Icy Strait Point
Cruisers to Icy Strait Point dock at an old Alaskan salmon cannery that has been restored to house a museum, local arts and crafts, and a mid-1930s cannery line (a new floating pier is due in May 2016). On the ground, visitors can choose excursions that will get them close to nature, including kayaking trips, walking tours, fishing expeditions, and a ride on the world's largest zipline.
What We Love
Native Heritage Center Theater: Immerse yourself in the Huna Tlingit culture through an interactive performance by dancers sharing local history through interpretive song.
Wildlife Watching: Icy Strait Point offers the only road-accessible brown bear viewing in Southeast Alaska, and is known for some of the region’s best orca and humpback whale-watching.
Best Known For
ZipRider Zipline: Soar over treetops on the world's largest zipline. Starting from the top of a mountain, the ride takes you 5,330 feet to the beach at Icy Strait Point. Keep your eyes open for views of Port Frederick as you fly.
Hoonah: Venture down the road to Hoonah, the largest Tlingit village in Alaska. Visitors can view hand-carved canoes and totems in front of sites such as the Hoonah City School.
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Who It's Best For
Sport Fishermen: Anglers have the chance to hook into all five species of salmon: king, coho, sockeye, chum, and pink. The largest coho on record was caught in Icy Strait, weighing in at 26 pounds.
Cultural History Enthusiasts: With Hoonah nearby plus museums and local art, visitors can delve deeper into the traditions and history of the area.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Excursions Fill Up Fast: Book in advance to get the best departure times and to guarantee your spot. Many trips are so small that they are maxed out before cruisers arrive in port.
No True Port: Currently, passengers tender to Icy Strait Point on a wooden jetty in Port Frederick Bay. A floating pier will allow ships to dock near shore in 2016.
Matt Villano is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for The Wall Street Journal.