From the Shipmate Archives. Originally published June 27, 2017.
Top Skagway Excursions
More than 10,000 cruise port excursions have been booked through our Ship Mate app and we’d like to think we’ve learned a thing or two. By analyzing our booking data, we’re able to provide you with the most popular Skagway excursions booked by our users.
As Alaska Cruise Season approaches, we know many of you will be looking for the best tours to do while in port. We’ve analyzed our data to show you the 5 Top Skagway Excursions.
Skagway, Alaska is known for its beautiful scenery and historic setting as the epicenter of the Klondike Gold Rush. Once thought of as a “lawless town,” this gold-miner’s hub was referred to as a “little better than hell on earth.” The mad rush for gold brought about much violence and carnage, but left for some great stories! Fortunately, things have settled down a bit since those days. Now, the area is primarily known for its tourism.
While the town only hosts 1,000 full-time residents, it gets close to one million visitors per year. Despite this heavy traffic, much of Skagway’s rich history has been preserved and can be explored through the cruise excursions below. After analyzing thousands of Skagway Tour Bookings, here are the five most popular.
Top Skagway Excursions
(Based on Shipmate booking numbers)
#1 White Pass Summit Rail & Bus Tour
You’ll be picked up from the cruise pier and taken to your train’s departure area. There you’ll be whisked away to view the Alaskan countryside as it was meant to be seen.
The 1 hour and 45-minute train ride will guide you up White Summit offering spectacular views. From the comfort of your train car, you’ll see the following attractions.
- Pitchfork Falls
- Bridal Veil Falls
- Goldrush Cemetery
- William Moore Bridge & Overlook
- Skagway Scenic Overlook
- Fraser Train Depot
- Tormented Valley
- “Welcome to Alaska” Sign
This tour was exceptional. The guide was very knowledgeable and quite amusing. He kept us entertained with local folklore en route.
Your trip will include opportunities to get out, breathe the Alaskan air, and to take some photos to remember this amazing experience.
#2 Skagway City and White Pass Summit
The Skagway City & White Pass Summit is the second most popular Skagway excursion among our Ship Mate users.
Once you depart your cruise ship, you’ll make the 10-minute walk (or short shuttle trip) to downtown. Your excursion begins with a mini-coach tour of downtown Skagway and its Historic District. Did you know that Skagway was known as the “toughest town on Earth” at one point? You’ll soon learn why!
After learning about gunfights, saloons, and other wild west Skagway stories, you’ll make your way up to the amazing overlook. You’ll have the option to take a photo with the town and cruise ships below. This is guaranteed to make your Facebook friends jealous.
We had an amazing guide, we were only 16 on the tour which made it very personal. Learned so much, beautiful scenery and wonderful memories.
Next you’ll ascend the White Pass Trail along the Klondike Highway. The scenic drive offers amazing views of the valley and its glaciers, waterfalls, and luscious wildlife. From the summit, you’ll descend into British Columbia, Canada to view its magnificent ecosystem before heading back to Skagway to end your excursion.
#3 Helicopter & Dog Sledding Tour of Skagway
If it were up to us, we’d vote this as the “Best Skagway Excursion.” However, there’s the price tag factoring in. We’ve had hundreds of users book this tour, but we’re confident hundreds more would join in if it weren’t so pricey.
This is the ultimate way to see Skagway, Alaska. Your professional helicopter pilot will pick you up from nearby your cruise port. You’ll then soar over magnificent ice structures, deep blue trenches, and glimmering iced rivers. You’ll spend roughly 30 minutes flying through the breathtaking scenery of Skagway before landing in the Denver Glacier. There, your dog sledding experience begins. You’ll be introduced to roughly 200 sled dogs at the camp and have the chance to play with these pups in their natural environment. Your staff will educate you on the history of dog sledding and the famous Iditarod Race. You’ll spend roughly 30 minutes at the Juneau Ice field interacting with the mushers.
The helicopter ride was incredible. The dog camp was totally different than I expected. It was very interesting to really learn about the dogs. Mushing was great fun. We even got to play with some puppies.
After some education and instruction, you’re off to the races. You’ll have the option to drive the dog sled yourself, or just hang out for the ride. Whichever, you do, don’t forget to continuously yell “mush.” Or maybe not. We don’t really know what we’re talking about. After your Alaskan dog sledding experience, you’ll be whisked back via helicopter.
Regardless of what you choose, you’re bound to love Skagway. If you have any specific questions, feel free to use our Ship Mate App chat room found in your port of Skagway.
And if you have any other Skagway Excursions recommendations, leave them in the comments below. Happy Alaskan cruising, Ship Mate!