When booking Alaska cruise tours, it’s important to know how early in the season a given excursion tends to run out of spaces. For some outings, such as certain Juneau whale watching tours, it’s often possible to secure seats even the week before the excursion, but in other cases tickets can begin to vanish as early as the preceding January or February! In this article, our Alaska travel experts highlight 7 particularly high-demand tours you’ll want to book well in advance of your time in Alaska!
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One of Skagway’s most iconic and popular adventure excursions is the classic Glacier Point Wilderness Safari, one of the perfect Alaska cruise tours for lovers of wildlife and scenic beauty. The 6-hour adventure begins with a scenic boat ride across Lynn Canal and past the town of Haines, often called “the adventure capital of the world.” Keep your eyes peeled for whales and sea lions along the way! Next, it’s off to the highlight of the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari: you’ll enjoy a short hike through stunning rainforest before setting out across a meltwater lake in Alaska-style canoes. As you make your way across the water, you’ll soon see your destination come into view as you draw near stunning Davidson Glacier, a massive alpine iceflow that reaches down toward your boat from high in the mountains!
Because only a limited number of permits are issued daily by the Forest Service, the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari fills up fast! Glacier Point Wilderness Safari availability for certain mid-summer dates can become scarce even by early spring, so book early if you want to be guaranteed seats for this stunning adventure!
Click here to learn more and to check on Glacier Point Wilderness Safari availability for your Skagway port date!
Bear viewing Alaska doesn’t come more scenic or adventurous than the fabled Admiralty Island Bear Watch, an in-depth full-day outing into the land of Alaskan brown bears. Colloquially referred to as the “Fortress of the Bears,” the destination explored on this one-in-a-lifetime excursion boasts the highest concentration of brown bears in the world.
You’ll board a DeHavilland float plane for the scenic flight to Admiralty Island (south of Juneau), where the true adventure begins: You’ll meet your expert bear viewing Alaska guides and load up in easy-to-paddle kayaks for a day of exploration up and down a creek system frequented by numerous Alaskan brown bears. You won’t want to forget your cameras for this truly unique tour, as you simply won’t find a more thorough way to experience bear viewing Alaska than the Admiralty Bear Watch.
Permits to Admiralty Island and Pack Creek are extremely limited; indeed, most summer days, we can send only a single group out on this one-of-a-kind bear viewing Alaska adventure! If you’re interested, you’ll want to finalize your booking well before the cruise season, because once the permits are gone, they’re gone!
Click here to learn more and to check on Admiralty Bear Watch availability for your Juneau port date!
One of the absolute top Alaska cruise tours for lovers of high-speed adventure, the Ocean Raft Adventure is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to scan for Alaskan wildlife while enjoying an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride! Because this tour’s expert boat captains know precisely where to search for sea lions, eagles, and even occasional whales, many guests return from this exhilarating outing with some of the best photographs of their entire cruise! A shorter-duration tour, the Ocean Raft Adventure can fit with almost any cruise schedule and can often even be added on as a second Skagway tour for ambitious groups! So buckle in and get ready for the ride of your life!
Although permits are not typically prohibitive on this tour, each outing has seats for only 12-15 passengers, so spaces tend to fill up fast! We advise reserving your tickets well in advance for the Ocean Raft Adventure, as availability can become scarce months before the peak season comes into swing!
Click here to learn more and to check on Ocean Raft Adventure availability for your Skagway port date!
Looking to experience Mendenhall Glacier (and the stunning Mendenhall ice caves!) during your time in Juneau? The Mendenhall Paddle and Trek is among the most in-depth Alaska cruise tours for experiencing the massive iceflow up close and personally! The full-day outing, which is without doubt among our most physically demanding excursion, calls for guests to be capable of paddling several miles and trekking up steep glacier ice. If you’ve got the energy for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, though, there’s hardly a better way to spend a visit to Juneau! Highly experienced guides will lead your group as it makes its way across lovely Mendenhall Lake and, conditions permitting, strikes out into the otherworldly Mendenhall Ice Caves for some subterranean exploration! Don’t worry: We have dry bags for your cameras, as you won’t want to leave those behind!
