The bus was late but the tour coordinator in front of the Empress Hotel did not inform the crowd that was waiting and wondering what was going on. The tour was called Sunset Tour for a reason - after the first 20 minutes, you can barely see anything that the driver was pointing out. VC is clean and beautiful but next time, I'll probably make different arrangements.
We had a late 45 min. start to wait for some passengers on another cruise ship that suffered anchor problems the night before, but the despite the shortened duration, the facility and support staff were good, and the experience was worth it. This excursion catered more to people who were doing this for the first time, so the pace was slow. Unfortunately, the late start and unhurried pace resulted in a shorter time to enjoy the facilities, and to the rush to get back to the cruise ships. If we make it back to Ketchikan, I'll probably do this again, but for the full time alloted.
I was looking forward to a lot from this excursion, based on its write-up. Unfortunately, it wasn't the highlight that I expected. To start with, the van wasn't the most comfortable of vehicles to spend several hours on. We also had the bad luck to take this tour on a day when it started to snow the night before on the Klondike Trail so by the time we got there, the roads were only partly cleared. On the few stops we took for photo ops., we dealt with calf-high snow everytime we stepped out of the van. Some anticipated sights were not at all visible because they were either covered with snow or due to poor visibility. The driver knew a lot and was funny, but there was only so much that he could do to liven up the narrative when you could not really see anything other than snow.