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How to get to Tracy Arm Fjord

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How to get to Tracy Arm Fjord

Our ship doesnt dock until 10:30am which means that the Adventure Bound seems out of the question as they leave at 9am.

Do we have any other options to get there?

tks

Michigan
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for Alaska
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1. Re: How to get to Tracy Arm Fjord

How late are going to be there? There are some private charters, but they are VERY EXPENSIVE!! Most trips are about 9 hours. I know Harv and Marvs does a Tracy Arm private charter, but their website says it leaves at 7:30 a.m. You could try contacting them and see if they ever leave later. You have to book well in advance.

http://www.harvandmarvs.com/Tracyarm.html

Alaska Marine Adventures advertises a 9 hour trip to Tracy Arm, but does not say if it has to be a particular time. Here is their link:

charter-alaska.com/Alaskan_Marine_Adventures…

With private charters, you would have to book early. Make sure you know their cancellation policies. These companies run multiple trips and only have a few boats. Once someone books a boat for one tour that boat is no longer available. So, if this is something you really want to do, and you have enough time in Juneau to do it, I would say you book soon.

If interested here is my link to my photos from our Tracy Arm cruise with Adventure Bound this past June. It is best to view them in the slideshow. There is a link on the top left for slideshow. If the photos ar not focusing, increase the time lapse between photos.

…google.com/mdomaz/JuneauTracyArmCruise#

North Bend, Oregon
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2. Re: How to get to Tracy Arm Fjord

"VERY EXPENSIVE" is certainly a relative term. Even the most spendy private charter will still have less money involved than flying the same distances.

Aside from Adventure Bound, your options are Allen Marine, Goldbelt Tours & Travel, Juneau Sportfishing & Sightseeing, M&M Tours, Harv&Marv, Alaskan Marine Adventures, Summer King Adventures, and Wolverine Charters. Of those, 3 are brokers, only 1 is 5-Star safety rated, and all have different costs/capacities/inclusions so none will be comparable as similar tours. (Heck, one of the businesses mentioned here only charges around $220 per person for their regular rate, but it's only 1-way, so you either get to double the rate, or charter a float plane to come get you!)

Now, for the other questions raised, I can't speak for the other companies, but Alaskan Marine Adventures has run Tracy Arm trips as late as 1:00 pm when the daylight hours are long, and no, there is no set time as they're private charters. Depending on group size and the specials being offered at any given time, I've done Tracy Arm trips for as little as $225 per person this season...

The last poster is correct, however, in that most of the private charters that run these trips only have ONE boat, so if anything else is booked for the day (save for an early morning whale watch) a TA trip would likely be out of the question.

If you can't get the charter you want, try one of the brokers. You won't know what boat you're on until you go, but the brokers at least have 6 to 30 boats at their disposal on any given day.

Hope this helps!

-Case

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3. Re: How to get to Tracy Arm Fjord

Thanks so much. I have learned from doing my research that many excursions are indeed expensive but in the end there are a few that really cannot be missed. If we are going all the way to Alaska I want to see Alaska in all his beauty. I sent Harv and Marv an email yesterday only to find out that they are now closed until January so my fear is that I may be too late for May to book them, and perpahs other private companies, what do you think?

Michigan
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4. Re: How to get to Tracy Arm Fjord

Case, I should have clarified myself when I said Very Expensive. With a private charter, if those making the reservation can fill the boat, the cost is reasonable and fair. However, if you only have 2 people it would be very costly for a private charter, because the operater's costs are the same whether they take out two people or fill the boat to capacity. Although some people travel in large groups to Alaska, many travel as couples and it would be quite costly.

Breezey: I would also try calling Harv and Marv if you are interested in using them. Case has given you some other great choices. How many are in your group? If you don't have enough people to fill the whole boat, you could go on your ship's Roll Call on Cruise Critic, and see if you could find someeone else to join you. You could also try other ship's Roll Calls who will be in Juneau the same day with enough time to do the trip, if there are any others that day..

Michigan
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5. Re: How to get to Tracy Arm Fjord

Case, how does one go about finding the safety rating of the operator's boats?

North Bend, Oregon
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6. Re: How to get to Tracy Arm Fjord

I'll go out on a limb here and say that you're probably just a hair early for a May 2009 booking. I just saw Jay (Marv) yesterday, and he was just pulling his boat out of the water for the season. (Alaskan Marine Adventures is the only company that leaves their boat in the water year-round... everyone else dry-stores for the cold winter season.)

I don't like to speak for other businesses, but if I were to GUESS, I would think your eMail will probably be answered sometime soon. Eileen (Mrs. Marv) is also pretty good at returning phonecalls, so that's a good backup option. Another factor to consider is that many "fuel based businesses" won't even set pricing until after Jan. 1 and therefore can't take a reservation until then. Many seasonal businesses will be difficult to get ahold of between now and the first of the year when we're all taking our fall/winter vacations.

Unless I missed seeing one, it's of note that Harv&Marv haven't run a Tracy Arm trip in at least 2 or 3 years... they keep referring those reservations to Alaskan Marine Adventures or Adventure Bound. Jay does have some spectacular pictures on his site, though... doesn't he? ;-)

Happy Alaska Travels!

-Case

North Bend, Oregon
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7. Re: How to get to Tracy Arm Fjord

In that last post, I meant to add that only the larger, more stable businesses are taking reservations now. Some will take reservations now, but be sure you have an agreement about the final balance due. I think a few companies are reserving space, but not collecting money (reservations are UNCONFIRMED until paid in full) and others will honor '08 pricing if you book, pay and confirm before '09 or before rates change.

Happy Alaska Travels!

-Case

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8. Re: How to get to Tracy Arm Fjord

Thanks so so much, you have been great. Actually I think we wil pass on Tracy Arm. Cannot do everything and since we only have one day in Juneau would also like to wander, eat some fresh fish :) etc. I will follow up with Harv and Marv again in January but hey if you do chat with them again, let them know Amy from Toronto sent an email was asking about May.

Cannot wait.

North Bend, Oregon
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9. Re: How to get to Tracy Arm Fjord

"Case, how does one go about finding the safety rating of the operator's boats?"

http://www.mxak.org/fivestar/5star.htm is the site you're looking for. Note that because a boat is NOT listed isn't necessarily bad... just that they only meet legal minimum requirements and haven't volunteered for this particular inspection program.

I doubt there's any listing of "negative record" or accidents other than digging around in the local papers about a specific operator, but that usually won't turn up much. A 5-Star safety rating is a big step in the right direction, however.

Happy Alaska Travels!

-Case

Dallas, Texas
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10. Re: How to get to Tracy Arm Fjord

Just a quick note, the owner of Alaska Marine Adventures has posted that he is retiring (this is noted on his website) and they are no longer taking reservations :(