A bucket list trip for many travelers is a cruise to Alaska. You'll see breathtaking scenery every day as you cruise between destinations. There's also plenty to see and do when you have a port day. One of the most popular stops on an Alaska cruise is Skagway, offering a mix of adventurous activities, wildlife sighting opportunities, and historic Klondike Gold Rush experiences.
If you're planning a Norwegian vacation to Alaska, here are some of the top excursions and things to do when visiting Skagway.
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Go Adventuring on a Glacier
Skagway is part of a majestic natural wilderness full of glaciers and the various wildlife that Alaska is renowned for. There are multiple options to get up close and personal with Alaska's glaciers here. To see the majestic glaciers from above, book a glacier discovery helicopter tour where you'll land on a glacier and walk across a river of ice.
Go on a dog sledding and helicopter adventure, or book a Glacier Point wilderness safari excursion that takes you on a journey deep in the fjords before offroading, hiking, and then hopping in a voyager canoe to see the face of Davidson Glacier. Consider a combination of dog sledding and a glacier flightseeing helicopter ride for a real thrill.
Depending on your glacier adventure, you might see wildlife up close, such as whales, sea lions, seals, and other marine life. If you're hiking, you might encounter eagles and mountain goats.
Klondike Gold Rush National Park
If you are a history buff, don't miss the Klondike Gold Rush National Park. Here you will learn about the dramatic events of the gold rush that laid the roots for Skagway and Alaska as it is today. Retrace the steps of the prospectors who took their chances in the Klondike Gold Rush over one hundred years ago, and learn about the challenges and successes of these gold seekers. Norwegian offers multiple excursions that include stops along the Gold Rush route.
If you're traveling with kids, consider the Big Nugget excursion. Here you can relive life in the Gold Rush days, learn about sled dogs, and try panning for gold. Whatever you find, bring it to the assayer's office to determine its worth. If you have any gold, it's yours to keep!
The town of Skagway also offers quite a lot for cruisers to see and do on their day in port. Wander through historic downtown Skagway, where you can admire restored buildings from the Gold Rush era. Be sure to visit the Red Onion Saloon & Restaurant, where you can sample Alaskan food and beer and experience an 1890s saloon. To learn more about Skagway's early days, book Skagway's original street car excursion.
White Pass Scenic Railway
The White Pass Scenic Railway is a must-do excursion for anyone visiting Skagway. The railway was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush and offers breathtaking views of the nearby mountains and glaciers. The train winds its way up to the summit of White Pass, which is 2,865 feet above sea level. The journey takes approximately three hours round-trip on vintage rail cars.
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Sled Dog Discovery
Opt for a sled dog excursion in the Alaskan wilderness for the ultimate Alaskan adventure. Visit a summer training camp for professional mushers and sled dogs. Sit in the sled while 16 Alaskan Huskies pull you through some of Alaska's most beautiful scenery.
Chilkoot Trail and Lake
To explore more of the Alaskan wilderness, consider a Chilkoot horseback adventure tour through the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and a ranch in Dyea. Enjoy forest scenery and the Dyea tidal flats, where you might see spawning salmon, eagles, and maybe even a bear.
Another exciting option is Chilkoot Lake wilderness kayaking. No previous kayaking experience is required either. These stable kayaks are the perfect viewing platform for wildlife spotting. The lake is home to all five species of Pacific salmon, waterfowl, bald eagles, and one of southeast Alaska's highest concentrations of brown bears.
Combine a thrilling and scenic helicopter flight with an adventurous 3- to 5-mile hike in Tongass National Forest with the Heli - Hike & White Pass Railway excursion. You'll also ride on the historic narrow-gauge White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. This excursion is perfect for cruise passengers who want to see it all.
Chilkat Traditions & Heritage
Book a cultural excursion to Haines, which is a 45-minute cruise away down North America's longest and deepest fjord. From there, you'll drive 22 miles up the Chilkat Valley to Klukwan. This native village is home to the Bald Eagle Preserve, featuring one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles worldwide. Learn about Chilkat traditions and their cultural heritage.
Rock Climbing and Rappelling
Another adventurous activity awaiting you is rock climbing and rappelling. This excursion is perfect for everywhere, whether you're a first-time rock climber or a very experienced one. Professional mountain guides take you on the adventure of a lifetime, climbing and rappelling on Alaska's granite walls. you can choose from more than a dozen climbing routes and experience an epic 70-foot rappel!
Whether you're a thrill-seeker or prefer to explore Skagway in a more leisurely fashion, you'll find something exciting to do here. Narrowing down options might be challenging, which is why Norwegian offers a few excursions that combine some of the best sights and activities in Skagway.