Icy Strait Point
Recently voted Port of Year by Seatrade, Icy Strait Point (aka Hoonah, Alaska), has been setting records for its visitor attendance. In fact, the port itself has doubled its capacity thanks to a new second cruise ship dock and a Wilderness Landing Port Area. Icy Strait Point is a Native-owned and operated port where all profits support the local community, making it an ideal stop for those interested in sustainable tourism and unique experiences. The combination of the natural beauty of the area and Native culture provides an unforgettable experience for every visitor.
Hoonah is the largest Native Tlingit settlement in America and is located near Glacier Bay National Park. An enclosed gondola or an open chairlift will leave you marveling at the mountain scenery. There are sweeping views of Whitefish Lake, the Flathead Valley, and Glacier National Park as you ride to the summit. Whale-watching is also a major draw to the area. In fact, whales are so common they can even be seen while simply walking along the shore. Glacier Bay National Park offers a wide variety of trails and opportunities to see the surrounding forest. Icy Strait Point Adventure Landing and Wilderness Landing are connected by a beautiful half-mile trail through the forest. This connection of the two landings gives visitors the chance to experience wilderness between adventures, and the top adventure in Icy Strait Point is the world’s largest zipline. Six cables sit side by side at the top of Hoonah Mountain and riders will speed up to 60 miles an hour along the 5,330-foot long zipline. The vertical drop is 1,350-feet making this ride higher than the Empire State Building. Riders will get breathtaking views of Icy Strait Point, Port Frederick, and Glacier Bay.
Hoonah is beautifully connected to both nature and history. The Historic Hoonah Packing Company Cannery Village is home to the first cannery in the area and has been around since 1912. Tours are available in the now fully restored historic cannery and surrounding buildings. Visitors can also enjoy traditional dining in the restored original cannery cookhouse, served family-style. More Tlingit history can be found at the new local Heritage Center Theater. Built with local hemlock lumber in a traditional clan house style, visitors can catch tribal performances of dance and cultural legends. The adjoining culinary theater teaches visitors to grill their own salmon the Alaskan way.
Icy Strait Point is a unique destination entirely designed for cruise ships. The town of Hoonah is open, but Icy Strait Point is only open when a ship is in port. Cruise passengers are strongly encouraged to book tours prior to arrival. Itinerary planners know this destination is a winner that will give guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience that only Icy Strait Point can offer.
Image credit: icystraitpoint.com