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Alaska

Icy Strait Point Cruise Port (Hoonah)

Icy Strait Point near the village of Hoonah is unique among all Alaskan cruise ports. It is privately owned by the state’s largest Native Tlingit village.

This entertainment complex developed specifically for cruise ships is only 35 miles west of Juneau. It is a less common stop on cruise ship itineraries and opens only when cruise ships arrive.

Ships dock at the complex rather than Hoonah, which is 1.5 miles away. The docks have quick access to a kayak shop, excursion dock, retail shops, cannery museum, tribal dance theater, Crab House restaurant, Cookhouse restaurant and excursion hub, among other facilities.

Attractions


It has more than 20 tours, restaurants, nature trails, retail shops, a beach and a restored 1912 Alaska salmon cannery and museum.

Icy Strait Point claims the world’s largest ziprider. A ziprider is a harness that holds a passenger in place while hanging from a zipline. At Icy Strait, visitors take a bus to the top of Hoonah Mountain, drop 5,300 feet to the bottom of the mountain while reaching speeds up to 60 miles an hour.

Another attraction is a “guaranteed” whale watching tour. The nearby Point Adolphus has the world’s largest summer population of humpback whales, according to multiple sources.


Other possible sightings on nearby land during the cruise include bald eagles and an occasional bear. On water, they include killer whales, seals, sea lions and porpoises. (We saw eagles, seals, sea lions on porpoises on our Seward tour.)

Other activities include ATV and jeep excursions, “Alaska’s Wildest Kitchen” with hands-on tasting of fresh seafood, bear searching, bird watching, wilderness hikes, and zodiac and ocean rafting tours.

Weather


Hoonah shares similar weather with Juneau because they are so close to each other.

May and September have an average daytime temperature in the upper 50s Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. National Weather Service. June through August have average daytime temperatures in the low 60s. On some days, temperatures may reach into the 70s.

Nighttime temperature range from the high 40s to low 50s. Cruise visitors who stay late in the day may want to bring light jackets.

May, June and July average more than five inches of precipitation per month (mostly rain). Precipitation climbs to nearly eight inches in August and nearly 13 inches in September.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Cruise Ports   

January 07, 2019

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