Best Shopping Port

Hello,

Hubby & I will be sailing to Alaska 29 April. Our ports of call will be: Junea, Skagway, Ketchican, and cruising Glacier Bay.

Which ports has the best shopping deals for souvenirs?Can you haggle the prices like you can in Mexico and the Bahamas or are the prices firm?

Any advice would be appreciated. 

Terri

13 Answers

 Going to Alaska in April is the start of their season so I don’t believe there will great deals. You will find the standard t-shirt and Alaska branded stuff in all three ports. Just like in Mexico and the Bahamas you will find Diamond & Tanzanite international as well as Del Sol. 

 Haggling I don’t see happen in Alaska. In all ports they will have coupon books that will give you some deals on a few things. 

 In Ketchikan, we always stop at Ketchicandies. Chocolate dipped Oreo cookies are just yummy. They are not cheap but we spurge. 

 Skagway we will go to the Skagway brewery for lunch. Enjoy your cruise!

 

Welcome aboard Terri!

Agreed...Frankly, I was waiting for someone else to respond first.  Those towns are populated by Americans, many of them from the lower 48.  Theyre there to sell junque to tourists off the cruise ships. Those towns consist mainly of one or two main streets with wall to wall junque. They don't haggle.  We did enjoy the cruise, because we enjoyed the ship.  We saw just enough of Alaska for us to realize that what we wanted to see you couldn't from a cruise ship. The tours that we would have taken became prohibitively expensive.  I suggest you plan ahead re some of those float plane tours.  Prepare for sticker shock.  We are going again, just not on a cruise ship. 

As far as unique gifts, you should be able to find them.

They are heavy on Russian items (after all, you can see them in the distanceBig Smile) and fur coats.

The fur is expensive, but appears to be pretty good quality.

It is also the first time I have ever seen a fur bikini for women, as well as a fur thong for the men.

I guess some things were meant to be kept warmBig Smile

Juneau is the largest of the stops.  Recommend you take a walk away from the port area (its not a large area), and seek out the local artisans.   We like buying from the locals (not made in China).  If you're into gloves/mittens and not adverse to animal skins, there are some cool furiours with lined lined leather products.  Bought my daughter fur lined beaver skin mittens that got her through some tough winters.  Sitka has a nice selection of Russian inspired crafts like nested dolls.  (Believe that was the original capital when the Russians owned the territory.)

Yep, forgot about the fur bikinis...and the Russki inspired stuff...didn't partake of any of that..I think theres a frig magnet someplace, and I did buy some t-shirts and baseball hats.

We like the shopping in Ketchikan - partly because we usually have the most time there. Sam McGee's is a bit of a walk from the cruise port, but worth it if you like things more authentic. One of our grandsons is a rock hound so we got some nice rocks there. They also have children's books. Our favorite souvenir was a fundraising t-shirt for the volunteer fire department, which we bought there. (Our son is a firefighter.) They didn't have his size, so we bought for ourselves. They have a sister store closer to the cruise dock where they also sold the shirts, as well as crafts; I got some nice quilted potholders for my girls. It turns out, the city fire department also sold t-shirts out of a vending machine at the fire department. That's where we found our son's size, and he liked it better than ours because it had the firefighters union logo on it. There are tons of stores where you can find the usual Alaska souvenirs. (The nativity sets are fun.) I collect and trade postcards and was able to get quite a few in Ketchikan.

Ketchikan has many souvenir stores by the port. There is a large store on the same sidewalk where the cruise ships dock.

Unfortunately you chose to sail to Alaska at the beginning of the season instead of the end of the season as we did in September 2017. Everything was on sale at 50% or more because nearly all the shops were closing for the winter, when no cruise will be coming into port. I highly recommend that you don't miss the "White Pass" train ride in Skagway, ALaska.

 

Absolutely agree re the timing..most of the shopowners are heading home to the lower 48. Wintering  in Alaska is a different breed of cat.  They'd sell stuff for 50% or greater off..and the WHITE PASS RAILWAY was the hi point of our trip.  I rode between the cars on a little platform, and they encourage it, but space is limited...I took 100's of pics...its spectacular...and convinced me the best way to see Alaska is from the interior of the state...not a cruise ship. Reserve THAT tour ASAP...we took it in the AM..its a good 1/2 day and one of the few tours we've taken anywhere that I'd do again.  The glacier was "nice", they rotate the ship so that everyone can see.   We stayed on our balcony for most of it.  Dress appropriately...the Bahamas it aint.

 

Thanks for sharing. Some good information passed on here.

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