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Chilkoot Charters and Tours vs White Pass & Yukon Train

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South Carolina
posts: 23
reviews: 52
Chilkoot Charters and Tours vs White Pass & Yukon Train

We are taking a cruise to Alaska in September. Is there an advantage or disadvantage to booking the WP&Y rail trip to the Yukon through the cruise ship versus booking through Chilkoot?

I looked at the WP&Y website and they don't seem to want to accept my money directly asking instead that we book through the cruiseline. However, the Chilkoot tour appears to be the same tour for less money.

Any advice? Experiences?

Thanks! I appreciate any opinions

-GW

Fritz Creek, Alaska
posts: 4,896
reviews: 56
1. Re: Chilkoot Charters and Tours vs White Pass & Yukon Train

If your tour is only on the train, I don't understand why youj can't book with them directly as the train is available to other visitors also.

Do not know about Chilkoot Charters as all our visits to Skagway have booked thru Princess (the one we liked was apparently unavailable with an independent operator such as the one you mentioned.

haines, alaska
Destination Expert
for Haines
posts: 6,889
reviews: 28
2. Re: Chilkoot Charters and Tours vs White Pass & Yukon Train

There is only one train, so if it costs more through the ship, book directly with Chilkoot Charters........You can even wait until you are in Skagway and book at the train depot......either morning or afternoon train.....book according to the weather or to your other plans......The train tour booked through your ship will leave directly from the dock.......the depot is about a 2 block walk from your ship dock, right downtown........it never books up entirely, they just add more cars as needed.......those booked through the ship are often fully booked so more crowded than those booked at the depot.......

London, England
posts: 68
reviews: 9
3. Re: Chilkoot Charters and Tours vs White Pass & Yukon Train

We booked through Dyea Dave for July 2012 and the tour covers bus each way - but we can choose to buy train ticket in either direction on the day. He will meet us from the ship and take us to the station for us to buy tickets if we choose

haines, alaska
Destination Expert
for Haines
posts: 6,889
reviews: 28
4. Re: Chilkoot Charters and Tours vs White Pass & Yukon Train

Dyea Dave provides a quality tour, great choice !

Cadiz, Kentucky
posts: 1,467
reviews: 113
5. Re: Chilkoot Charters and Tours vs White Pass & Yukon Train

We booked with Chilkoot and would definitely do it again (although I'm sure Dyea Dave is good too!) We did the train up, and their van met us to bring us on a great tour back to Skagway. Our train car had about a dozen people in it with lots of room to move around, while people who booked with the cruiseline were in a car packed like sardines!

Sonoma County CA
posts: 1
reviews: 2
6. Re: Chilkoot Charters and Tours vs White Pass & Yukon Train

We just returned from an Alaska cruise. We chose Chilkoot Charters (van up, train back) for our Skagway excursion, and I cannot imagine a better tour than the one we had! In fact, we liked our van tour with Bruce much better than the train trip back.

Columbia, South...
posts: 43
reviews: 23
7. Re: Chilkoot Charters and Tours vs White Pass & Yukon Train

One advantage in booking through the ship is in the event of a delay, the ship will not depart without you. Not so with independent charters.

However, the independents are less expensive. The price difference when we went was not enough for us to assume the risk, so we booked via NCL.

South Carolina
posts: 23
reviews: 52
8. Re: Chilkoot Charters and Tours vs White Pass & Yukon Train

Thank you all for your opinions. I appreciate it!

We are definitely taking the train as that is the one thing my husband said he wanted to do. That leaves off Dyea Dave and renting a car for the day. I just need to bite the bullet and pick one.

haines, alaska
Destination Expert
for Haines
posts: 6,889
reviews: 28
9. Re: Chilkoot Charters and Tours vs White Pass & Yukon Train

Re: "One advantage in booking through the ship is in the event of a delay, the ship will not depart without you. Not so with independent charters."

Boomer, this is just a scare tactic that the cruise ship industry uses to book tours through the ship.........the only time anyone has missed the ship was once and that person was busy shopping, not on a tour.......LOL

Columbia, South...
posts: 43
reviews: 23
10. Re: Chilkoot Charters and Tours vs White Pass & Yukon Train

mombear,

See these (it REALLY does happen):

boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-yrsXsJmbw

www.airgorilla.com/help/help-for-cruises.html

When you're on your own,, you're on your own, whether it's a tour or you are just wandering. All we're saying is that there is value in using the cruise line. And when researching all the moving parts (buses, taxis, tickets, etc.), we realized we were assuming risks of our own.

Also, we have cancelled tours booked through the cruise line and been refunded without question. If we had bought tickets, we'd be out of luck, and have to make several calls to cancel other parts that we haven't yet paid for.

We're not saying don't book on your own. Just be aware that the cruise line WILL not depart if you are on their tour but may/will if you are missing and they don't know why.