waters of Ketchikan, making it the perfect spot for an afternoon kayak. After paddling around for a bit, in awe of the beauty around you, you will head back to the main boat, where the guides will have a delicious salmon snack already prepared for you. Pro-tip: Take some time to chat with Captain Greg about how he ended up in Alaska, it’s a tale worth hearing!

    • Price: $$
    • Port Town: Ketchikan

 

Orcas Cove Sea Kayak

A great way to see wildlife and get up close and personal with the Inside Passage, the Orcas* Cove Kayak is among our best Alaska shore excursions for kayaking! *orcas not guaranteed


Private Emerald Lake & Hiking Tour

If you’ve done any preliminary research on the Skagway area, I am sure you have seen at least 50 recommendations for the Yukon. Well, this is easily one of my favorite Alaska shore excursions for seeing everything the Yukon has to offer you! Experience the beauty of the Klondike highway, with the opportunity to stretch your legs and see what locals really cherish about this area.

As an avid hiker, and generally active person myself, my first time driving through the area was gorgeous, but I wanted to get out there and explore exactly what the area had to offer. This tour was the best of both worlds. After your drive up the scenic Klondike Highway, all the way to Emerald Lake, your guide will take your group on a hiking adventure that they perfectly tailor to your needs and ability levels! If you have small children or elderly family members with you, our guides will be happy to accommodate. If you have a spirit of adventure and want to get some more miles under your belt, they know the exact spot that is perfect for you!

    • Price: Pricing Dependent on Group Size
    • Port Town: Skagway

 

Private Emerald Lake & Hiking Tour

Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge our Yukon guides possess, and make them take you hiking! I know for a fact many of them go hiking on their days off, so they’ll surely know all the best spots for your group.


Mendenhall Glacier Trek

I firmly believe that there is no better way to see a place, than by foot. Yes, it takes significantly longer to walk a place than drive (and I know you have a lot of Alaska shore excursions you are looking to try), but this way, you get to see all the finer details that you miss when the world is flying by you at 60mph. So what better way to see the world famous Mendenhall Glacier, than by foot.

This long, but well worth it tour takes you on a 3.5-mile journey out to the Mendenhall Glacier, where you will have approximately 2 hours to explore the glacier and ice caves (conditions permitting) with your knowledgeable guide. I can say for myself, that there is nothing quite like drinking crisp glacier water, straight from its source, and there is no way to quite understand the sheer size of the glacier, until you are standing on top of it, staring out at its towering mass. Pack your hiking boots (and click here to see a list of what else to bring)! Pro-tip: if you’ve ever felt the desire to try out some ice climbing, take the private version of this trip!

    • Price: $$
    • Port Town: Juneau

 

Mendenhall Glacier Trek

Take your buddies, and go for an adventure on Mendenhall Glacier! With stunning beauty all around you and plenty of opportunities for photo ops, I guarantee you will manage to snap a new profile picture on this tour.


Misty Fjords Cruise and Flightseeing

The list of Ketchikan “must-dos” on the google search results, tends to be a bit shorter, but the Misty Fjords certainly makes the list among need-to-see Alaska shore excursions. As you may have noticed from my previous recommendations, I am a big fan of seeing the gorgeous Alaskan wilderness “from all angles,” and this is yet another great example of that!

Start your journey with a thrilling flight through the Misty Fjords (maybe even dipping next to one of the powerful waterfalls streaming over 200-foot cliffs). From here your remote water landing takes you right to the cruise, where you get to enjoy the breath-taking views from a whole new angle, with the knowledge of your onboard naturalist keeping you entertained on the journey back! Pro-tip: this tour books up quickly, so get your seats early.

    • Price: $$$
    • Port Town: Ketchikan

 

Misty Fjords Cruise & Flightseeing

Don’t miss your opportunity to see one of our nations most remote national monuments. With stunning granite faces and cascading waterfalls, add our Alaska shore excursions to the Misty Fjords to your “must-do” list.


Glacier Point Wilderness Safari

If you missed this chance to get up close and personal with the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari will be your redemption! I may be biased, (I was able to take this tour on one of the rare days when the Southeast Alaska skies open up and the sun shines through) but this tour has some of the best views you’ll find on your Alaskan cruise.

