Photo Credit: White Pass Yukon Route Railroad

Alaska Shore Excursions For Your Alaska Cruise

If you're cruising to Alaska, the most important part of the experience is what you do in each port of call.

And, you may not know, that you don't have to book your excursions through the cruise line! In fact, you can work directly with the local operators in each port to put together the ideal vacation for you.

Below are the companies and experiences we recommend for each port. If you're looking for private or small-group excursions, we have a great list for that too.

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Hoonah / Icy Strait View All

Season: May - Sept $190 per person 3.5 hrs

You’ll be sur­round­ed in one of the largest sum­mer pop­u­la­tions of hump­back whales found in Alas­ka with Glac­i­er Wind Char­ter’s small group tours. Keep an eye out for oth­er wildlife, like eagles, sea lions, seals, sea otters. You may even see coastal brown bears, eat­ing plants along the shore.

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Ketchikan View All

Season: May - September $299+ Day Trips 5+ hrs

Bara­nof Fish­ing Excur­sions offers clas­sic Alas­ka fish­ing expe­ri­ences from their pri­vate mari­na in down­town Ketchikan. They pro­vide every­thing you need from rub­ber boots to expert guides, for an extra­or­di­nary fish­ing adventure!

Season: Late April-early October $147 per person 4 hrs

Board a rigid-hull inflat­able boat for a 20-minute ride out to a seclud­ed island. Weave through a series of small islands with mas­sive cliffs that rise hun­dreds of feet out of the ocean, check out active bald eagle nests and look for sea lions and seabird rook­eries along the way. Once at the island, you’ll climb out on the beach, break out into small­er groups, and set off on a stun­ning hike on a board­walk that snakes through the rainforest.  ...more

Season: April 20 - Oct 6 $209 per person 3+ hrs

Climb aboard a Dead­liest Catch King Crab boat and set sail to the calm waters of the inside pas­sage. Dur­ing your adven­ture, you will expe­ri­ence haul­ing a 700-pound king crab pot, hook and line to catch fish, prawn pots, octo­pus bar­rels, eagles dive-bomb­ing the boat to grab fish off the water, and more. These sea­soned com­mer­cial fish­er­men share their expe­ri­ence and life’s pas­sion for what draws them end­less­ly back to Alas­ka. This award-winning  ...more

Season: May 01 to Sep 23 $175 2.5 hrs

Explore the gor­geous, dynam­ic scenery and wildlife around Ketchikan by get­ting out on the water in a low-impact Zodi­ac — an authen­ti­cal­ly Alaskan way to trav­el! Every expe­di­tion is dif­fer­ent as there’s flex­i­bil­i­ty for some spon­tane­ity. You can spend extra time in a place if there’s a mag­i­cal, Nation­al Geo­graph­ic-type moment happening!

Season: Apr 28 to Sep 23 $139 3 hrs

Don a wet­suit, mask, fins and snorkel and get an up-close look at the unique sea crea­tures of the 49th state: urchins, sea stars, crabs, sea cucum­bers, and…what’s that…a hump­back whale swim­ming near­by?! This is the mag­ic of snor­kel­ing in Alas­ka — a sin­gu­lar expe­ri­ence that you can only do in the waters around Ketchikan. No expe­ri­ence? No problem.

Season: May 14 - Sept 16 $250+ per person 4-8 hrs

Ketchikan is known as the salmon cap­i­tal of the world,” and this unique­ly per­son­al tour is your chance to angle for these icon­ic Alaskan fish — as well as huge hal­ibut. You’ll board an inti­mate fish­ing boat — com­plete with top-qual­i­ty fish­ing and rain gear, as well as heaters, snacks, and bev­er­ages — close to the Ketchikan cruise ter­mi­nal. And, since this is a pri­vate char­ter, it will be only your group on board!

Season: April 1 - Sept 30 $190+ per person 3+ hrs

Expe­ri­ence kayak­ing in Alas­ka the way it should be — away from the crowds — with these unique Ketchikan pad­dling tours that make you feel like a true explor­er. Your small group (usu­al­ly just 4 peo­ple) will board the company’s com­fort­able boat and set off from the Ketchikan cruise-ship dock, leav­ing the big ships and the crowds behind. Choose from a 3‑hour tour, or 5‑hour kayak and hike tour.

