Two years ago, my wife, I and two kids (ages 11 and 7) took the Celebrity Solstice from Seattle to Alaska for one of the most amazing vacations we’ve ever been on.
We “jam packed” our days in port with not just one excursion, but typically two, as we wanted to make the most of being there. While tiresome, it led to some unbelievable sights and experiences that our kids still talk about on a regular basis!
If you’re looking for a truly unbelievable tour, you must check this one out – the Helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier with Dog Sledding.
We literally stumbled upon this, because the tour we had wanted to do was sold out directly on Celebrity through their shore excursion team.
I did some poking around online and found the tour operator, Temsco Helicopters. These guys are the “real deal” – helping to move cargo throughout the area along with passengers to Glaciers in the summer time.
Our tour consisted of about a 20 minute helicopter flight from their base operations in Juneau to Mendenhall Glacier.
The flight was absolutely amazing, weaving between mountains and valleys, up and over and then landing on the glacier itself.
Once we landed, we were given a short walking tour showing us where the dogs live and train for the summer months, in preparation for their winter dog sledding races.
We then hopped onto a dog sled and had an awesome tour by our guide who is a professional dog sledder. As we mushed along across the glacier, the sights were amazing!
At the end, we were able to meet some of the new puppies, training to become the next set of award winning mushers!
We then boarded back on the helicopter and flew back to the operations base in Juneau and returned back to town for some sight seeing before boarding back on the Celebrity Solstice.
While not the most economical excursion available, it was, in our opinion absolutely work every penny we spent on it! Now that being said- by booking DIRECTLY with Temsco, we were able to save a considerable amount of money as compared to booking through Celebrity shore excursions directly – nearly 30%… and for this excursion, it was a couple of hundred dollars savings.
The helicopter pilot was awesome, pointing out sights and answering questions and the guide once on the glacier was very friendly and fantastic with the kids too!
The question has been asked by many friends and family members if we’d do this same tour again — and its a resounding YES from every member of our family!