When we were in Skagway, in the morning we wandered the shops and explored the downtown strip (Broadway). The town itself is fully restored and looks great!
We stopped in at “Alaska Artworks” gallery/store, and the girl working there, Janet, remembered me from three years ago. She actually remembered my full name AND the exact framed print I’d bought last time. This experience reassured me that the hospitality and all around friendliness of the Alaskan locals is 100% genuine. In fact, partly because I was rather impressed, I made a request for a different print and if Janet can acquire it for me, she’ll have another sale (they ship anywhere).
In the afternoon we met our tour guide Mike back near the pier. Our tour group was just six people and Mike. We boarded a white shuttle bus (very new/well maintained) that had a seating capacity of 25. Mike took us for a tour through the town and answered any and all questions along the way. We made five or six stops along our hour plus duration shuttle tour to take photos and enjoy the views from the mountains.
The final destination by shuttle was Fraser, British Columbia, where we had to go through Canada Customs (passports required) before boarding the Fraser Train that took us through the White Pass and all the way back to Skagway.
The train ride was about an hour and a half or so and had breathtaking mountain scenery the entire time.
Mountains, valleys, glaciers, glacier lakes, waterfalls… plus of course…
We spent the next day in Icy Strait Point. Much like in Skagway the day before, the weather was gorgeous. Fairly clear, bright and comfortable. When we arrived, the ship anchored out in the harbour and we took the tender boats into shore. Once on the tender it only took a few minutes to get to the dock. Many of our fellow travellers opted to do whale watching tours here as sightings are 100% guaranteed (and have been since 2004 – and they’ve never not seen whales). There are also other tour choices including ATV trips, cycling, flightseeing or fishing.
What we decided to do was the ZipRider as it’s the longest zip line in the world. I couldn’t come here and not do it. We started our tour with a 40+ minute bus ride up the mountain and our driver, Cookie, told us local and personal stories and even pulled over at a few photo stops and again when we saw a fawn (baby deer) at the side of the road.
Once we arrived to the launch area and were strapped in there was no turning back.
This particular ZipRider is over 5,300 feet long and drops over 1,300 feet vertical while reaching speeds of 65 mph! The seats are very comfortable and this experience can be, and was, enjoyed by people of all ages and physical abilities (it really only requires the courage to do it; well, and you have to weigh between 90 and 275 lbs).
After you get going, there are six cables side by side, you realize just how high above the treetops you are. The views are outstanding – once we came out of the cloud cover near the top we could see the ship anchored out in the water not far from where we got off the ZipRider.
This thrill ride doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth every penny.Wes Ewing Cruise Specialist CruiseExperts Travel ————————————————- t: 604.737.8100 –ext. 128 | t: 1.800.565.2784 | f: 604.737.1672 e: Wes@CruiseExpertsTravel.com