Season: Late April-early October $179 per person 4 hrs

Dri­ve your own jeep along pri­vate log­ging roads that wind up into the moun­tains, on your way to an alpine lake. Pad­dle across the shim­mer­ing lake to a shore­line camp for a deli­cious snack over an open fire. Enjoy some sto­ry­telling, then go on a short nature walk through a beau­ti­ful old-growth forest.

Season: Late April-early October $119 per person 3.5 hrs

Pad­dle all around a shim­mer­ing lake, look­ing for wildlife on the shore and rev­el­ing in the spec­tac­u­lar moun­tain views that sur­round you. Then stop off at a shore­line camp to enjoy a snack over an open fire. When you’re fin­ished, you’ll go on a short walk through a dra­mat­ic old-growth forest.

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Juneau View All

Season: May - September $45

Take a five-minute ride from the cruise ship pier to the Moun­tain House,1,800′ up Mount Roberts, where the Chilkat Moun­tains, the Gastineau Chan­nel, down­town Juneau, Dou­glas Island, and Admi­ral­ty Island spread out before you. Vis­it the gift shop, restau­rant, live bald eagle dis­play, and nature cen­ter. Check out the wildlife view­ing plat­forms and fol­low the self-guid­ed trail marked by Native totemic carv­ings for access to upper alpine hiking  ...more

Season: May 02 to Sep 30 $329+ 2-3 hrs

A tour aboard a TEM­SCO heli­copter offers beau­ti­ful views of Alaska’s Cap­i­tal City, and up-close explo­ration of Menden­hall, one of the state’s most acces­si­ble glac­i­ers. Look out on alpine lakes, moraines, and crevass­es before you land and check out the Juneau Ice­field for yourself.

Season: Apr 28 to Sep 30 $275+ 40 min - 3 hrs

Go with Wings Air­ways and you’ll take off from Juneau in a 10-pas­sen­ger DeHav­il­land Otter float­plane and get a lush view of the city as well as the sur­round­ing moun­tains and ice fields. Opt for a 40-minute flight see­ing tour, or book the Flight and Feast Tour,” which takes you to dine at a 1920’s lodge.

Season: April 25 - Oct 12 $145+ 3.5+ hrs

Juneau’s glac­i­ers pro­duce nutri­ent-dense waters mak­ing the waters a prime feed­ing ground for hump­back whales. Alas­ka Tales’ boats are inti­mate (49 pas­sen­gers max), and they’re super-fast, so you’ll get out to see the whales in no time. You also have the option of adding a stop at the Menden­hall Glac­i­er Vis­i­tor Cen­ter pri­or to your whale watch­ing tour.

Season: May 01 to Sep 30 $62 1.5-2 hrs

Get a serv­ing of his­to­ry along with a clas­sic Alaskan feast. The Gold Creek Salmon Bake, a two-hour expe­ri­ence out of Juneau, has been run­ning for more than 30 years. It’s a great meal and an Alaskan tra­di­tion. You’re dis­patched from your hotel and brought to a cor­ner of the South­east Alas­ka rain­for­est, which saw lots of activ­i­ty dur­ing Alaska’s Gold Rush.

Season: May 15 – Sep 10 $939+ per person 8 hrs

If you’ve dreamed of see­ing brown bears in the wild — in one of Alaska’s best spots for brown bear view­ing — as well as expe­ri­enc­ing flight­see­ing and kayak­ing, this trip is for you. You’ll fly from Juneau to a remote wilder­ness loca­tion, then kayak to Pack Creek Bear Sanc­tu­ary on Admi­ral­ty Island, home to more than 1,600 brown bears.

