A lot of people enter into Skagway via walk on fast ferry and Chilkat Cruises is a good option for this. They run a regular service between Haines and Skagway.
Here I am aboard one of the fast ferries entering Skagway harbour.
Chilkat Cruises runs two 150-passenger high speed jet catamarans that make the35 minute crossings between Haines and Skagway up to 28 times per day. This would be a great day trip from either community. This is the most scenic portion of the inside passage. Each cruise is staffed by a native naturalist. On the weekends the same ships make the 2.5 hour trip to Juneau from Haines. Saturdays 9am and 12pm. Sundays 4pm and 7pm.
Round Trip Haines/Skagway - $44 for adults, $24 for children under 12. One Way - $24 for adults, $12 for children under 12. tikes and bikes travel free.
They also offer tours in conjunction with the fast ferry. These tour prices are as follows:
White Pass Summit Train & FAST FERRY Combination - Cost: $99 One-Way, $119 Round-Trip (plus tax) Includes cruise and train ticket.
Haines Highlights Deluxe Excursion - Cost: $36 pp (plus tax) Approximately 2.5 hours
Inquire about discounts when purchased with FAST FERRY tickets!
Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve Deluxe Excursion - Cost: $44 pp (plus tax) Approximately 3 hours
Inquire about discounts when purchased with FAST FERRY tickets!
Avis Car Rental is located in Skagway at 3rd and Spring street. At $75/day, it is not cheap. A tour for two over to Carcross would cost you $160. The train is scenic and historic adventure to all I talked to on the trip, but you will see much more by car than by train. The train turns around at White Pass which is less than the halfway point on our astonishingly scenic drive that includes the Venus Mine, Bove Island, Carcross, Carcross Desert, and Emerald Lake. You will also have an opportunity to see the Gold Rush Cemetery, downtown, and the town overlook all in one long day. That would be another $60 for two if you bought the tour.
Car = $75, Tours = $220. I was convinced!
The Golden Circle Route
Better yet, consider doing the Golden Circle Route. Rent a car for less money in Juneau. Take the ferry from Juneau to Haines. Drive from Haines to Haines Junction and Kluane Lake National Park. Drive the Alaska Highway to Whitehorse. Drive the Klondike Highway to Skagway. Return by ferry to Juneau. (See general tips for more detail.)
The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad is a must do in Skagway. It is a passenger excursion only train nowadays that runs from Skagway to Frasier BC in Canada and back again. Spectacular scenery and great history abound in this amazing train ride. The W.P &Y.R will expand its route to Carcross Yukon Canada in 2007.
One of the greatest things about Skagway is you can arrive by plane or boat or car! All boast excellent views on the approach....SPECTACULAR views!!
By ship, the Alaskan Marine Highway or the Alaska State Ferry is great
Many different cruise lines including Princess, Holland America,and Norweigen
By air...Skagway Air, L.A.B. Air and Wings of Alaska
or drive your car, RV or motorcycle!!! It rocks no matter how ya get here!!!
And actually, you can arrive by train as well!! The White Passand Yukon Route Railroad brings in folks from Canada
I suppose you could bicycle or walk in too......
If you are traveling by car or an RV, you'll join the growing number of visitors who travel the Alaska Highway each year. Skagway is only 110 miles south from the Alaska Highway, via the South Klondike Highway. The lakes of the Yukon and British Columbia that you'll pass along the way are the headwaters of the great Yukon River. This modern two-lane highway is an easy drive, and passes through the historic community of Carcross - hotel, gas, food and other visitor services available - and past the ruins of the Venus Mine on Windy Arm of Tagish Lake. Near the summit of the Klondike Highway Pass you'll encounter a scene that resembles a moonscape more than any earthly vista. Ancient, twisted trees cling to rocks polished smooth by prehistoric glaciers, or crumbled by years of erosion. Myriad waterfalls, several glaciers and glimpses of the White Pass Railroad and White Pass Trail are among the highlights of the drive from the summit to seaside Skagway. Source : www.skagway.org.
I have taken this round two times now and it is easily one of the nicest stretches of road you will ever see!
Take a car or a avid biker could also do it. Probably a challenging ride though with the changes in altitude. You are way up there before decending to the port.
Consider driving the Golden Circle Route from Haines to Skagway. For those interested in a leisurely but long drive (Over 300 miles) with overnight stays and spectacular scenery that does not repeat itself. Daily ferry service makes this a very popular driving trip from Juneau.
On a recent trip, we rented a car and took it on the ferry throughout our Southeastern Alaska tour. (This was enjoyable and convenient, but expensive when you add in ferry charges.) In hindsight, you can get by without a car in Sitka and many other Southeastern Alaska towns. A car or RV is particularly useful in Haines, Skagway and Juneau.
