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Frequently Asked Questions

Booking Your Tour

The tour I want isn't showing availability.

If the tour you are interested in is not showing availability on our website, please contact us to speak with an agent as we may still be able to accommodate you.

I submitted an inquiry but I haven't heard back.

Inquiries are necessary if a tour is sold out or unable to be booked online. We try to respond to all inquiries within 48 hours and we ask that you do not submit multiple inquiries for the same tour. During this time, we have taken your inquiry and are working with our tour operators to try and accommodate your request. If you have not heard from us after 48 hours, please call us at 844-626-9600.

What is your cancelation policy?

Standard Cancellation Policy: You may cancel up to 14-days before the tour for a refund. No refund is available if canceled within 14-days of the tour.

If for any reason the tour is canceled (due to unpermitting weather, for example), or if your cruise ship’s schedule changes, you will receive a refund minus any non-refundable charges. Alternatively, you may reschedule your tour to another date.

To request a cancellation, please contact us by phone or email and provide us with your reservation number (beginning with the letter “A” followed by numbers), as well as your reason for cancellation. We send an email out once the refund has been issued, it can then take 5-10 days to show up on your credit card statement.

Do you have private tours?

Yes! We have several options for private tours. If the tour you’re interested in does not list a private option on our website, chances are we will be able to customize an experience for you. Contact us so we can help!

I'm travelling with a group, can you accommodate all of us?

Yes! We have worked to organize tours for many groups. Visit our Group Tours page and submit the form to get in touch with our group reservations specialist.

Do you only offer tours to cruise passengers?

Our tours are for everyone! Although the majority of our guests are cruise ship passengers, we also accommodate independent travelers as well as locals.

Which tours are wheelchair accessible/low mobility?

Please be contact an agent so we can find the best fit for you.

My friend booked their tour already, can we be on the same tour as them?

This depends on the tour. Most of the time we are able to make this happen, especially if their tour was booked through us. Please speak with an agent to see if this is possible for your group.

Which towns in Alaska do you offer tours in?

Currently, we offer tours in Juneau, Skagway, Haines, Ketchikan, Anchorage, Denali, Sitka, and Icy Strait Point. We will be expanding to Seward and Fairbanks in the near future. You can use the filter option on our tour listings page to select which town(s) you’d like to view.

Preparing for Your Tour

Will the trip still operate if it is raining?

Our tours operate rain or shine. Much of Southeast Alaska lies in a temperate rainforest and the weather is hard to predict and changes quickly. Always be prepared for rain!

With that said, safety is our guide’s first priority and if weather conditions are unsafe, the trip will be canceled and we will provide a refund. This typically only happens with flightseeing trips but can happen on river and lake trips from time to time.

What is the weather like?

Alaska’s weather is a bit unpredictable and changes rapidly. Always be prepared for rain and hope for sunshine! Southeast Alaska’s average high in summer is in the low 60’s° F. Check out our blog post for your guide on weather along the Inside Passage.

What if my tour is canceled due to weather?

When a tour is canceled due to weather, your guide will contact you via cell phone. If they are not able to reach you, they will be at the meeting location to inform you that the tour cannot operate due to weather conditions. Our tour operators notify us within 24 hours of the tour being canceled, at which time we issue the refund. The refund can take 5-10 days to show up on your credit card statement.

What clothing should I wear?

Rain gear is provided on many of our tours, but it is a good idea to pack your own rain gear and include warm layers that are made of quick-drying material (not cotton). You will receive a detailed list of what is provided and what you should bring for each tour. Check out our blog post on What to Pack For Your Alaska Cruise!

Is transportation provided?

This depends on the tour. Many of our tours include roundtrip transportation from the cruise ship dock, local meeting point, or hotel. This information is provided on each individual tour page and detailed meeting instructions are provided on your tour voucher.

How will I find the tour guide?

Your guide will meet you either at your cruise ship or within a short walking distance of the ship unless otherwise noted. When you finalize the booking for your excursion, your voucher will be sent to you via email with detailed meeting instructions and contact information.

I don't have a confirmation email.

Once you have booked your tour and we have received all of the necessary information from you, you will be emailed a confirmation with a voucher attached. The voucher is what you need to print and take with you, or have pulled up on your phone, as it contains your detailed meeting instructions. If you have not received a confirmation email, please make sure that we have received all of the necessary information from you. Many tours require additional sizing information before we can officially confirm the booking. For these tours, submitting payment does not confirm your booking, we need all of the necessary information before we can book your tour. Please log into your account or contact us to finalize these details. If you have submitted the required information and still have not received this confirmation, please contact us.

What if I am unable to print my ticket before I arrive in port?

