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Icy Strait Point

Discussion in 'Alaska & Pacific Northwest Ports' started by Jeana, Oct 17, 2004.

  1. Jeana

    Jeana Guest

    Has anyone been to Icy Strait Point? Royal Caribbean lists it in their itinerary on the Southbound Alaska cruise. Is this a port??? What is there to do there?
  2. GloBug

    GloBug Guest

    I bought a great book that will tell you everything you want to know. It's called ALASKA BY CRUISE SHIP by Anne Vipond. It's an excellent book, a complete guide to cruising Alaska, and has indepth coverage of the Inside Passage and glacier cruises. All the ports of call are covered, as well as shore excursions, land tours and native culture.
  3. Yukon

    Yukon Guest

    Icy Strait Point wasn't a cruise port when that book was published, though. Other than the excursions that Royal Caribbean lists, there doens't seem to be much.
  4. GloBug

    GloBug Guest

    Other than a few mentions on 3 pages, it really doesn't say much, you are right!
  5. kitsy

    kitsy Guest

    check out the cruisecritic.com message boards. There is a lot of information there about icy strait, even from some of the natives living there. Sounds like a beautiful place.
  6. WASAA IYATEE (How are you?) EVERYONE? I hope the new year has brought great things to all and that your families are healthy and happy. My Tlingit name is Koo Hook (english name Howard) and I am born and raised in Xunaa (Hoonah, Alaska), where Icy Strait Point is located. I'd like to offer myself as an ambassador to the people and place where the spirit of Alaaqsaq (Alaska) is strong and true, answering any questions that our future and past guests might have. I realize that there is little information out there about the largest Tlingit community in the world, and it's new purpose-built cruise destination, Icy Strait Point. Please, by all means, feel free to ask any questions that you might have, and I'll do the best to fill you in and get you prepared to experience our home.

    GUNALCHEESH! (Thank you)

    Koo Hook
  7. Shipsbelle

    Shipsbelle Guest

    WASAA IYATEE Koo Hook?

    I have a few questions for you.

    1. What are some of the experiences we might enjoy in Icy Strait Point?

    2. Is the whale watching good there? If so, what time of year is best to see them?

    3. Do the ships tender or is there a dock?

    4. How large is the town? Can you rent a car and drive around or is it best to do organized tours?

    5. Since this is a fairly new port for the cruise ships is it not as "touristy" as the other long time Alaska destinations?

    6. What do YOU do in Icy Strait Point? I mean, what is your job there?

    I have more questions, but I'll save them for another post!

    GUNALCHEESH for coming on here and offering your native expertise! I'll be watching for your reply.
  8. HI BELLE! Gunalcheesh for posting......now to answer your questions......

    1. There are MANY experiences to pursue at Icy Strait Point. A list of the excursions on the cruiseline websites is a great start - but there are many things to do aside from the tours. You could enjoy the waterfront and sit calmly on the beach watching for the ABUNDANT wildlife in this area....there were many times our guests got to see keet (killer whales) and yei (humpback whales) swim right parallel to the shoreline.....you could walk one of two great nature trails at your own leisure...they'll take you through a second growth forest towering with Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce trees...you can meander talking to my Tlingit people that have inhabited this place for nearly 10,000 years (as far as science can tell us)...and much more.....

    2. The whale watching is OPTIMAL here....the largest congregation of humpback whales in the Southeast Panhandle culminate at Pt. Adolphus - where the catamarans will take you on your whale watch........I've been going there for years and it NEVER disappoints me or ceases to amaze me.....it IS the best whalewatching anywhere to be found in this part of the world.....

    3. The ships do tender into Icy Strait Point. There are no facilities equipped to dock vessels of that size.....I think it's a bonus because it really pits you in the thick of it all, not to mention the ride here is filled with possibilities....