You will see spectacular scenery in the National and Provincial Parks of neighboring Canada. The little known, Tatshenshini - Alsek Provincial Park and Kluane Lake National Park protect some of the most dramatic scenery in North America. Tatshenshini - Alsek River has become the holy grail for most river rafters. Much of the area is roadless, though it can be toured by helicopter from Haines Junction. From the road you will see many small glacial lakes, Kluane Lake, and a vast tundra, all with high glacial mountain backdrops. Services are available at strategic points along the route. For history buffs, this is also a much more complete look at the Gold Rush sites including the Whitehorse River Boats and the rugged lake country of the South Klondike Highway. This plan allows for the most scenic and detailed overview of the area. It is a perfect way to get a real sense of the interior region without an 800 mile drive to Fairbanks or Denali. With the dryer and cooler weather of this region, you also stand a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Plan at least a half day using the car in Juneau before your ferry departure allowing you to see all the outlying areas.
If you have at least three to five days this is the most dramatic region on the Inside Passage and The Yukon.
Travelers arriving by car to Haines or Skagway may find this mini-tour of one of the most scenic parts of the inside passage to Juneau very attractive. This is your chance to get out of the car and take a long tour of the most beautiful sections of the Inside Pasage. The biggest advantage is that the trip is made in half the time of the traditional ferry and all sightseeing transportation and most meals are included in the price. Depart Skagway and Haines in the morning and head south through Lynn Canal for a fully-narrated wildlife cruise each morning.
Upon arrival at Auke Bay, board a motorcoach for a tour of Juneau's highlights, including the state capitol building, the governor's mansion and downtown Juneau. Spend the afternoon having lunch, shopping and exploring the downtown district. A bus meets you downtown for a trip to breathtaking Mendenhall Glacier before returning you to Auke Bay for an evening cruise back to Haines and Skagway. A light dinner is served underway. Travel to Juneau aboard the Fjordland, a new 65-foot, state-of-the-art, fast-hulled catamaran.
May 23 - Sept 1, 2003 (Daily Schedule)
Depart Skagway: 8am
Arrive Juneau: 11:30am
Juneau City Tour: 11:30 am to 5:00pm
Depart Juneau: 5:00pm
Arrive Haines: 7:30pm
2003 Prices - adult / child
Fjord Express to Juneau Day Cruise Package
From Skagway $129 / $99
From Haines $119 / $89
Price includes roundtrip wildlife cruise and sightseeing bus tour of Juneau and the Mendenhall Glacier.
(boat only fares for the same day return)
From Skagway $109 / $89
From Haines $99 / $79
One-way or overnight trips
Skagway-Juneau $85 / $65
Haines-Juneau $75 / $55
Passenegers staying overnight will be charged for two one way fares.
The Alaska Marine Highway is the only highway that connects all of southeastern Alaska towns. You can design an entire trip to all of the high points of southeast Alaska on the ferry system. Be mindful of departure and arrival times. Because of tides and other factors, you can find yourself arriving at 3am. If you are slightly flexible, there are enough sailings to design a very pleasant itinerary without crazy hours. Book your ferry schedule before your flight, and decide how long you want to stay in each place.
The daily north Lynn Canal summer Schedule starts at the beginning of June and ends mid September. The schedule becomes more irregular after mid september, but continues to be the most inexpensive way to to a multiday trip to the north Lynn Canal region.
Leave Juneau/Auke Bay 7:00 a.m.
Arrive Haines 11:30 a.m.
Leave Haines 12:45 p.m.
Arrive Skagway 1:45 p.m.
Leave Skagway 4:15 p.m.
Arrive Haines 5:15 p.m.
Leave Haines 6:30 p.m.
Arrive Juneau/Auke Bay 11:00 p.m.
Juneau to Haines - $27
Juneau to Skagway - $37
Haines to Skagway - $21
Vehicle Tarrifs (up to 15 feet)
Juneau to Haines - $53
Juneau to Skagway - $71
Haines to Skagway - $28
Round trips and through trips cost less than a series of one way fares.
If you need to reserve a cabin or you are traveling with a car it is important reserve ahead. Either will add significantly to the fare, with staterooms generally being the less expensive of the two. This can easily be done at the AMH web site. The site is a bit quirky but fairly easy to negotiate. Make sure you reserve everything you need on each segment you book.
For longer trips they also offer cabins which rent by the room and not by the person. They provide a comfortable and private place to rest with your own bathroom. Room with three berths or larger are likely to be arranged with beds side by side instead of bunk style.
Some cruise ships in the Skagway pier... If the tide is too low, you can't get here by ship. But I suppose you could get here by helicopter or even driving, as there's a road that takes you to the U.S.-Canadian border from here!