MUST DO'S IN SOUTHEAST ALASKA
Go to Glacier Bay National Park
I am not sure how you get to this incredible place if you are not on a cruise ship, but figure it out and go! This was by far one of the coolest experiences I've had inside a national park. The captain pulled our ship right up along side one of the glaciers. We had a perfect view of ice, that was anywhere from 75 to 200 years old, calving (breaking off) and falling into the water. As we left the bay we spotted some whales, sea otters, seals and eagles right from the bow of the ship. Such a fun day - and we never left the ship!
Take a tour of the Chillkat River in Haines
If you want to see some more wildlife, the guides are really great at helping you spot land animals on this tour. Even just the jet boat ride is fun, the flat bottom boat essentially has to skim across the river in certain places because its so shallow. Everyone borrowed waterproof jackets, blankets and gloves from the camp they have set up which was really helpful because the temperature drops quite a bit when you get out there. We saw an eagle's nest right along the bank and a giant moose casually crossing the river. The site is a little removed from town but the bus driver gave us loads of information about the locals and city of Haines during the ride.
Fly a floatplane over Misty Fjords in Ketchiken
I wasn't sure how I felt about getting in an 11 person plane (just my family and the pilot), and taking off/landing in ice cold water. Once I got over the nerves part, this excursion quickly became my favorite. Seeing the waterfalls, snow capped mountains, crystalline lakes and forests from the air was unreal - I highly recommend it. I think the pictures speak for themselves! Taking off and landing in the water was so smooth and we even got to step out onto the floats of the plane in the middle of one of the fjords (long, narrow inlet surrounded by steep cliffs created by glacial erosion).