Are you planning an Alaskan cruise with Disney Cruise Line? Are you looking for suggestions on great Port Adventures? I recently experienced the White Pass Railway & Trail Camp adventure in Skagway, Alaska and highly recommend it.
Hi! Thanks for following along with my articles about our Disney Cruise Line (DCL) Alaska cruise on the Disney Wonder. Previously, I wrote a top 10 list of things to know if you’re taking a Disney Alaska Cruise, and I also wrote a review of our 1-bedroom suite and concierge services and a review of our first Port Adventure, the Glacier Explorer in Endicott Arm. Today I’m reviewing our second Port Adventure, which was in Skagway, Alaska. We did the White Pass Railway and Trail Camp.
Skagway, Alaska – The Railway to Gold Country
Guests will travel via railcar on the scenic and historic White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad to the Liarsville Gold Rush Camp.
On this adventure you will…
- Board a vintage railcar for an approximate 95-minute, fully-narrated trip aboard the historic White Pass and Yukon Route. Against all odds, the iron trail was carved through some of the North’s most rugged terrain in 1898. This engineering wonder climbs nearly 3,000 feet over 20 miles of steep grades and cliff-hanging turns on its way to Fraser, British Columbia.
- Depart on a deluxe motorcoach and travel down the spectacular Klondike Highway, taking in the sights of Tormented Valley and Pitchfork Falls during the approximate 30-minute trip.
- Discover Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp, nestled beside a waterfall at the foot of the White Pass, so named for the journalists dispatched to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush who fabricated tall-tales from this location. Enjoy the waterfall and the authentic exhibits of Liarsville or browse for souvenirs in the Fancy Goods Gift Shop.
- Learn the art of gold panning before heading into the Liarsville gold fields, where you are guaranteed to find the precious metal that drove men and women wild with gold fever
- Gather at the Liarsville Hippodrome, where a cast of sourdoughs (Alaskan slang for “old gold prospectors”) and dance hall girls will entertain you with a hilarious melodrama and a poem by the Bard of the North, Robert Service. Take time to enjoy hot cider and cookies or wander through the camp and visit the general store, saloon and laundry tents to view the antiques and vintage clothing left behind by the miners and dance hall girls.
- Reboard the motorcoach and travel back to the pier.
Our Alaska Train Experience
We had a choice of times for this excursion, and we chose the early one because we wanted a chance to spend the afternoon exploring the city afterward. We met in The Walt Disney Theater at 7:05 am and checked in. Shortly thereafter we were led off the ship to a waiting motorcoach. Our driver checked the tickets and passports, and we boarded the bus. He drove us a short way to the train station, and we boarded our railcar.
Our car was not even half full, which was nice. An audio system in the railcar allowed the conductor to give a very detailed narration about the White Pass Railway during our ride. We could also venture out to the observation decks between cars to get a better view, but we weren’t able to hear the narration when we were out there. You wouldn’t believe how beautiful the scenery is. Our railcar was on a narrow-gauge track, though, and sometimes the drop-offs were a little scary. It was a partly foggy and raining for part of the trip, but the ride was pleasant and relaxing nonetheless.
Towards the end of the ride, someone came through with souvenirs for purchase. There was a package deal that included a baseball cap (which my son wanted) a DVD, and a book about the White Pass Railway for $20.00. Items were also available for individual sale.
After The Train Stopped
We were told to have our passports out and ready for inspection in Fraser, British Columbia. Some Canadian border patrol agents came through the cars and looked at them. Once they were finished, we were led off the train and to our bus. We had the same driver and bus that had brought us to the train station earlier, which was nice. We boarded the bus and drove down the Klondike Highway. It was still foggy and raining a little bit for part of the ride.
We stopped to take some scenic pictures of the Tormented Valley, and we made Inukshuks, which are stone landmarks. The native people of the arctic region use them as markers for travel routes or food caches.
Our Liarsville Gold Rush Camp Experience
We arrived at Liarsville, and we walked over to the show area. The show was enjoyable, with enough silliness to appeal to kids. After the show we walked over to the gold panning area, where we tried our luck. I was no good at it, but my son mastered it and found a few flakes, which he was able to keep.
We walked around the trail camp for a while, and then shopped in the general store before getting back on the bus for the ride back to town.
Other Pertinent Information
The cost of this excursion was $168.00 for ages 10 and up, and $85.00 for ages 3 – 9. Children under 2 are free. Our excursion was at 7:15 a.m., but be sure to check the DCL website for exact times.
I thoroughly enjoyed the train ride, and learning about the history of the railway was a nice bonus. The Liarsville camp was cute, but not anything that I would consider a “must-see”. There is an option to take the train without going to the camp, and if we were to choose this excursion again that is what I would do.