All reservations are saved under the name used to purchase the excursions and are kept on file with the tour guides. Having your tickets in-hand is ideal to avoid confusion because the directions and meeting instructions are included. Alternatively, you can take a screenshot of the voucher to have it handy on your cell phone. If you cannot print your ticket or use your cell phone, please make note of the detailed instructions and simply give the guide your name upon arrival. The only exception to this rule is the train in Skagway. You MUST print your ticket for the Bennett Lake Scenic Journey and White Pass Summit Excursion in order to be given entry to the train. 

Do I need a passport?

Tours from Skagway that cross the Canadian border do require valid passports and you must bring them with you to participate in the tour. Tours that require passports have this information listed in the tour description and the voucher.

Passports will be required to go through the Canadian customs post, as well as to re-enter the United States. Passports are required for all adults and children 16 or older. Children 15 and under should have an original or certified copy or birth certificate or a Passport. If one or both parents are not traveling with the child, a notarized letter of authorization from the absent parent(s) is also necessary to cross into Canada. Some nationalities may also require a Canada and/or USA Visa. (Single-entry is acceptable). Bring all original documentation, no copies are allowed. If passengers show up for the tour without the proper ID, they will not be allowed to board. While we will attempt to accommodate passengers lacking identification, there is no guarantee that suitable arrangements can be made, and no refund will be given under these circumstances. Passengers with felonies, DUI, or criminal charges are not allowed entry into Canada. If you have further questions about passport requirements, please visit this link.

Tour Details

Am I guaranteed to see wildlife?

While wildlife is abundant in Alaska and you are very likely to see a variety during your excursions, there are only a few tours that we can guarantee wildlife sightings on. These include humpback whales on Juneau and Icy Strait Point’s whale watching tours and many different rehabilitated animals at Anchorage’s wildlife sanctuary. Our other tours that focus on viewing wildlife but can’t provide guarantees only operate during the time of year that provides the best chances.

Do you provide food?

Many of our tours provide food, ranging from light snacks to feasts. These details are mentioned on the individual tour pages. Additionally, many can accommodate dietary restrictions, but make sure to let us know ahead of time. Check out our tours that focus on local food & drinks!

Can we walk on the galcier on the Whale Whatching/Mendenhall GLacier Tour?

This tour does not include walking on the glacier. While the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor’s Center was originally built right next to the glacier, at this point the glacier has receded enough that it is about 1.5 miles from the visitor center. If you take the 2-mile round trip walk out to Nugget Falls, you can get about half a mile from the glacier, and you get spectacular views of the falls! We recommend putting in a request for more time at the glacier to do that hike, and as long as you are not booked on the last tour departure of the day and there is enough room on the next return bus, we will accommodate.

The most budget-friendly way to walk on a glacier in Juneau is on the Icefield Helicopter Excursion. However, please note that due to the glacier’s rapid recession, these glacier trek tours without a helicopter cannot guarantee walking on the glacier due to safety reasons.

Will I see ice caves on my tour?

The helicopter glacier trek may include an ice cave visit. Though ice caves are occasionally present and safe to enter, we do not guarantee their presence or that conditions will permit entry. Entrance to the ice caves depends on conditions on the day of the tour, which are impossible to predict. Check out our blog posts on ice caves and glacier tours.

Can I request a single kayak on my kayaking tour?

Due to safety regulations, all of our kayaking tours are in tandem kayaks. If you have an odd number of guests or you’re a single traveler, you will be in a tandem kayak with another guest or your guide.

Are the helicopter and floatplane tours safe? How many people do they hold?

Yes. Our helicopter and floatplane operators go beyond the minimum safety requirements of the FAA through the Tour Operators Program of Safety. The pilots are trained under the high standards of the FAA and are some of the most experienced pilots in Alaska.

Our helicopters can accommodate 5-6 guests depending on the weight of each passenger, and up to two helicopters fly out at each departure time. The seaplanes are either 6 or 10 passenger planes.

I'm not on a cruise ship, can I drive myself to the tour?

Self-transport is available for many tours. Please speak with an agent for details.

My child is just below the required weight/age restriction. Can they still attend?

Due to safety regulations, many of our tours are strict on the requirements. There are some exceptions, so please make sure to speak with an agent about the tour you are interested in.

Cruise Ship FAQs

Do you guarantee that I won't miss my cruise ship?

Yes! We guarantee that you will not miss your ship. We book tours for thousands of cruise ship passengers every year and we’ve never left anyone behind! If you were to miss your ship’s departure through no fault of your own on a tour that has been booked with us, we will get you to your next port of call.

*This guarantee is not provided for guests docking in Haines that elect to go to Skagway for a tour via ferry.

*Transportation and any necessary lodging will be provided.

How much time is required from when my ship arrives to the start of the tour?

This depends on the tour, most only require 30-minutes while others require 1-hour. Our cruise ship itinerary tool allows you to see which tour departures are compatible with your ship’s schedule. Please ask an agent if you are unsure about the tour timing.