    4. Hoonah is populated by 886 people, of which roughly 70% is Alaska Native.....if you wish to meander yourself and rent a car, you might want to check out www.buynpack.net These folks offer a few vehicles for rent, so I'm sure if you schedule ahead of time, it's quite possible! The island is the 3rd largest in Alaska - next to Kodiak and Prince of Wales......so all options are open...there are networks of roads that take you to great beaches and secluded vistas. The organized tours are great as well, all you have to do is sit and ask questions!!!!

    5. Hoonah and Icy Strait Point are far from touristy.......you'll still have the opportunity to experience the true "rawness" of an Alaskan community populated by it's original inhabitants - the Tlingit. You aren't going to find streets overflowing with jewelery and t-shirt shops.....everything that operates when you are here, continues to support the people of Hoonah when our guests are home for the winter.....

    6. My job at Icy Strait Point is a good one...I'm a renaissance man so I do many things....but I'm mostly on these boards simply as a member of the community of Hoonah...my original intention was to answer questions accurately and portray my people and our home with intergrity, pride and poise. I took early notice of innacurate posts by people of other communities (ie. Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway) and immediately intercepted so that all information and portrayals were coming directly from the horses mouth....MINE!

    I hope that these answers are sufficient Belle, and I look forward to any other questions you may have about Icy Strait Point in Hoonah, Alaska. Your asking questions provides great information for everybody!!!!!


    Koo Hook
  9. Xpose

    Xpose Guest

    Hi Koo Hook! Is there a specific company you recommend for whale watching in Icy Strait Point? I will be there the first part of Sept.
  10. Jeana

    Jeana Guest

    Koo Hook,

    Thank you for some great information! Here are some questions for you:

    If you want to fish for salmon and/or halibut, what time of year is the best chance to do that?

    Who would you recommend for guide fishing?

    How do you get your catch sent back home?

    Are mosquitos a big problem and if so, what time of year are they the worst? When do they start for the season?

    thank you.

  11. HELLO EVERYONE! LONG TIME NO POST! I'm doing great and the weather here in good ol' southeast Alaska is more than stellar.....RAIN, SNOW, RAIN, SNOW, RAIN...............WOOHOO.......

    Hello Xpose - So you are curious about whalewatching at Icy Strait Point huh? GRRRREAAAAAAAAT DECISION! There are select independent operators, and you might want to google these names: Royal Charters, G-Wind Charters, Tok River Outfitters.......these are all independent whalewatching/fishing operators. However, there are whalewatching excursions that will leave directly from Icy Strait Point through the ship....and don't think in anyway that if you're dealing with the Cruiseline that it's a bad thing at Icy Strait Point, because ALL of the excursions that are dealt with through the ship are ALL run by my people (The Huna Tlingit) - so feel free to book through them too. It will directly support our efforts as a community as well.....but please, by all means, select what you wish. Either way, you'll have a GREAT and fulfilling experience out on the waters of Icy Strait.

    Hi Jeana - Great to digimeet the person who started this thread......if it's fishing you want, it's fishing you GET! Again, these are some of THE best waters in all of the panhandle for salmon/halibut fishing. There are operators who you can book through the ship, and again, these are all directly run by local Hoonah people, and again, there are also independent operators you may look into. I know that the excursions through the ship book up rather fast, so you may want to look into it immediately. I've heard great stories from people who had the opportunity to fish with Icy Strait Point...and I've heard great stories from the independent operators as well. Try your luck - but no matter what, you'll be fishing in the same ABUNDANT waters of Icy Strait, where record-breaking salmon and halibut have been caught! ALL YEAR IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR! You can get your fish smoked/packed and sent back home by local operators at Icy Strait Point - I know them personally and they do an AWESOME job.....................Are you scared of the state bird, the MOSQUITO? HAHAHAHA...LOL.....no worries, they haven't been all that bad lately......they usually like to start springing up around July-August timeframes....but it all depends really on the climate and what the temperatures are like.......they aren't as bad as people really think.....or maybe I'm just immune to them!