Similarly to the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari, only a limited number of permits are issued daily for visits to the Mendenhall Glacier. Tickets can sometimes be located last-minute, but certain high-traffic dates tend to fill up well before the peak cruise season. Book early!
Click here to learn more and to check on Mendenhall Glacier Canoe Paddle and Trek availability for your Juneau port date!
There are few Alaska cruise tours more iconic than the stunning Helicopter Dogsled Glacier Excursion, and with this custom variation on the classic adventure, you’ll see an even more stunning and geologically active portion of the iceflow with a second landing! Your excursion begins with an exhilarating 25-minute flight out to Herbert Glacier (if you’ve never flown in a helicopter, the flight alone makes for an exciting outing!). You’ll touch down on the high edges of the gorgeous Juneau Icefield, where a crew of excited canine athletes will be awaiting your arrival! You’ll have time to become acquainted with the extreme-endurance huskies before climbing into your custom dogsled and striking our onto the snow for a genuine Alaskan dogsledding experience. With this special tour, though, that’s not the end of the fun! Before heading back to Juneau, you’ll enjoy a stop at the stunning lower glacier, where crevasses, moulins, and bright-blue meltwater pools dot the icy landscape.
Helicopter dogsled tours are always in high demand! There are always many more interested guests than there are available seats in helicopters, so start your search early if you’re looking to spend an exhilarating day out on the ice!
Click here to learn more and to check on Helicopter Dogsled (Extra Landing) availability for your Juneau port date!
Along with the Admiralty Bear Watch in Juneau, the ever-exciting Neets Bay Flightseeing Adventure is among the absolute top Alaska cruise tours for bear viewing Alaska. Load up in an Alaska-classic DeHavilland float plane and cruise high above lush and lovely Revillagigedo Island as you head toward your vibrant rainforest destination. Don’t forget to look down en route, as guests can sometimes make out bears and moose strolling the coastline below! Upon arrival at your secluded and scenic destination, you’ll meet your naturalist guides for a short (1/2-mile) hike toward one of the most prolific black bear feeding grounds in all of Alaska! If you’re lucky, and particularly during late-summer salmon runs, you may find yourself face to face with a family (or two, or three!) of Alaskan black bears as they feed on migrating salmon. Just don’t get too close!
A relative scarcity of both USFS permits and floatplanes means interested guests would do well to begin their research far in advance; late-summer cruisers usually can still secure seats for Neets Bay the preceding spring, but by the peak cruise season tickets are often difficult to come by.
Click here to learn more and to check on Neets Bay bear viewing Alaska availability for your Ketchikan port date!
Along with the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari, the exhilarating Takshanuk Mountain Trail Adventure is among Skagway’s absolute highest-demand Alaska cruise tours, and for good reason! The stunning and mountainous zone where the excursion takes place is accessible only to guests on the Takshanuk tour, so you can be sure you’ll be setting your eyes on some pristine and stunning vistas! Interested in driving? Your naturalist guide will be happy to turn over the wheel! Otherwise, sit back, relax, and keep your camera at the ready, as there’s no telling exactly what Alaska wildlife you might see!
Takshanuk Mountain Trail spaces are highly limited. Indeed, by peak cruise season, there may not be availability at any point during an entire week! Cruisers interested in exploring the Takshanuk Mountain Trail are advised to purchase their tickets at least several months before their time in Alaska. (Luckily for folks who miss out on Takshanuk, however, a stellar alternative tour exists in the form of the new Glacier 4×4 Adventure, an adventurous mountain ride into remote British Columbia!)
Click here to learn more and to check on Takshanuk Mountain Trail availability for your Skagway port date!