Alaska cruise
helicopter tours

Alaska cruise
tips you can trust


Why an Alaska cruise
helicopter sightseeing
tour is special

This is Alaska's ultimate shore excursion. It's also the most expensive, but worth every penny.

There are three basic types, in order of price and complexity:


Glacier sightseeing

Glacier sightseeing with walk

Glacier sightseeing with dog sledding


TEMSCO offers all three. It is widely regarded as the best and most professional and reliable in the Inside Passage. Click TEMSCO to visit its website.

Glacier sightseeing


You're in the air for about a half hour. You see secluded glaciers and mountainscapes as your pilot narrates the journey.

Glacier sightseeing with walk


You're in the air for about a half hour. You see secluded glaciers and mountainscapes as your pilot narrates the walking journey.

Glacier sightseeing with dog sledding


This is the ultimate helicopter tour and the one I took. In addition to #1, you land at a working dog sled musher training camp on a remote glacier. You're taught a few dog sled basics and you're off and running on a 25-minute ride.

You then visit the kennel area. You can ask Iditarod Race veterans about their experiences. And don't forget to hug and cuddle the lovable puppies who will eventually start their training at this dog sled camp. Who knows, someday they could win the Iditarod.

Dog sled arrangement

There are two sleds in tandem (see photo above). Together, the sled combo accommodates just three guests.

Each sled has one seat and, and behind it, one standing position.

Your guide stands on the first sled to command the dogs while one guest sits.

The second sled is occupied by the remaining two guests. One sits, the other stands (and becomes the brakeman with the use of a foot lever).

The sleds stop periodically to let guests change places so that everyone has a chance - if desired - to be the stand-up brakeman,

The ride is relatively easy. It will not challenge most travelers.

Dogs love it

They relish pulling a sled as a team. To them, it's fun, not work. Think how your dog appreciates it when you take him out for exercise or throw a ball for him to fetch.

The real McCoy

The helicopter tours take you to high altitude glaciers where there is snow in the summer, so you can ride authentic snow sleds. In contrast, the dog sled rides operated near the port towns use wheels instead of runners (sled blades). That's because their sleds must travel over bare surfaces. There is no natural snow at sea level in the Inside Passage in the summer.

Possible cancellations

Keep in mind that the tour could be cancelled at the last minute due to inclement weather. That is more likely to occur in September than the other months. When an excursion is scratched, your money is refunded. Or, if you wish, the operator will try to get you on a later flight.

Read my floatplane
sightseeing page

Click floatplane sightseeing for descriptions and photos.

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