Top 10 Cruise Shore Excursions in Alaska

Top 10 Cruise Shore Excursions in Alaska - Lucy Williams Global

If you are heading on a cruise to Alaska this summer you may be wondering which shore excursions are worth booking with the cruise line or privately.

Here are my top 10 shore excursions you must go on in Alaska.

Most of these excursions you can go on as an individual tour or can be put together to make an all-day excursion.

Whichever you choose you will have a fantastic time!

Waterfall Endicott Arm Alaska - Lucy Williams Global

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Top 10 Cruise Shore Excursions in Alaska

Black Bear Spotting – Ketchikan

Bear spotting in Alaska is one of my favourite shore excursions to go as when you see bears for the first time it is out of this world.

The best time to go black bear spotting is late August to September.

Best port on an Alaskan cruise to see black bears is in Ketchikan.

Go early in the morning and bears like the rain, so hope for a wet day!

Whale Watching – Juneau

You always have the chance to see a whale while onboard, but going on a whale-watching shore excursion is exciting.

Going on a smaller boat than the cruise ship means you can go out into waters that the ship cannot and have a higher chance of seeing a whale flipping its tail.

Seeing a whale for the first time of the twentieth is jaw-dropping! Whales are beautiful creatures and they love to put on a show.

Top 10 Cruise Shore Excursions in Alaska - Lucy Williams Global
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Totem Pole Park – Ketchikan

The Totem Pole Park in Ketchikan is set in the beautiful Tongass National Forest on the water. With stunning views of the surrounding area.

Totem Poles are part of the native Alaskan culture and they are all hand-carved from cedar wood.

Each pole has a story, which is why each one looks very different.

Totem Pole Park Ketchikan Alaska - Lucy Williams Global
Totem Pole Park Ketchikan Alaska

It is the largest totem pole park in the world and the poles were brought from all the deserted Alaskan towns.

Top 10 Cruise Shore Excursions in Alaska

Helicopter to a Land on Top of a Glacier – Juneau

Going in a helicopter is an exciting experience, but then landing on top of a glacier makes it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Tour of a Lifetime Landing on a Glacier by Helicopter in Juneau Alaska

Walking in your special gear along the glacier is an unreal experience.

Lumberjack Show – Ketchikan

The Ketchikan Lumberjack Show is a great way to experience Ketchikan.

There are two teams in the show; USA and Canada.

The professional timber athletes compete in springboard chopping, buck sawing, log rolling, axe throwing, tree climbing and more.

Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show Ketchikan Alaska - Lucy Williams Global

It is all about how quickly they can use chainsaws, axes, saws and climb and they get points for the quickest team.

The audience is divided into teams to cheer, it is a lot of fun for all ages.

Boat Trip to a Glacier

On your Alaska cruise you will get to see a glacier on one of the scenic cruising days, but getting that little closer is magical.

If your cruise line offers a tour that takes you closer to the glacier on the scenic cruising day, it is worth going.

In a smaller boat that can get so much closer, the view is stunning and you get to see more wildlife on the way.

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge – Haines (Skagway)

The Kroschel Wildlife Refuge is a short ferry ride from Skagway to Haines and is a great full-day tour.

You will see some beautiful Alaskan wild animals that have been rescued and are now looked after at the Kroschel Wildlife Refuge.

How to Make the Most of Your Day in Skagway Alaska - Lucy Williams Global

It is a nice tour as you see the Alaskan scenery on the ferry and on the bus ride and then at the refuge, you can get very close to wild animals and be entertained by the host.

White Pass & Yukon Railroad – Skagway

The White Pass railroad takes you on a journey of the original Klondike trail of 1898.

How to Make the Most of Your Day in Skagway Alaska - Lucy Williams Global

The train is interesting as you see the original Klondike trail and the journey is narrated throughout the train and landmarks were pointed out.

It is hard to believe men hiked this trail to try to find gold.

Liarsville – Skagway

The Liarsville Trail Camp is a lot of fun, the camp is a recreation of a tent city from 1898.

At the camp enjoy a salmon bake buffet, an entertaining show explaining the gold rush and how to pan for gold.

How to Make the Most of Your Day in Skagway Alaska - Lucy Williams Global

The Liarsville Trail Camp was the last stop to have a hot bath, have your laundry done, go to a bar and see a madam before the long trail to find gold.

Creek Street – Ketchikan

Creek Street was the red-light district of Ketchikan and had thirty brothels in it.

What You Must See in Ketchikan Alaska - Lucy Williams Global

The brothels were open until 1954. The colourful houses of Creek Street are now gift shops, galleries, bars and brothel museums.

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Alaska has so much to offer and every port has amazing tours, whether you choose a shore excursion from the cruise line or privately.

Just remember if you book privately that it arrives in plenty of time before the ship leaves the port. Cruise ships will not wait for you if you are late.

Booking a tour with the cruise line means the tour has been checked out and if the tour is running late the cruise ship will wait for you.

Which Alaskan cruise shore excursion are you going to book on your cruise?

I hope some have taken your fancy and you have a wonderful Alaska cruise.

If you enjoyed reading the top 10 cruise shore excursions in Alaska, please share on Facebook and Twitter or pin for later on Pinterest.

Happy cruising!

Top 10 Cruise Shore Excursions in Alaska - Lucy Williams Global


  1. May 26, 2019 / 5:18 am

    LOL Lumberjack show is real? That’s amazing and I’ve only seen it on ESPN at very obscure times.

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