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Icy Staight Point suggestions


cruising7
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I’m having such a hard time researching here since Alaska is listed as only one port of call, instead of individual ports like the Caribbean!

We have booked a boat wildlife tour in Ketchikan. We will likely just go to Mendenhall in Juneau. 
I’m looking now for suggestions for Icy Strait. Any details about this port would be helpful. 
We are a family of 6 kids with aged 15-22. We like to hike and boat and see amazing things. We typically get a taxi or car rental and get as far away from port as we can for as long as we have in port. We like to book our excursions through local independent tour operators. 
 

thanks for any advice!
 

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There isn't very far that you can go.  The port itself is run by the Klingit tribe.  It surprised me last visit and was one of my favorite ports.  There is much to explore here - you can go on a hike/walk through the area forest, walk to the town of Hoonah, tour the museum and learn about salmon cannery....  We had some of our best wildlife viewing just hanging around the port... whales were bubblefeeding right by the tender area, seals were around and bald eagles plentiful.

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A good place to start your research is by reading thru past trip reports, listed near the top of the page.  Many are detailed photo journals with info on port activities, sights, excursions, DIY options. 

Many travelers choose to do their whale watching in ISP since they can find much more to do in Juneau which is the other popular whale watching location.

The town of Hoonah and the port of Icy Strait are next to each other.  Most towns/ports have web sites to promote tourism and local vendors.  Look thru the following Resource thread,  to find the town web site for each location. 

 

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1 hour ago, AKStafford said:

To avoid confusion, it's spelled Tlignit.

 

Icy Strait Point (which is village of Hoonah) is a great spot for a whale watching trip. Here's the local vendors: http://visithoonah.com/tours.html

Any suggestions for bear watching tours?  I was watching bear cams a few months ago and would love to see them catching salmon in person.

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With 6 kids it is hard not to recommend the zip line. It used to be worlds longest but now is about number 4. Look at the youtube videos of it. For the other person watching the bear cams if it was Katami that is 1000 miles away and the only place like it and fantastic. We are zero for one on road trips seeing bears and one for 4 seeing bears on shore from whale watch tour.  

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18 minutes ago, SightCRR said:

With 6 kids it is hard not to recommend the zip line. It used to be worlds longest but now is about number 4. Look at the youtube videos of it. For the other person watching the bear cams if it was Katami that is 1000 miles away and the only place like it and fantastic. We are zero for one on road trips seeing bears and one for 4 seeing bears on shore from whale watch tour.  

Those are the bear cams I have been watching...I knew it was not close to our port stops but am hoping to see bears somehow somewhere on this trip.

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25 minutes ago, TSUmom said:

Those are the bear cams I have been watching...I knew it was not close to our port stops but am hoping to see bears somehow somewhere on this trip.

 

If  you want bear watching info, it would be best to open your own thread and indicate when and where you will be.

 

I've read hundreds of reviews and only 2 or 3 people have mentioned seeing bears in ISP.

Ketchikan is the most popular bear viewing location on a cruise itinerary .... look at the www.experienceketchikan web site for details on specific locations and peak times.  

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4 hours ago, AKStafford said:

To avoid confusion, it's spelled Tlignit.

 

Icy Strait Point (which is village of Hoonah) is a great spot for a whale watching trip. Here's the local vendors: http://visithoonah.com/tours.html

 

Not to be picky, but it's Tlingit.

We did whale watching with Glacier Wind tours in 2018 and will probably use them again next summer.

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On 11/19/2019 at 1:29 PM, cruising7 said:

I’m looking now for suggestions for Icy Strait. Any details about this port would be helpful. 


We are a family of 6 kids with aged 15-22. We like to hike and boat and see amazing things. We typically get a taxi or car rental and get as far away from port as we can for as long as we have in port. We like to book our excursions through local independent tour operators. 
 

thanks for any advice!
 

 

ISP has a website:

 

https://icystraitpoint.com

 

The website is very informative and the photos are an excellent representation of the port.

 

Think of ISP as a large sprawling, outdoor port terminal. That is the "port." It's almost like a little mini-amusement park. You can take the nature walk immediately when you hit the shore from the dock/pier. The nature walk is nice and I would liken it to something along the lines of one of those short interpretive walks that are often near to nature centers and ranger stations...only there aren't any signs along the way. But walking the walk you will experience some shoreline, some rainforest.

 

There's a main building where excursions are booked. A kind of middle courtyard/square area where there are tribal dances performed...bathrooms.

 

Walk along the shoreline in the way opposite the nature trail and you are walking a shoreline boardwalk where there is a restaurant or bar...one has outside seating with a fire pit...and you'll hit the cannery museum which is a sprawling, under one roof with connecting buildings type thing where it is part museum and part gift shop. It's a great gift shop...and there's a lot of wall frames of newspaper articles and stories and old photographs and information all around.

 

The port area ends and there is a shoreline trail that you can take which winds around the ins and outs of the shore that will take you to the village of Hoonah which is wear people really live. I think there is a shuttle you can take to...they may charge a nominal fee. The high school may have a graduating class that numbers in the teens if it is large. It's a very small village, but you may see totem carving in action...I believe there is an almost carport type area where carvings take place and basically visit a place that has nothing touristy about it.

 

Because the ISP is a private port...NOT a cruise line port. It is the port that a First Nation corporation built as a hopefully for profit venture that benefits the locals. As such, that corporation is the one that has coordinated all the excursions that are offered there is ISP. There are a few independent operators...Glacier Winds is one such operation. But this island is largely unpopulated...and underdeveloped outside of the port...the development has been concentrated on creating a port destination that will hopefully meet the needs of the cruise ships.

