Frequently Asked Questions
Planning Shore Excursions List of Categories
What is there to do in port in Alaska?
You can do as much or as little as you like. The cruise lines offer shore excursions ranging from city tours, fishing, helicopter tours, flightseeing, dogsledding, and gold panning. You get the idea! The range of options is staggering.
Do you have to take the cruise line's shore excursions in Alaska?
NO. You can choose to find your own sightseeing or adventure tour operators, but most passengers purchase their shore excursions from their cruise line. This way, you can be assured that you are using quality tour operators, and the ship will not leave until you return from your tour. Our cruise consultants can offer you great ideas as to what to do and see at these great Alaska ports either on your own or through your cruise line. We have been to Alaska and can supply you lots of first hand information.
Should we purchase shore excursions?
Shore excursions are optional, guided tours in a cruise ship's port of call. They are offered in all Alaska ports and cities and are a great way to enhance your cruise experience while seeing more of the places you visit.
An organized shore excursion can maximize your time ashore and eliminate the need for making time-consuming arrangements while in port. These tours are led by local residents, whose expertise and first-hand knowledge of the history and folklore of a local attraction can offer colorful insights and anecdotes that you just cannot experience on your own with a city map and guide-book.
Holland America Cruise Line has guided tours available in each port of call, highlighting the places to sightsee, shop, or experience local culture. As a convenience to their passengers, they provide a complete list of shore excursions, descriptions, and prices in advance with your cruise documents and on their websites to help you decide which tours you can take. You can pre-book them prior to leaving home or wait until you board your ship.
What is the approximate cost of excursions?
An average cost of excursions is about $100 per person while at each port. If you are planning to participate in any air flights that cost will increase, because the average cost of flights is about $225 per person. But costs vary based on a large number of factors, just as in a land based resort. What is included in the price you paid? Your lodging, all the facilities of the ship, entertainment, transportation, and meals are included. But the small incidentals, which make your experience fabulous, that is where the differences come in. All cruise lines give value for the dollar that you pay; price alone is not the criterion. Pricing of a cruise also depends on specials that may be made available either as promotions or due to volume buying of the agency. The Cruise Company can offer you the best pricing on Holland America Cruise Line because we are a Centurion Agency, one of the top 100 accounts in North America, and we have the lowest price that Holland America Cruise Line offers.
Can I go fishing?
If you love fishing, you will love Alaska. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy full- or half-day fishing excursions in all the Alaska ports of call. You can fish for King Salmon, Pink and Silver Salmon, Sockeye, Halibut, Rainbow Trout, Char, and Steelhead depending on the port or city. This is one of the most popular activities on an Alaska cruise. Not only is it a high adventure sport that gives you a chance to land "the big one," it also combines the benefit of exploring some of the most beautiful scenery in Alaska, and maybe some glacier viewing or whale watching depending upon your fishing guide and tour.
Fishing excursions can be booked through the cruise line or independently by calling the Cruise Specialists at The Cruise Company, 1-800-889-8133. An example is a tour in Ketchikan, the salmon capital of the world, where you will go out on a charter boat spending four hours fishing for salmon in Alaska. These boats are fully guided and all gear and licensing included. If you have good day, which we hope you will, you can have your fresh catch packed and shipped back home where enjoy salmon steaks for months. The cost of the fishing excursions is approximately $180 per person and will vary by cruise line. Packing and shipping your fish home will be additional.