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Skagway Alaska

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Skagway is an extremely small town that you can walk the whole town in about 15 minutes. So now you wonder why do the ships seem to stay there so long. Skagway is where many ships came in filled with people heading into the Yukon to find gold during the gold rush.

A good portion of the tours here are long because they head into the Yukon, which means bring your passport because the Yukon is in Canada. One of the best tours is the White Pass Railway. This train route was the first train route for the gold miners. It follows a lot of the path that gold miners took by foot and horseback into the Yukon. The views are truly exceptional from the train and some of the valley's that it crosses. It starts in Skagway and heads high into the mountains where, depending on time of year, may still be in snow. This tour has a half day and a full day train ride.

There are also bus trips into the Yukon some that are actually tied into the train. Taking the bus tour gets you to see a lot more of the inland part of the Yukon. Part of the Yukon has some of the coldest winters you will ever see. In the Yukon you can see trees that are 4 feet tall or less, but are very old growth. The harsh winters stunt the growth of these trees. Anywhere else these trees would be 40 feet or more in height.

When you dock in Skagway you will see a mountain side near one of the piers that has signs painted all over it. This wall was started during the gold rush as a message board. Men would climb the mountain and paint when they arrived to let those following that they made it that far. Now days the cruise line ships crews paint on the wall when a ship arrives for the first time.

Flight seeing tours are big here as well as fishing. Going in and out of Skagway is a great place to see whales. You can also take tours of Haines from here. I will talk about Haines at another time.

Skagway has many historic buildings. There is one building that the exterior is all driftwood. One of the highlights is the Red Onion Saloon. This was a brothel during the gold mining days. You can still purchase drinks there as well as food. They do have people dressed in character that work the Saloon. This place does get filled up and can be a fun experience.

There are many ways to get around the town, It is small so you can walk, you can also take a horse drawn carriage and there are replica's of old busses that will take you around. When I first started going there the busses were actually the first busses that were used in Yellowstone but I have not seen them in a while just replicas. There are shuttle busses from the ships that will take you in and out of town on a regular basis. There is a small fee to take into town but unless they have changed you can ride the bus back to the ship free.

There are several newer type gift shops but Skagway does still have some great local shops where you can find true Alaskan products.

Skagway is a small town but it is really one of my favorite ports to go to. I always enjoy going to Skagway. I find the town real relaxing and love the history of the area.

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Thanks for the port info. We will be in Skagway this summer on the Grand Princess from San Francisco. We booked a half day mini-bus to the Yukon with a local company. That way we'll still have time to see Skagway!

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Our first trip to Skagway we did the long version of the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad tour. The ride was pleasant and the scenery was amazing, but we had to go right from ship to train and train to ship – so we didn’t have time to actually step foot in the town!

Our second trip to Skagway we took a helicopter ride that landed on a glacier where we had a guided hike – fantastic experience! Afterward we had plenty of time to explore town and have a snack at the Skagway Brewing Co. We found some great trails and hope to just go hiking on our next visit!

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Demoten have your camera ready for the White Pass Rail trip. There are some fantastic views. One picture that is especially great is you will cross a railroad bridge high in the mountains. When on that bridge you can see all the way back into Skagway to where the ships dock. this view through the valley and back to the sea is a do not miss photo op.

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  • 1 month later...

Has anyone done the "Grizzly Falls Ziplining Expedition"? We are thinking of booking this in August when we arrive on the Celebrity Solstice.

Any advice or feedback would be appreciated. Thanks and happy cruising!

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