The one-hour boat ride out the Glacier Point allows for 360-degree views of the Lynn Canal, and more photo opportunities than your camera can handle. Upon reaching Glacier Point, I guarantee you will be fascinated by the guides who choose to live off the grid in the Alaskan Wilderness for 5 months of the year – it definitely takes a certain kind of person. From there commences the bus/hike/canoe journey out to Davidson Glacier, and let me tell you, nothing quite compares to standing directly underneath the towering beauty of one of these behemoths. With jaw-dropping views and some of the most interesting guides around, this tour is a must-do among Alaska shore excursions. Pro-tip: keep an eye out for Mountain Goats on the cliff faces next to the glacier and for sea lions along the sides of the Lynn Canal!

    • Price: $$
    • Port Town: Skagway

 

Glacier Point Wilderness Safari

Have your camera and questions ready! The Glacier Point Wilderness Safari is a one of a kind opportunity to see Davidson Glacier, and the incredible people who call it home for the summer.


Taste of Nature Kayak & Gourmet Food Adventure

Our other brand-new tour, just released for 2018, this excursion is a must for groups looking to see the serene beauty of Juneau’s waters, with a local flavor twist. Though we cannot make a guarantee with wildlife, this tour is a great opportunity to spot some of Juneau’s marine mammals, including sea lions, seals, porpoises, otters, and even whales!

What I really love about this tour, is that it will give me the opportunity to experience several of the “must-dos” in Juneau, without feeling like you didn’t get enough time to experience true Alaskan wilderness!  Without a doubt, this is one of the best new Alaska shore excursions I have found and will remain on my list of quite some time.

    • Price: $$
    • Port Town: Juneau
Taste of Nature Kayak & Gourmet Food Adventure with Alaska Shore Tours

Paddle along Juneau’s beautiful, untouched coastline & munch on some tasty treats on the Taste of Nature Kayak & Gourmet Food Adventure with some of the best guides in Southeast Alaska to keep the tour safe and exciting!


Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour

In case you haven’t picked up on it, water is the heart of Ketchikan (you can’t even get to Ketchikan without some form of water transportation). As the Salmon Capital of the World, Fishing, more specifically, is the industry that has powered Ketchikan through all its years. Coming to Alaska from a landlocked state, I didn’t really know what this meant until I took this tour!

On this tour, you will spend a beautiful 3 hours floating along the waters of the inside passage, on a boat that was once featured on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch.” Along the way, you will be entertained by the tall tales that only a true fisherman can spin, and an up-close look at the sea life that makes Alaskan water’s so rich. This is one of the Alaska shore excursions you won’t want to miss if you’re looking to see what Alaskan life is really about!

    • Price: $$
    • Port Town: Ketchikan
Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour

Get up close and personal with Alaskan sea life. From octopus, to prawns, to Dungeness crab, get a personal look at the sea creatures that fuel Alaska’s fishing industry.


Whale Watching, Mendenhall Glacier, and Juneau City Tour

With this great tour, I loved the chance to see all the major highlights of Juneau in one great excursion! Budget friendly, and easy to book, this tour is especially great if you’re a last-minute planner like me (I know, I’m on the phone all the time telling people they need to book now. Sometimes, I admit, I am a hypocrite).

When I describe Juneau in a quick synopsis to friends, I always mention glaciers and whales. Whales because, with the inside passage being so narrow, we can literally guarantee whale sitings on this tour! Glaciers, because who has ever spent more than 5 minutes googling Juneau, and not seen mention of the famed Mendenhall Glacier. But don’t discount the city of Juneau itself! As the Capital of Alaska, this city has a lot to offer, and this tour offered the perfect opportunity to let my inner history buff shine. So get it all, as I already mention over and again in this post, with one of the most in depth Alaska shore excursions we offer.

    • Price: $
    • Port Town: Juneau
Whale Watching, Mendenhall Glacier, and Juneau City Tour

Whale, how cool was that! With a guarantee of Whales and knowledgeable guides to tell you all about everything else Juneau has to offer, this is one of the best Alaska shore excursions for seeing “every angle.”


 

Explore High-Demand Tours to Book Early

 

Check Out Free and Cheap Things to Do in Skagway

 

Explore the Ice Caves of Mendenhall Glacier

 

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