 

That said...when you get off the ship...you can feel like you are in the middle of wild Alaska if you just look around. It's a bit like being dropped off at an "oasis" that is otherwise surrounded by not a whole lot. And you rely on the locals at the oasis to help you get a bit further outside the bounds of the oasis to explore.

 

So this isn't a standard port...there aren't any services here really. There's a dock that is big enough for one ship. You can walk everywhere if you are able-bodied. And you are surrounded with unspoiled Alaskan views. Judging from what you like to do...my guess is that you will love ISP.

Edited by Anita Latte
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58 minutes ago, Anita Latte said:

 

ISP has a website:

 

https://icystraitpoint.com

 

The website is very informative and the photos are an excellent representation of the port.

 

Think of ISP as a large sprawling, outdoor port terminal. That is the "port." It's almost like a little mini-amusement park. You can take the nature walk immediately when you hit the shore from the dock/pier. The nature walk is nice and I would liken it to something along the lines of one of those short interpretive walks that are often near to nature centers and ranger stations...only there aren't any signs along the way. But walking the walk you will experience some shoreline, some rainforest.

 

There's a main building where excursions are booked. A kind of middle courtyard/square area where there are tribal dances performed...bathrooms.

 

Walk along the shoreline in the way opposite the nature trail and you are walking a shoreline boardwalk where there is a restaurant or bar...one has outside seating with a fire pit...and you'll hit the cannery museum which is a sprawling, under one roof with connecting buildings type thing where it is part museum and part gift shop. It's a great gift shop...and there's a lot of wall frames of newspaper articles and stories and old photographs and information all around.

 

The port area ends and there is a shoreline trail that you can take which winds around the ins and outs of the shore that will take you to the village of Hoonah which is wear people really live. I think there is a shuttle you can take to...they may charge a nominal fee. The high school may have a graduating class that numbers in the teens if it is large. It's a very small village, but you may see totem carving in action...I believe there is an almost carport type area where carvings take place and basically visit a place that has nothing touristy about it.

 

Because the ISP is a private port...NOT a cruise line port. It is the port that a First Nation corporation built as a hopefully for profit venture that benefits the locals. As such, that corporation is the one that has coordinated all the excursions that are offered there is ISP. There are a few independent operators...Glacier Winds is one such operation. But this island is largely unpopulated...and underdeveloped outside of the port...the development has been concentrated on creating a port destination that will hopefully meet the needs of the cruise ships.

 

That said...when you get off the ship...you can feel like you are in the middle of wild Alaska if you just look around. It's a bit like being dropped off at an "oasis" that is otherwise surrounded by not a whole lot. And you rely on the locals at the oasis to help you get a bit further outside the bounds of the oasis to explore.

 

So this isn't a standard port...there aren't any services here really. There's a dock that is big enough for one ship. You can walk everywhere if you are able-bodied. And you are surrounded with unspoiled Alaskan views. Judging from what you like to do...my guess is that you will love ISP.

Thanks for posting all this info--especially the website for ISP

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10 hours ago, Anita Latte said:

 

ISP has a website:

 

https://icystraitpoint.com

 

The website is very informative and the photos are an excellent representation of the port.

 

Think of ISP as a large sprawling, outdoor port terminal. That is the "port." It's almost like a little mini-amusement park. You can take the nature walk immediately when you hit the shore from the dock/pier. The nature walk is nice and I would liken it to something along the lines of one of those short interpretive walks that are often near to nature centers and ranger stations...only there aren't any signs along the way. But walking the walk you will experience some shoreline, some rainforest.

 

There's a main building where excursions are booked. A kind of middle courtyard/square area where there are tribal dances performed...bathrooms.

 

Walk along the shoreline in the way opposite the nature trail and you are walking a shoreline boardwalk where there is a restaurant or bar...one has outside seating with a fire pit...and you'll hit the cannery museum which is a sprawling, under one roof with connecting buildings type thing where it is part museum and part gift shop. It's a great gift shop...and there's a lot of wall frames of newspaper articles and stories and old photographs and information all around.

 

The port area ends and there is a shoreline trail that you can take which winds around the ins and outs of the shore that will take you to the village of Hoonah which is wear people really live. I think there is a shuttle you can take to...they may charge a nominal fee. The high school may have a graduating class that numbers in the teens if it is large. It's a very small village, but you may see totem carving in action...I believe there is an almost carport type area where carvings take place and basically visit a place that has nothing touristy about it.

 

Because the ISP is a private port...NOT a cruise line port. It is the port that a First Nation corporation built as a hopefully for profit venture that benefits the locals. As such, that corporation is the one that has coordinated all the excursions that are offered there is ISP. There are a few independent operators...Glacier Winds is one such operation. But this island is largely unpopulated...and underdeveloped outside of the port...the development has been concentrated on creating a port destination that will hopefully meet the needs of the cruise ships.

 

That said...when you get off the ship...you can feel like you are in the middle of wild Alaska if you just look around. It's a bit like being dropped off at an "oasis" that is otherwise surrounded by not a whole lot. And you rely on the locals at the oasis to help you get a bit further outside the bounds of the oasis to explore.

 

So this isn't a standard port...there aren't any services here really. There's a dock that is big enough for one ship. You can walk everywhere if you are able-bodied. And you are surrounded with unspoiled Alaskan views. Judging from what you like to do...my guess is that you will love ISP.

Great information!  Thank you 

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We were there in August and we were able to hire bikes so we're able to see a lot more than by walking.  As said previously, with bears in the area it is not recommended that you get too far off the beaten track.  We were abke to stop and talk to the locals including a carver who was finishing off a totem pole and he gave us a very informative chat about the story of the pole.  We also spoke to some local indigenous ladies.  A great way to be able to interact with the locals and learn more about them directly from the horses mouth, so to speak, rather then tourist speak.  Enjoy

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