Season: May 01 to Sep 30 $124 3.5 hours

Glac­i­erview Sea Kayak­ing with Alas­ka Trav­el Adven­tures offers the oppor­tu­ni­ty to kayak through Auke Bay while enjoy­ing views of Menden­hall Glac­i­er. You’ll also have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to see wildlife like whales, sea lions, seals, and bald eagles. Kayak­ing offers a much more inti­mate and qui­et expe­ri­ence than oth­er boat tours; at the same time, it is per­fect for trav­el­ers who want an adven­ture. And even if you’ve nev­er pad­dled a kayak before, a  ...more

Season: May 01 to Sep 30 $79 1.5 hrs

Come on this 1 ½‑hour tour out­side Juneau, and you’ll get a big appre­ci­a­tion for prospec­tors who arrived here more than 100 years ago: This water is seri­ous­ly cold. But this quick stroll into Alaska’s gold-fever-influ­enced past offers a fun his­to­ry les­son, as well as a pleas­ant­ly short turn at pan­ning in that icy water your­self — with a guar­an­tee that you’ll score a lit­tle gold to take home. Alas­ka Trav­el Adven­tures’ His­toric Gold Mining &  ...more

Season: May 02 to Aug 31

Get great views with some hands-on fun — com­bine a scenic flight­see­ing heli­copter tour with the exhil­a­ra­tion of dog mush­ing on a glac­i­er with a team of huskies! It’s easy to do — just go with North­Star Trekking on their Juneau Glac­i­er Dog Sled Adven­ture. You’ll fly over the Juneau Ice­field for about 35 min­utes and land in a sled camp on the snow-cov­ered mid­dle branch of the Nor­ris Glacier

Season: May 06 to Sep 09 $549+ 1.5 hrs

Hop on a TEM­SCO heli­copter for an Alaskan adven­ture com­bin­ing avi­a­tion, sled dogs and mas­sive glac­i­ers. Get an amaz­ing view of the gor­geous land­scape sur­round­ing Juneau, and then ride along as an ener­getic team of huskies tours you around the ancient, snow-packed Menden­hall glacier.

Season: May 01 to Sep 29 $329 per person 5.5 hrs

Feel the tru­ly unique thrill of walk­ing on an ancient glac­i­er. This unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence begins with a canoe trip to the glac­i­er, where you’ll don cram­pons and explore the gor­geous blue ice…no expe­ri­ence required!

Season: May 2 – Sep 25 $319+ per person 6 hrs

Canoe across a lake to Menden­hall Glac­i­er glac­i­er, Keep­ing an eye out for arc­tic terns, moun­tain goats, and ice­bergs float­ing in the water. Then, land on the glac­i­er beach and walk about a mile along­side the glac­i­er, explor­ing as you go — there may even be ice caves to check out.

Season: Mid April - Late October $404-$534 3.25 - 5.25 hrs

North­star Trekking oper­ates out of Juneau and caters to all styles of explo­ration. The curi­ous glac­i­er observ­er can sim­ply fly to the glac­i­er and snap pho­tographs from flat or rolling ter­rain. You can also choose to hike on the glac­i­er itself. If you’re very adven­tur­ous, you can even learn how to climb on the ice walls. No mat­ter which option you choose, North­Star Trekking will guide you all the way, mak­ing sure you get the most out of this  ...more

Season: May - September $939 7 - 8 hrs

Pack Creek Bear Tours offers ful­ly guid­ed adven­tures to Admi­ral­ty Island or Chichagof Island, each home to more than 1,500 brown bears! After a beau­ti­ful 20- or 25-minute float­plane ride, you’ll land on a remote beach. Take a short walk to the bear-view­ing area, where you can watch these mag­nif­i­cent crea­tures for hours in their nat­ur­al environment.

