Wilde Adventures
Alaskan Discovery Cruise: September 2-16 2011

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Icy Strait Point Alaska

Icy Strait is a recent addition to the Alaskan cruise ports possibilities and is a tender port. Following the suggestions of other Cruise Critic members we chose F.I.S.H.E.S for a morning of wildlife-watching from a small boat. Captain Floyd was waiting as we exited the Visitor Center Parking Lot and when all 6 of us had arrived (not all were cruise ship passengers) we were driven to the local boat dock where a very comfortable and fun trip through the local waterways ensued. We saw bear, whales (many were resting on the surface of the water and the boat's presence didn't seem to disturb them!), eagles, and other local birds. This is a great tour option and we'd highly recommend it.

We chose to walk back to the tender pick-up point by the Visitor's Center; we wanted to see the little town of Hoonah. According to the
Visit Hoonah website, the Huna Tlingit people have lived in the Southeast Alaska archipelago for many hundreds of years. They originally occupied the area now known as Glacier Bay , but were forced from their village more than two hundred years ago by advancing glaciers. They chose to permanently settle twenty miles to the south where they subsistence-harvested each summer. The new settlement was referred to as Gaawt'ak.aan, or "village by the cliff". Later the name was changed to Xu.naa (Hoonah), "where the north wind doesn't blow".

Probably because it was still early in the day and late in the season, we didn't find any craft shops open and the theater where local history is dramatized had no performances scheduled while we were in port. But the Visitor Center (first photo in the slide show above) offers many local items for sale and has other interpretive displays to look at.

Private tours here must start off of the Visitor Center property so if you choose a private tour (not organized by the cruise ship) from the list on the
Visit Hoonah website you'll get instructions on how to walk through the parking lot to an area where vehicles can park and await tour guests.

Read More: Visit Hoonah Tours

Blog Content & Website Design: Marney Wilde • Photographs by George Wilde