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Going to Alaska? It is a massive state full of things to see and do. One of its many attractions is the Icy Strait Point - a privately owned tourist destination near the village of Hoonah. If one is planning to explore the state by cruise ship then there is a good chance that one will go to Icy Strait Point - around 30 miles west of Juneau.

Icy Strait Point is arguably one of the key places not to miss out on while exploring Juneau. Icy Strait Point is owned by Huna Totem Corporation - which is also owned by around 1,350 Alaskan Natives of the area (many of whom are Tlingit people).


Ice Strait Point - A Native American-Owned Cruise Ship Port

Icy Strait Point is located on Chichagof Island and is the only privately owned cruise destination in Alaska. It is down in the panhandle of Alaska in the Inside Passage. It is nestled at the base of White Alice Mountain and is a place where one can enjoy some of the most stunning landscapes Alaska has on offer.

  • Owned: Mostly By Alaskan Natives
  • Opened: 2004
  • Hoonah: The Largest Tlingit Village In The State

Back in 1912, the Honnah Packing Co. built a large salmon cannery north of the town of Hoonah. By the 1950s the facility fell into disused and sat shuttered for decades. Then the local Alaska Native corporation, Huna Totem Corp., purchased and rehabilitated the facility as a private cruise port.

The cruise ship port is centered around the restored salmon cannery. Passengers can see a museum, craft shops, restaurants, a display of a cannery of the mid-1930s, and various local arts.

There are several restaurants to choose from that offer a selection of freshly caught seafood. Enjoy eye-watering waterfront views while dining on a great seafood meal.

Related: This Is When Visitors Can Expect To Go Dog Sledding In Alaska (And Which Tours To Take)

Activities At Icy Strait Point

One of the most thrilling attractions is the world's largest and highest zip line. The zip line is some 5,330 feet long and drops a thrilling 1,300 feet. On the hair-raising ride, visitors enjoy a vista of the Alaskan mountains and ocean.

Key Attractions:

  • Zip Lining
  • Hiking
  • Gondola To The Top
  • Fishing
  • Eco Tours

Other activities include taking a gondola up to the top of the mountain or just leisurely hiking up the to top on one's own accord.

  • Season For Charter Fishing: Summer

The Hoonah area is also a great place for charter fishing in its Icy Strait. There are abundant fish in the rich Alaskan waters, fish include five species of salmon - king, coho, sockeye, chum, and pink.

Surrounding Hoonah is the Tongass National Forest - America's largest national forest. It is perfect for hiking, camping, or exploring by float plane or kayak.

Related: Road Trip Alaska: A Guide From Seattle To Anchorage

Cruise Ship Excursions From Icy Strait Point

Icy Strait Point caters to cruise ships and so naturally has plenty of excursions available. These excursions are as diverse as bear viewing and whale watching to Alaska Native dance performances.

Whale Watching From Icy Strait Point

The Whale & Marine Mammals Cruise departs from the Icy Strait Point. Here one can see Alaska's largest summer population of humpback whales. They offer a 100% guarantee of spotting the whales. See how these giants of the oceans are drawn here by the nutrient-rich waters of Alaska.

  • Guarantee: 100% Refund If No Whales Are Spotted
  • Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Largest: Summer Population of Humpbacks In Alaska

But it's more than the whales, there is also the chance of seeing other marine life like orca (killer whales), Steller's sea lions, seals, and porpoises. In the sky are bald eagles and bears on the beaches.

Whale, Wildlife & Bear Search Combo

Why not combine whale watching with a bear search? The Whale, Wildlife & Bear Search Combo ventures out into the wilds of Alaska around Chichagof Island and explores the Spasski River Valley looking for the local wildlife.

If one would like to see brown bears (aka grizzlies), this is the right place. The Spasski River Valley has one of the highest densities of coastal brown bears of anywhere in the world. This part of the tour is on a bus that ravels from Hoonah into the coastal rainforest. It then has a nature walk and some viewing platforms from where one can see the bears in their natural habitat.

  • Duration: 5.5 Hours
  • Age Requirements: 8 Years Old And Over

Other wildlife to keep an eye out for includes Sitka black-tailed deer and bald eagles. Note that, unlike the whales, sighting bears is not guaranteed. The place with the highest density of brown bears is Admiralty Island.