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Alaska Cruise Zipline Excursions

Ziplining
Zipliners travel from one tree or platform to another. Pixabay Creative Commons license
Thrill seekers will find plenty of it with zipline shore excursions on Alaska cruises.

Alaska has at least four zipline facilities among the cruise ports. It has another one by Denali National Park and Preserve for any cruisers who take a side trip up there.

For newcomers, ziplining requires adventurous types to put on a harness, climb up to a platform, hook the harness to a zipline and “zip” on the line between trees or more platforms. They hang dozens of feet or more above the ground.

Ziplines take advantage of a gradually declining slope among the trees and platforms to achieve high speeds over long distances.

For example, the Juneau zipline park has 3,000 feet of dual lines that travel over a rainforest. There are five ziplines with the longest being 600 feet. Guides offer safety training before the activity and travel with small groups to offer help and advice along the way.

A typical zipline shore excursion takes three and a half to four hours including transportation between the cruise port and facility. Ziplining is strenuous because of the climb to the top of the first tree or tower. Climbs are usually 50 feet or higher.

The price for a typical zipline excursion usually ranges between $150 and $200 including transportation. Some facilities offer light snacks as part of the price. Discounts are sometimes available online or at the zipline operator websites.


It does pay to shop for the best price by looking at prices at each destination among the cruise line, national excursion operators and the local operator website. Some offers have discounts for children while others do not.

For example, one national excursion site had the Juneau zipline tour at $189 per person while a cruise line had it at $169 for teens and adults and $119 for children. The site is Alpine Zipline Adventure at the Eaglecrest Ski Area, (907) 225-8400, https://www.kawanti.com.

Icy Strait Point at Hoonah claims to have the world’s largest ziprider. A ziprider is a more elaborate harness with two wires attached to a seat rather than one wire connected to the front of the rider.

Icy Strait has six ziplines more than a mile long that have a total vertical drop of 1,330 feet. Riders reach speeds of more than 60 miles per hour and hang up to 300 feet above the ground. The cost was $109 at the time of this writing.

Skagway has the Grizzly Falls zipline adventure with 11 ziplines; the longest is 750 feet. Speeds reach up to 45 miles an hour and include going over glacier falls. It also has four suspension bridges. It has no direct contact information, so cruisers will have to book the trip through the cruise line or national excursion website.

Bear Creek Zipline in Ketchikan has seven ziplines, 10 tree platforms and two rappelling elements. This one also has no contact information for the operator.

Note that Alaska cruise lines and national excursion websites will often give the excursions different names than the actual company offering the tour.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

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January 04, 2019

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