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Old 10-04-2010, 05:34 PM   #21
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Vancouver and Alaska are both high on my "must see" list. Maybe one of these days I will book an educationally oriented/small ship adventure that also includes a land trip into Denali. I would like to start or end in Vancouver so as to spend a week or so exploring. I love Seattle but I have been there several times (not that I have seen everything there is to see by any stretch of the imagination).
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:44 AM   #22
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Another thing we did while in Vancouver was visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge. We had to take a ferry, then a bus, if I remember correctly. It was fun. You have to walk it twice, over and back. Going over wasn't too bad since there wasn't many people there first thing in the morning, but when we started back there was a bus load of people on the bridge.

After you cross the bridge there are very short trails and tree houses. It was fun just being close to those tall trees (fir trees?).



Attractions in BC: Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver - BritishColumbia.com
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:18 PM   #23
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We did the Vancouver to Alaska cruise. We flew direct to Vancouver. However, our return was not smooth. When we arrived in Anchorage, we found our flight back to Houston had been canceled due to weather in Houston. There were only four scheduled flights out of Anchorage, and as you can guess, most were booked up. We finally got out to Chicago, and it took almost 48 hrs from the time we left the ship until we arrived in Houston.

We are planning a family Alaskan cruise a couple of years from now, but we are going to fly to Anchorage, spend a couple of days there, take the train over to the port and cruise back to Vancouver. I figure there has to be more planes going out of Vancouver/Seattle than Anchorage.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:20 PM   #24
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DW and I have been to Vancouver two or three times. We loved it. We also visited Victoria, and thoroughly enjoyed that trip.

We did an Alaskan cruise a few years ago. It was wonderful, but IMHO, land travel to Denali National Park is an absolute must, if you can afford the time and money.

We did our cruise through a travel agency, which arranged for a bus to take us from the SeaTac airport to Vancouver. That worked out nicely.

Have a great cruise.
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:04 AM   #25
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Suggestions from others about Vancouver are all good, but I have not seen Whistler mentioned.

It is possible to drive to Whistler from Vancouver and back as a day trip. It has been voted the #1 ski resort in North America. I am no skier but have been to Vail and Aspen and have to agree with that consensus. We also visited it in the summer, and the scenery was simply spectacular.
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:23 PM   #26
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Suggestions from others about Vancouver are all good, but I have not seen Whistler mentioned.

It is possible to drive to Whistler from Vancouver and back as a day trip. It has been voted the #1 ski resort in North America. I am no skier but have been to Vail and Aspen and have to agree with that consensus. We also visited it in the summer, and the scenery was simply spectacular.
I agree. I've gone in the summer a couple of times and i like taking the
sky tram up from the village and doing some hiking.
Yes , you can drive up and back as a day
trip but if it was me i would stay overnight.

if you are a mountain biking person, it's very popular to take a bike up and then ride it down..
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:51 PM   #27
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I am now planning for my Alaska trip . It will be in early May so I need suggestions on what clothes to pack . How heavy of a jacket should I get ? Would one of those multi layer jackets be best ? Also any do not miss excursions for Skagway ,Juneau or Ketchikan ?
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:53 PM   #28
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A cruise?
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:02 PM   #29
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We cruised in May 2010 from Vancouver up the inland passage. In Glacier Bay we had the coldest weather but with layers we were fine. I like cool weather but wore gloves, silk long underwear, long sleeve Tshirt and a Polartec 300 jacket, jeans. Taking off layers as the day went on. The one side trip we took that I really enjoyed was a float plane ride. There were 9 of us and the pilot and we flew inland and landed on a lake. The scenery was beautiful! We also took the narrow gauge train ride which was fun. More beautiful scenery.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:10 PM   #30
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A cruise?

Yes !
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:17 PM   #31
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We also took the narrow gauge train ride which was fun. More beautiful scenery.

We have been looking at that train ride . It looks like fun !
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:35 PM   #32
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It was fun....If I remember correctly we went up to the Yukon Territory frontier and then came back down. Very old trestles and tunnels lots of snow as we got higher. We also took the tram/gondola in one of those towns. It was ok. The scenery was nice but not really worth the money. In all those towns we took off and walked out of town to see more of the "real" Alaska. We were surprised at how small the towns were. I would like to go back at some point and maybe fly to Anchorage and tour from there. I'm not partial to Sara Palin but am enjoying her series on TLC.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:45 PM   #33
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In Juneau we wanted to do both a helicopter trip to a glacier and a whale watching tour. We were able to arrange both through OrcaEnterprises (their .com website name). The ship didn't offer both. Their motto was "No Problem!" and they lived up to it. Our ship was late getting in and we were very worried about making the tour but they went a girl to meet us at the dock and were going to hold the trip for us, and they dropped us off at the helicopter place right on time for that trip. Very professional and friendly and a fun tour. This was over 10 years ago but it looks like the same people are still in charge.

In Skagway we did a van trip up the same place as where the train goes, and also stopped at a gold rush camp, but I'd probably rather have done the train. Are you doing Haines as well? We did a raft trip through a bald eagle preserve and saw about 75 bald eagles.

In Ketchikan we did a kayak tour around the bay and through some of the town.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:49 PM   #34
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I also agree with Dancer, try to explore some of the towns on your own. We found a neat bookstore in Ketchikan and chatted with the owner, who seemed happy to find a father and 9-year old not hitting the tourist shops. She recommended a local museum that was pretty interesting, and I bought a couple of local interest storybooks for the kid.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:59 PM   #35
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I am now planning for my Alaska trip . It will be in early May so I need suggestions on what clothes to pack . How heavy of a jacket should I get ? Would one of those multi layer jackets be best ? Also any do not miss excursions for Skagway ,Juneau or Ketchikan ?
We went in June (over ten years ago), the locals commented that we had especially good weather. At that time, you want layers. We would need jackets and sweater in the AM, but might peel down to a T-shirt by afternoon. In early May, I'd expect much, much cooler, especially for a Floridian.

Many of the tours (at that time), were a bit on the ticky-tack-rinky-dink scale. But they might still be enjoyable depending on your mood /expectations. Some in the group went to the Eagle rehab center (I forget which town - they brought in injured eagles and tried to get them ready for the wild again) and enjoyed that. Some went on a raft trip they liked. We all went to the gold panning tour - kinda hokey, but a lot of fun and educational.

For me, the highlight was the Mendanhall Glacier tour by helicopter (out of Juneau). Words cannot describe. But that might not be 'your thing'.

In general, I got up early every AM. I just loved seeing the mist and the glaciers and the wildlife. What an awesome view each AM.

Oh, if I do it again (and I'd like to), I'd take time out to go inland also (Denali). Something to consider. Enjoy, I'm getting jealous!

-ERD50
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:43 AM   #36
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Thanks everybody especially the suggestion to explore the towns . That is one of our favorite things to do. On our last cruise we did private tours and enjoyed them so much more than the ship sponsored one so we are doing that again. I found a rain jacket with a hood and zip out liner that I will layer over fleece and a t shirt .
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:17 AM   #37
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Helicopter visit to a glacier in Juneau was definitely a highlight of our trip last year. Expensive, but worth it for the memory. Don't be concerned about the weather, either. When we went, it was almost completely socked in (visibility about 1/2 mile) and raining, but the chopper had no problem (you're flying pretty low) and we had a great time.
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