Season: May - September Call for rates 4 - 4.5 hrs

Take a spin through Juneau on a fun bike tour. It’s a great way to explore Alaska’s cap­i­tal city, with lots of scenery and his­to­ry along the way. Choose from one of sev­er­al options. There’s a bike and brew tour, which includes see­ing the Menden­hall Glac­i­er as well as a tast­ing of Alaskan beers. Or ride your bike out to Dou­glas Island for a tram ride, 1,800 feet up Mt. Roberts for some spec­tac­u­lar views. Or cus­tom design your own great bike trip  ...more

Season: May - September $26.95

Tucked inside the lush Ton­gass Nation­al For­est, dis­cov­er an Alaskan botan­i­cal gar­den unlike any­where else in the world. A 2012 Read­er’s Digest poll chose Glac­i­er Gar­dens out of thou­sands of entries as the Most Inter­est­ing Land­mark in Amer­i­ca! Vibrant hang­ing gar­dens spill from 15-foot-tall upside down tree Flower Tow­ers” and ele­gant­ly designed land­scapes com­pli­ment the nat­ur­al beau­ty of the rain­for­est. Explore these unique gar­dens on a guided  ...more

Season: May 02 to Sep 10 $419+ per person 6 hrs

Take a scenic cruise and kayak through gor­geous sur­round­ings as mag­nif­i­cent whales pierce the sur­face of the water on this six-hour expe­di­tion from Juneau. Your des­ti­na­tion is the Chan­nel Islands, the whales’ annu­al feed­ing ground — and your guides will assess where the most whale activ­i­ty has been happening.

Season: May 01 to Sep 30 $165 3.5 hrs

The focus of the 3.5‑hour Menden­hall Glac­i­er Float Trip is great views of the name­sake glac­i­er, which is 1.5 miles wide, 150 feet high, and the most famous part of the mas­sive Juneau Ice­field that even John Muir once raved about. Glide along the ice­berg-stud­ded lake and scope out the glac­i­er, get­ting up-close views of hang­ing glac­i­ers and tow­er­ing peaks. Keep an eye out for birds nest­ing in the rocky cliffs, as well as otters, seals, black  ...more

Season: May - September $129 3.75 hrs

Plen­ty of whale tours let you watch the orcas and hump­backs as they breach and spout from the water — but not many also let you eaves­drop on the big mam­mals’ con­ver­sa­tions. This 3.5‑hour tour out of Juneau is equipped with an ampli­fied hydrophone sys­tem; lis­ten to the whales under­wa­ter while enjoy­ing the lush rain­for­est views. Onboard the North Star — a 48-pas­sen­ger jet boat with large win­dows, an out­side view­ing deck, and a com­fort­able inside  ...more

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Haines View All

Tour operators that will work with your itinerary while visiting Haines by cruise ship

Season: May - September $114+ 4 hrs - 8 days

Guid­ed sea kayak­ing in Alaska’s South­east opens up the mag­i­cal world of water-based tour­ing. Glide through a marine envi­ron­ment with gor­geous views in every direc­tion, and many oppor­tu­ni­ties to spot wildlife – from eagles and salmon to bears, whales and sea lions. Options include day tours for busy sched­ules and mul­ti-day immer­sions, all under the expert guid­ance of nat­u­ral­ists who help you under­stand the com­plex work­ings of a unique and amazing  ...more

Season: May - September $99+ 2.5 - 6.5 hrs

With bald eagles, bears, and gor­geous scenery, as well as fas­ci­nat­ing cul­ture and his­to­ry, these tours out of Skag­way and Haines offer an up-close expe­ri­ence with insights from knowl­edge­able local guides. There are sev­er­al options, includ­ing wildlife and nature tours that focus­es on find­ing and learn­ing about wildlife, a pho­tog­ra­phy tour where you get the chance to enhance your pho­tog­ra­phy skills, raft­ing, and some fun sight­see­ing tours  ...more

Season: May - September $135 per adult 3.5+ hrs

Dri­ve your­self on this guid­ed off-road ATV tour in Haines and expe­ri­ence pris­tine wilder­ness, unfor­get­table views, and a deli­cious meal! And at the top, 1,500 feet above sea lev­el, you’ll take in the sweep­ing vista of shim­mer­ing Chilkoot Lake, set in the stun­ning Chilkoot Valley.

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Sitka View All

Book your shore excursions independently. See our top recommended tours

Season: Year Round $15

You’ll look eagles in the eye at this rap­tor rehab and edu­ca­tion cen­ter on the edge of Ton­gass Nation­al For­est. You’ll get a close-up look at a snowy owl, Amer­i­can kestrel, pere­grine fal­con, great-horned owl, red-tailed hawk, and even the tiny north­ern saw-whet owl. 

