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We just did an inside passage on Holland, in August. We spent more on excursions than the cruise itself, but it was definitely worth it. An Alaska cruise is a taste of Alaska, but no feast. Most of the cruisers only see the shoreline, especially if they don't take an excursion.

--Helicoptered onto the Norris glacier for a dog mushing excursion. It's sad that so many people go to Alaska, but don't see Alaska. The 200+ dogs erupted(the only word that describes it) when they saw the helicopter formation pop over a ridgeline to land on the glacier next to the camp. I never knew the sleds had brakes--necessary, or the dogs would just continue right on through the camp, since they love it. The grin on my wife's face as she "mooshed" was more than worth the cost of admission. The helicopter ride, nearly an hour round trip, would have also been worth the cost, so the mushing was gravy.

--4x4 excursion in Sitka, which included a boat ride to remote island. We drove our own Rhino on the beach, through old growth forest and logging trails, and there was enough black bear sign to keep the guides on edge. For some reason the wife isn't impressed at the Bald Eagles in Georgia, but in Alaska, they are mo betta.

--Glacier Bay: Yup. Awesome. No need to crowd into the bow or crowded side of the ship. Make camp on deck chairs on the non-crowded side, which will be the crowded side once the ship heaves to.

The food on Holland was exceptional, and nearly as great as NCL. Learn the routine early for restaurant reservations, especially if you want to dine with just your party.
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