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“Glacier Point Wilderness Safari”
Review of Davidson Glacier

Davidson Glacier
Ranked #3 of 64 things to do in Skagway
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: See the Davidson Glacier up close, from the vantage point of our 30-foot Voyager Canoes. The Glacier Point Wilderness Safari brings you into the Alaskan Wilderness and gives you a taste of the “True Alaska”.Your adventure begins at your cruise ship where we’ll board a high-speed vessel made for wildlife viewing en route to an Alaskan paradise. We’ll ply the waters of the deepest Fjord in North America with a naturalist guide, watching for whales, sea lions, porpoise, and many other species of marine wildlife. We land at Glacier Point and board our Safari Buses for a short drive over the terminal moraines. Our award-winning guides share with you the wonders of this Glacial Wilderness. A quarter mile hike will lead us to the iceberg-studded lake where we’ll paddle our canoes to the face of the glacier. This is an ideal family adventure and one you won’t soon forget!
Reviewed July 31, 2012

Guides were great and it was a nice tour to get a little taste of everything--watching marine animals on a boat, glacier viewing, canoeing, and hiking. Everything was well organized. Canoeing to the glacier is the main event and the other things are secondary. So don't expect to see tons of whales like you would on a whale watch or to go on a long hike like you would on an actual hiking excursion. But I thought they were great add-ons to the day.

First we took an hour long boat ride from Skagway to Glacier Point. The two guides kept an eye out for wildlife and slowed down when they spotted whales and sea lions so we could all get a good look. When we got to Glacier Point, we took a short bus ride to an area where we were outfitted with boots and life jackets (they also had extra clothing layers and bug spray for those who needed it). From there we did a short hike through the forest to the lake (about 1/4 mile and there was a small 4x4 vehicle that took an older couple directly to the lake). At the lake we got into 12-person canoes and headed over to the Davidson glacier. There is also a motor on the canoes, so you only do some paddling. Pretty much anyone with good mobility can do this tour.

It's pretty cool to get close to the glacier although it's somewhat less impressive as you get very close because the front part of the glacier is covered in dirt (due to a landslide a couple of years ago).

Afterwards, they provided box lunches before we headed back on the boat to Skagway. They're basic cold turkey sandwiches, but it was decent. On the way back the boat stopped at a place where lots of sea lions congregate, it was pretty cool.

The trip took about 6-6.5 hours total. We booked through the ship (which I think is the only way to do so). It was on the pricey side, but as far as Alaskan excursions go I think it was worth the money considering the length of the tour and variety of activities. I'm always afraid of excursions booked through the ship because many are overcrowded. This one wasn't bad because we split onto two boats for the trip to Glacier Point and onto four canoes when we paddled over to the glacier. So it had a relatively small/medium group feel to it.

10  Thank PiperNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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373 - 377 of 391 reviews

Reviewed July 20, 2012

We found this excursion listed as a choice on our cruise ship earlier this month and it was BY FAR the best experience of our entire 2 week land/cruise vacation trip to Alaska. Everything was great - the transportation, the guides, the lunch, the scenery - just can't say enough good things about this. The day we went there were weather issues, making the first part of the journey by boat an issue of concern, but the guides gave us completely honest advise about what it would be like (i.e. would we get too seasick) and had workarounds to ensure the impact was minimal, etc. and it turned out great, no problems. The scenery was amazing, the guides were extremely knowledgeable and fun - we would go to Alaska again just to take this excursion, and immediately contacted the company to find out what other excursions they do in other parts of the country/world because we were so impressed by our experience. Absolutely fantastic! (The excursion company is called Chilkat Guides).

9  Thank Lisa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2012

The day was cloudy when we boarded the boat for this trip. As we sped along the water towards our adventure the day turned sunny. The views were stunning. Jonah, our Captain, slowed the boat and went closer to the shoreline for better views of the Stellar sea lions, Harbor seals and magnificent waterfalls. He would slow the boat so we could observe the breeching whales and the many eagles soaring above.

At our destination the boat was beached so we could clamber out onto the stony beach. The blue water, snow covered mountains and fields of humongous golden dandelions gleaming in the sun made a breathtaking sight. We hiked up a slight hill to the old school bus for our ride to the shed where we were fitted with rubber boots and life vests.

It was a short hike through the forest to the river where the orange canoes were tethered. We were given safety instructions and put into groups and into the canoes we stepped and paddled off towards the glacier.

The guides were knowledgeable and a lot of fun. The views were breathtaking, almost unbelievable. We paddled the lagoon, up to the glacier, well near to it, and stopped to marvel as we listened to the guide’s talk. Too soon we were headed back to shore. We hiked back to the shed where the bus was waiting to take us back to our boat.

Surprise! There was no boat waiting. Picnic tables waited! Picnic tables loaded with boxes of lunch and plenty of bottled water. A picnic at the beach in Alaska on a sunny, sunny day, beyond awesome!

Glacier Point Wilderness Safari was a totally fabulous experience.

7  Thank RovinRatties
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2012

If you're looking to cruise stores and do so shopping, don't go on this excursion. We came to Alaska for the spectacular scenery and that's just what we experienced on this trip. It was pouring rain when we boarded our bus, but as one guest says "you can't control" the weather. The tour guides were very well organized and made sure we were all aware that we needed to use the bathroom before leaving as the catamaran's head was out of service. Not to worry, there were self-composting toilets when we landed. We were encouraged to water the trees, but I declined since I always manage to hit my shoes :)
Dan, our guide on the ship, used to be a school teacher but stayed in Alaska because he loved it so much. He was very informative, and in no time at all we docked. Well "docked" is a relative term, we drove right up onto the shore!
A short bus ride later we arrived at "The Pavillion" where we were outfitted with a rubber rain suit, rubber boots and a PFD. We then trekked (1/4 mile) through the woods and came out into a clearing where we had a full-on view of the glacier. Spectacular!! After a short and entertaining briefing, we were loaded into our canoes and we paddled out to the Davidson Glacier. Not to worry, the boats have motors too to assist, so it wasn't too much exertion. It was pretty cold though. After we got back, it was back on the bus and back to the ship.
It was a wonderful excursion and worth the price. Aside from the beauty of Alaska, the tour guides really made this trip. Thanks to Robin and Chrissy, we will always remember it.

6  Thank Donna_B51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2012

This attraction is not in Skagway. If you take this trip you will miss seeing Skagway and just see boring old Haines. Why isn't this listed under Haines? Because no one goes to Haines on purpose. Skagway is where the action is, and has been for the past 112 years. I have no problem with the kayak trip there, but why do they insist on listing it under Skagway, it just confuses people!!!

3  Thank Marliroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charity J, Skagway at Davidson Glacier, responded to this reviewResponded June 4, 2012

Thank you for your review. As it says in the description, the only way that you can access the Davidson Glacier is to depart from Skagway on a RIB boat with Glacier Point, which is why it is listed from Skagway. It is not accessible to public from Haines, unless they are flying over. The trip generally lasts 6 hours roundtrip, leaving plenty of time for guests to explore the entirety of Skagway in one port of call.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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