Season: Late April-early October $174 per person 3 hrs

Begin in down­town Sit­ka, where you’ll take a motor­ized, rigid-hull inflat­able on a 15- to 20-minute ride across beau­ti­ful Sit­ka Sound, with the mas­sive vol­cano Mt. Edge­cumbe pro­vid­ing a dra­mat­ic back­drop. Look for marine wildlife on your way to a unique float house in a small, pro­tect­ed bay where you’ll kayak across shim­mer­ing water.

Season: Year Round $7

In the coastal South­east Alaskan town of Sit­ka, marine wildlife typ­i­cal­ly plays out on a big scenic back­drop. At Sitka’s unique Sci­ence Cen­ter, you’ll find a salmon hatch­ery and aquar­i­um. Wildlife fans get an up-close look at the marine crea­tures that make this part of Alas­ka so special.

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Skagway View All

Season: Jun 04 to Oct 19 $39+ 4 hrs

Take the train out of Skag­way to some of Alaska’s best hik­ing. Not just any train, though, but a Gold Rush-era, nar­row-gauge train that winds through gor­geous scenery and drops you off at the trail­head. The White Pass & Yukon Route Rail­road winds through stun­ning scenery on its way to drop you off on hik­ing trails that offer water­fall, moun­tain, and glac­i­er views. It’s a fun way to gear up for a day or two of great hik­ing. The train is an  ...more

Season: Apr 26 to Oct 19 $339+ 2 hrs

Tak­ing a TEM­SCO heli­copter tour shows off the Gold Rush lands around Skag­way in a new light, reveal­ing gor­geous, glac­i­er-filled val­leys, tum­bling water­falls and peak after icy peak at the north end of the Juneau Ice­field. Then land on a remote glac­i­er for an excit­ing guid­ed jour­ney on ice that was formed thou­sands of years ago!

Season: May 15 to Sep 23 Private excursions, group rates for up to 14 passengers 5 - 7 hrs

Skag­way may be a quaint small town, but it offers a big lens into the Alas­ka fron­tier. This tour oper­a­tor — run by a cer­ti­fied Nat­u­ral­ist for the state of Alas­ka — offers a friend­ly and fas­ci­nat­ing way to explore some sur­pris­ing depths of the Alas­ka wilder­ness. Options include pri­vate tours rang­ing from 5 to 7 hours that explores the sights of British Colum­bia and the Yukon

Season: Late April – early October $69 2 hrs

Walk the fine line between folk­lore and gold fever. The Liarsville Camp, near Skag­way, was orig­i­nal­ly named after jour­nal­ists who came here dur­ing the Klondike Gold Rush and cooked up all man­ner of tall tales. The event begins with an all-you-can-eat feast in the for­est. Then explore the old trail camp and fin­ish off your day with a vis­it the Fan­cy Goods store. You can also have your pic­ture tak­en with one of the dance hall girls or the camp’s  ...more

Season: May 09 to Aug 18 $549+ 2 hrs

Dog sled­ding on a glac­i­er is the ulti­mate blend of Alaskan adven­ture, as you also get there by heli­copter! Board a TEM­SCO flight that whisks you thou­sands of feet above sea lev­el to the Den­ver glac­i­er and a dog mush­ing camp hid­den away on a snow field, where Alaskan sled dogs will greet you ener­get­i­cal­ly, ready to take you on the ride of your life.

Season: Apr 26 to Sep 30 3 ¼ hrs

Expe­ri­ence the thrill of sum­mer­time dog mush­ing — on a wheeled sled — out of Skag­way, and meet the amaz­ing dogs and pas­sion­ate mush­ers behind this icon­ic Alaskan sport. After the ride you’ll get chance to absorb the knowl­edge and pas­sion of the mush­ers, as one of them presents on their unique expe­ri­ences and answers any ques­tions you have. After that, it’s time to cud­dle some puppies!

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