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whale watchers spot a whale on an Alaska cruise shore excursion

The Best Alaska Shore Excursions

Dare to book an Alaska shore excursion. Read on for the best Alaska shore excursions from flying over misty fjords to braving the world’s tallest zipline.

Once you’ve seen all there is to see from aboard your Alaska cruise ship, you’ll want to get out and explore all that the Great Land has to offer. And with so many activities to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Here is a list of some of the best Alaska shore excursions by location.

Ketchikan — Magnificent Misty Fjords By Floatplane

On this Alaska shore excursion, you’ll get to climb aboard a real Alaskan seaplane and take to the skies like a bush pilot — only you won’t be making deliveries of vital supplies. Instead, you’ll embark from Ketchikan’s waterfront on a flight of exploration. Along the way you’ll get sky-high views of Tongass National Forest, the nation’s largest forest, enroute to Misty Fjords National Monument, where 1,000-foot waterfalls, shimmering lakes, majestic wildlife and dramatic fjords await. A brief landing is made in Misty Fjords, letting you take in the silent grandeur of this isolated wilderness firsthand.

Juneau — Taku Lodge, Feast & Five Glacier Seaplane Discovery

Some of the best Alaska shore excursions don’t take place on shore, but in the skies. Fly in a classic de Havilland seaplane over five breathtaking glaciers flowing from the Juneau Ice Field, deep blue crevasses, snow-capped mountains and the lush Tongass National Forest. The Taku River will be your 'runway' as you land at the elegantly rustic and historic Taku Lodge. Embark on a guided interpretative nature walk, stroll the trails or soak in the serenity of a place barely touched by time before your return flight to Juneau.

Skagway — Alpine Snow Shoe & White Pass Rail Experience

This excursion combines a train ride aboard the historic White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad with a wilderness snowshoe trek in the stunning alpine terrain that characterizes the upper reaches of the Tormented Valley in northern British Columbia. Expansive, wide-open views of snow-capped mountains, frozen lakes and the rugged terrain stampeders endured more than 110 years ago during the Klondike Gold Rush make this stand out from other Alaska shore excursions. Be on the lookout for wildlife as bear, moose, mountain goats, wolves and caribou all call this area home.

Sitka — Sea Otter & Wildlife Quest

On this cruise, you’ll get a chance to view sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, whales, black-tail deer, bald eagles, and brown bears with the assistance of an onboard expert. This is one of the best Alaska shore excursions for animal viewing, as it guarantees you’ll spot wildlife. The water-jet-powered tour ship has been specifically designed for the narrow island passages along Southeast Alaska’s coast. And with large windows, enclosed seating, and an observation deck, you’ll have an unencumbered view of all the wildlife action in Sitka.

Icy Strait Point — ZipRider Adventure

With a 1,320-foot drop, this is the world’s tallest zip-line — that’s taller than the Empire State Building! On your way up the mountain, the motorcoach driver will provide a guided tour of the route, which includes the Tlingit community of Hoonah. But the real adventure begins 1,300 feet up when you’re fastened into a harness for the zip-line launch. Because of the special design of the harness, your hands will be free, allowing you to record the flight. You’re in for an adrenaline rush of a lifetime as you fly above the treetops at speeds of up to 60 mph. Be sure to take in the views of Port Frederick and Icy Strait on your way down. And don’t worry, a safe, brake-activated landing awaits at Icy Strait Point.


An Alaska cruise isn’t complete without exhilarating shore excursions. See all our Alaska shore excursions and find the one for you.