7 Things You Shouldn’t Miss During Your Icy Strait Point Tours

The Icy Strait Point is the divider between mainland Alaska in the north and the Chichagof Island in the south. As a tourist, you have a lot to do at Icy Strait, thanks to Alaska’s rich history, wildlife, and native cultures. For example, a trip to Chichagof Island will allow you to explore the native Tlingit village in the town of Hoonah and interact with the Tlingit tribe.

On the other hand, if you love to watch wild animals, you can take a boat or seaplane to the Glacier Bay National Park and go on a bear search. Wondering what more you can do in your Icy Strait Point tours? Here are seven things that you shouldn’t miss.

Watch humpback whales

The Icy Strait is one of the best places on Earth where you can watch humpback whales. May is the peak month when humpback whales come near the Icy Strait Point to feed on the nutrient-rich water. The whales stay until September before migrating back to the south.

You can take a charter boat and go whale watching during May to September. Apart from the whales, you can also see sea lions, various types of turtles, and thousands of colorful fishes. The best part about these Icy Strait Point tours is that you can be certain that you’ll see whale sightings. If you don’t see a whale during your tour, you will get your full money back.

See bears at Chichagof Island

National Geographic named the Chichagof Island Bear Island because of the massive number of bears found on the island. In fact, you may come across at least one to two bears every square mile.

Get tickets to your Icy Strait Wildlife and Bear Search Tour where you will be taken to potential bear-sighting locations. It’s a four-hour tour where you will not only see bears but also other Alaskan wildlife.

Learn about the history of the Tlingit village

The Tlingit Canoe and Culture Tour is a wonderful way to know about the history of the Tlingit village in the town of Hoonah. A guide will take you on a canoe and tell you about Tlingit’s rich cultural heritage. The hand-carved canoe is a piece of art, and you can buy miniature versions from the village. During your tour, you will come to know more about the culture of the tribe through their songs and music.

Once you finish the canoe tour, you can explore the town of Hoonah. Visit some of the local pubs and restaurants and try their foods and drinks. The local seafood and reindeer meat burgers will make you want to come back again.

Go fishing

If you are an avid angler and want to catch some huge trout and salmon, you can go on a fishing expedition during one of your Icy Strait Point tours. The waters of Icy Strait are full of fishes, such as steelhead, chum salmon, coho salmon, cutthroat trout, pink salmon, and Dolly Varden trout.

During the tour, you can visit areas that are particularly suitable for fishing. You can either bring your fishing rod or hire one before hopping on the boat. According to the local fishermen, no angler comes back empty-handed from the waters of Icy Strait Point.

Go on an adventure tour

The Adventure Center at Icy Strait is a one-stop destination for multiple adventurous activities, such as ziplining, bear watching, whale watching, kayaking, and many more. You can take a look at the itinerary and plan your tours accordingly. If you are not sure about what to expect from one of the tours, you can ask one of the friendly locals who would be more than eager to help you.

Visit the Yaakw Kihidi Cultural Center

The Yaakw Kihidi Cultural Center is the best place to know about the history and culture of the Icy Strait Point. A guide will explain how the Tlingit tribes came to Alaska and settled down in the town of Hoonah. There are various totem pole carvings through this cultural center with each one having its own meaning and significance. Ask the guide about the meanings of different totems to uncover the fascinating stories behind them.

Shop at the The Shops by HTA

If you want to take home some souvenirs from Icy Strait don’t forget to visit The Shops by HTA in downtown Hoonah! This shopping area offers a great mix things. You can find local sourced Halibut and Crab at the food truck court, local artisan goods, home décor items, jewelry, gifts, drinks and snacks. Step away from the “corporate” shops next too the ship and check out what the locals have to offer! Take time to explore and pick the best gifts that will best remind you of your visit.  After you are done take the $3 shuttle back to the ship that leaves The Shops by HTA every 30 mins.  

A trip to Alaska is incomplete if you don’t visit The Shops when at Icy Strait Point. Be sure to plan your itinerary well ahead of time so that you can accommodate these must-do activities when in Icy Strait Point.

3 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
2 to 10

Icy Strait Birding & Nature Experience

Come experience the birds and nature of Chichagof Island, near Icy Strait Point! Every trip is an adventure in this lush rainforest where Brown Bears outnumber humans. While we love delivering stunning target birds like Varied Thrushes, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Red-breasted Sapsuckers, Bald Eagles, and Steller’s Jays, we aren’t just about birds on this tour. You will be led by an expert birder and naturalist who will set the stage by sharing the human and geological history of the area. You will then get to see how the birds, fish, mammals, plants, forests, rivers, and climate all weave together to create this lush, vibrant ecosystem!

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 30

Guaranteed Whale Watching Tours in Icy Straits - LEO, Military, Teacher Discount!

Join us for the best show in town, a 3-hour whale watching excursion (includes transportation time and approx 2.5 hours on the water) which begins when you board the bus that departs from the Icy Strait Point Excursion Hub, just a short 5-minute walk from your cruise ship. Travel just 1.5 miles through the picturesque landscape of Hoonah, Alaska. On arrival at the Hoonah Harbor, it's “All aboard!” and you’re off for the waters of Icy Straits and the ultimate whale watching experience. The area near Icy Strait Point, with its proximity to Point Adolphus and Glacier Bay, is home to one of the largest summer populations of humpback whales found in Alaska and the whale watching is second to none.

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 6

Saltwater Fishing Adventure

Join local maritime hero Captain Billy, a locally raised Tlingit of Hoonah, Alaska on this unforgettable fishing adventure. His knowledge of area waters is unsurpassed and his desire to share it with you is second to none! Southeast Alaska and Icy Strait in particular, is home to some of the best halibut and salmon fishing around. The biggest halibut on record was caught inside Icy Strait! Hoonah is just a stones throw from Icy Strait so no time is wasted getting to the fishing grounds and the hooks down!

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 12

Kayak Adventure

Your Kayak experience will take you into the peaceful waters of Port Frederick. Enjoy the serenity that can only be had while quietly gliding across the waters near Icy Strait Point enjoying the beautiful Alaskan scenery. Wildlife such as; eagles, seals, sea lions, Sitka black tail deer, whales, and even a bear on the beach are possible sightings. Take a journey into this serene kayak adventure on Icy Strait for an unforgettable experience!

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 14

Whales, Wildlife & Drones

This whale watching tour is personalized, as it takes out a maximum of 14 guests at a time. This allows for a great crew to guest ratio, ensuring your experience is personal. The areas we search near in Hoonah near Icy Strait Point and Point Adolphus are known Humpback whale feeding grounds. Josh has captained in this area for many years and knows the area well! He know how to find the whales! Add in the communication he has with other captains on the other boats, and it's a perfect whale finding system!

What really makes this tour unique is the Drone imagery. Drones are able to see below the water surface and broadcast live video back to the boat.
View pods of orcas effortlessly gliding under the waves, on rare occasions, see humpback calfs playing with their mothers, on rare occasions, the amazing phenomenon of "bubble-net" feeding by groups of humpbacks is seen. Your personal view of the whales is not repaced with drones; just supplemented! You will experience seeing and hearing these amazing animals with your own eyes and ears, and then we take you to the next level with our displays onboard.