    Thank you for posting, and if you should have anymore questions, I'd be delighted to answer them in detail.......enjoy the DAY! Before you know it, we'll be standing on the same pier............watching the whales......


    Koo Hook
  12. Jeana

    Jeana Guest


    Based on your recommendation, we booked a cruise that will stop in Icy Strait Point. We plan to do salmon fishing (Will be there on Sept. 7th). Also listed in the shore excursions is a Brown Bear sight seeing trip to Spasski River. They do not guarantee sightings but say the chances are good. In your opinion, would this be an excursion well worth the time and money? ($98 each).

    I'll wait for your recommendation on this!

  13. Xpose

    Xpose Guest

    Thanks for the information Koo Hook! I have another question. I will be coming the first part of Sept and I have been reading that the whales head south in Sept. Will we be able to still see whales the first part of Sept in Icy Strait?
  14. HEY ADDICTS.....it's god to hear from you. I hope all is well for everyone and your families are healthy and happy.....

    Hi Jeana - CONGRATULATIONS! I'm sincerely glad you've decided to come experience my home and I mostly certainly look forward to having the opportunity to share it with you.......now onto the 1,400 pound brown bears.......
    Spasski River Valley and northern Chichagof Island has the densest population of brown bears in the WORLD.....there are roughly 1.6 bears per square mile. These figures were shared with me by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Your chances will be good, but of course we all know that wildlife is always a gamble. The platforms at which you view the bears from provide 3 separate opportunities to spot bears either in the river right beneath the platforms or out in the grasslands just off the banks of the Spasski river. The views by themselves are worth the trip. The ecology of the valley is really fascinating to me as well. You'll be walking through great wetlands and through old growth Tongass rainforest. I most certainly think you would appreciate it whether or not you see a brownie...because there are many other forms of wildlife in the area as well. The chance to get a narrated ride through the village of Hoonah and out through the Tongass National Forest is worth it as well if you like that sort of thing. Just consider the density of the population I stated earlier, and that hopefully should help you make your decision.....feel free to ask anything you may be needing help with Jeana......

    Xpose - That is EXACTLY what you will be when you take the whale cruise at Icy Strait Point.....EXPOSED to gentle giants here, there, everywhere!!! Despite popular belief X, the humpbacks will not begin migrating usually until around late November, early December. Even after many of them migrate to the warm waters of Hawaii, there are still staple populations that remain in our waters all year round. The boat that departs from Icy Strait Point will take you to an area where the largest congregation of humpback whales can be found throughout Alaska's coast. I hope you may be able to make a great decision from this input....because I'd sure hate for you to miss out on something as amazing as being amongst these awesome creatures.......

    Have a great President's day, and I'm beginning to get antzy with spring coming fast and the daylight hours lengthening.......


    Koo Hook
  15. 51810ss

    51810ss Guest

    What is the chance of seeing whales and bears in June at Icy Strait Point? We will be there about June 26.
  16. Jeana

    Jeana Guest

    Koo Hook,

    How do we find you when we get to Icy Strait? I would definitely like to shake your hand! You sound so interesting and knowledgable. I am looking forward to our Icy Strait visit more than any of the others!

  17. Xpose

    Xpose Guest

    Thanks so much Koo Hook! I will definitely be doing the whale watching when I get to Icy Strait Point! Can't wait!
  18. u572108

    u572108 Guest

    I am interested in possibly going flightseeing. Would you recommend it at your location and also are there any companies you would recommend? Thank you for your assistance.

  19. nona

    nona Guest

    For the folks who want to do whale watching, I just wanted to add another local's perspective. I live in Juneau. I have been through Icy Strait many times. I have seen whales every single time I have been there. Koo hook is right. I have been in other parts of South East and the whale watching in Icy Strait is the best. Whale watching companies in Juneau guarantee that you will see whales, and the area near Hoonah is better for whale watching than Juneau.
  20. Kay C

    Kay C Guest

    I am considering booking a cruise that leaves Vancouver on the 26th of August. Will there be as much whale activity in this area then?

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