What time do I need to be back at my ship?

The end time for tours in Southeast Alaska that provide roundtrip transportation is actually the time that you’ll be back at your ship. Your all-aboard time is 30-minutes before the ship leaves. We will not book you on tours that do not get you back to your ship by the all-aboard time.

Can I do two tours in one day?

This directly depends on your cruise ship schedule and the tours you are interested in. Speak with one of our agents and they will help create your ideal itinerary that works safely with your ship schedule.

What if my ship is late or doesn't make it into port?

If your cruise ship’s schedule changes you will receive a refund, minus any non-refundable charges. Alternatively, you may reschedule your tour to another date.

Can't I just purchase a tour once I get off the ship?

You will find dock representatives in booths offering some tours as you walk into town. However, the tours offered are limited and availability is not guaranteed. Keep in mind that these Alaskan ports are small, and with several cruise ships each with thousands of guests, tours sell out well in advance. We highly recommend booking your tours ahead of time.

My Ship is docking in Skagway, can I take a tour in Haines? (And vice versa)

If your ship is docking in Skagway, we have several Haines tours where the transportation to Haines is included.

If your ship is docking in Haines and you wish to take a tour in Skagway, you are responsible for your own transportation to Skagway which includes booking your fast ferry ticket and making sure that the timing is compatible with your ship schedule. Please note that if your ferry is delayed and you miss the tour, you may not be refunded. Additionally, our back-to-ship guarantee does not apply if you opt to take a tour in the other port town. 

Are you affiliated with the cruise ships?

We are not affiliated with the cruise ships, but we are very well-versed in their schedules. Many of the tours we offer are the same or similar to the ones that the ship offers. By choosing to book with us, you are likely to save money and have much better customer service. In addition, we donate at least 5% of profits to the Alaska Conservation Foundation. Travel responsibly with us!

Pricing FAQs

What is Book Now, Pay Later?

The Book Now, Pay Later option requires a 5% non-refundable deposit at the time of booking. You will see this option during checkout. The remaining balance is automatically processed two weeks before the date of the first tour on your invoice. You will receive an email reminding you of this payment five days beforehand. You must contact us before this date if you need to update your payment method. If your card is declined, your reservation will be canceled.

Do you offer senior, AAA, or military discounts?

We do not offer any discounts but rather strive to provide the lowest prices for our tours.

Do you offer group discounts?

At times, we are able to! To learn more, visit our Group Travel page or email [email protected] to speak with our group reservations specialist.

Is your pricing in USD?

Yes, our tour prices are listed in USD. 

Why are taxes and fees added?

We are required to pay sales tax to each city in Southeast Alaska. It is a municipal tax rather than a state tax. The rate differs between each town. 

Can I pay in cash?

We require payment at the time of booking and do not accept cash. We accept all credit cards including American Express.

What credit cards do you accept?

We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and JCB.

Should I tip my guide?

Your driver and guides do appreciate tips if they have provided an excellent service. This is entirely up to you.

Do you offer a locals discount?

We do not have a discount for locals. We offer the same low cost as the tour operators.

Company FAQs

What is the best way to contact you?

The best way to reach us is by calling 844-626-9600 or emailing [email protected]. We try to respond to all messages within 48 hours. Please note that we do not receive text messages.

What are your hours of operation?

We operate 7 days a week, with hours varying based on seasonality. During peak season, we are in office from 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM Mon-Fri & 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM Sat-Sun (Alaska time). Alaska is 1-hour behind Pacific time. 

If I book with you, does it support the state of Alaska?

Yes! By booking with us, you are supporting the locals and the state of Alaska. We donate at least 5% of profits to the Alaska Conservation Foundation. Additionally, we founded the Alaska Poster Project that promotes responsible traveling, and all donations go to the ACF. Learn more about our commitment to sustainability here.

Why aren't you on TripAdvisor? Where can I find reviews on your company?

TripAdvisor owns a competitor of ours, so it is a conflict of interest which is why we are not listed on their site. We have many public reviews listed on Google.

Is Alaska Shore Tours affiliated with Juneau Shore Tours, etc?

Skagway Shore Tours, Juneau Shore Tours, and Ketchikan Shore Tours are all sister companies of Alaska Shore Tours. Please note that we are not affiliated with other companies that have similar names, like Alaska Shore Excursions. You can read more about our company history here.

Where is Alaska Shore Tours located?

We are headquartered in Skagway, but our team is spread throughout Alaska and the lower 48. Each year we travel throughout Alaska and experience new tours to ensure our offerings meet our standards and our knowledgeable agents are well-versed in the tour logistics. Learn more about us here.

Can you recommend local places to eat or other things to do in town?

Absolutely! We created blog posts of our favorite places to eat and recommendations for what to do in each port when you’re not on tour. And don’t hesitate to ask us any questions!