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 Shore Excursions About Us FAQ Before You Go What's New Comments

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Shore Excursions/Day Tours
Dog Sledding
Bear viewing
Alaska Glacier Tours
Helicopter Tours
Whale Watching
Mendenhall Glacier
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"Hi Jane and Dave!!!

Ed and I just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed and appreciated the Saxman Village Totem Tour, the Whale watching tour and the river rafting trip through the Bald Eagle preserve.

The small groups afforded us a personal tour that could not be equaled by the much larger tours booked via the cruise ships. We were able to stop on an 'island' in the river a few times and explore - allowing us to see bear tracks  ...
 you provide a service and experience that CANNOT be equaled by the larger cruise ship operators."

Ed & Wendy Fuentes


Shore Excursions and Day Tours

Are you getting ready to go on a cruise? Have you balked at the high prices of your package for your Alaska shore excursions? Cruise ships charge quite a bit for these packages, and you might not be getting the best value for you dollar or more importantly you might not be getting the best Alaska has to offer.

Here’s a little insider information: The cruise ships have worked out exclusive contracts with the local tour operators. The cruise ship low balls the locals and secures a fixed price on the tour based on a volume discount. Then they add their markup to passengers on the tour they offer. Often making 30% to 40% margin on the tours they sell their passengers.

While we're all for people making money should it be at your expense? While you might have heard that you have to get these packages through the cruise ship that is simply untrue.

Did you know that you can book your Alaska excursions through independent tour operators? When you do this, there are many advantages, including:

bulletYou get a more personalized service
bulletYou can save time AND money
bulletYou will get to experience Alaska to its fullest.

Consider what happens when you go through the cruise ship. First of all, since the cruise ships have only contracted with a few local tour operators you are all going to the same attractions. That means that all of the other passengers on the ship will be going on the same shore excursions as you. Yes, all 2,000 of them. Also the cruise ships have a limited amount of excursion choices. With the cruise ship choosing the excursion for you are you truly getting the best Alaskan shore excursion?

If you want a fulfilling experience, contact the local tour operator who is actually running the tour. Tour operators will take your reservation directly. They are truly the local experts. Often times they will save you money and you’ll receive the personal service you deserve. You will be worry free of being herded around like cattle. Instead, you get a service that is tailored to your needs so you can have an exhilarating experience. Small groups are the way to go when you really want to see the attractions.

At Dolly Varden Alaska, we have done the research for you. We have identified the best local tour operators in each city. We have long standing partnerships with almost all of them. You will be able to see the things you want to see, and the adventure will be affordable as well as personalized. A cruise ship cannot promise you that.

Click on any town for a list of available excursions.





When you book your tour it's best to know exactly what date and time you are arriving in your port.

Once you know it's easy to select the correct time.

Here are two links to check your arrival and departure times per port:

Alaska Cruise Association



Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska





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