9 Tips On What To Do In Icy Strait Point Alaska In The Summer

What To Do In Icy Strait Point Alaska

Coastal Town And Harbor

The beautiful and historical location of Icy Strait Point, Alaska, is a must-see destination for anyone preparing for a memorable Alaskan cruise. This sleepy cruise port is a popular spot for cruise ships to put in for a day of fun and adventure for passengers. There are many activities and adventures to be had for visitors who disembark for a day trip in one of the most interesting Alaskan cruise ports in the state.

With a focus on showcasing the local Tlingit culture and surrounding wilderness, local wildlife watching, whale watching, and shore excursions, anyone looking for things to do in Icy Strait Point, Alaska, will not be disappointed. Every square mile of this Southeast Alaska settlement has something for everyone, and cruise ships dock here year-round.

As the only cruise port owned by the local community, Icy Strait Point directly benefits the local Tlingit community while also serving as a living museum to educate visitors on the tribe’s history.

So do you want to know what to do in Icy Strait Point, Alaska, on your next summer cruise? Read on to learn all about Icy Strait Point and get some tips for your next visit.


Icy Strait Point’s Attractions


1) Go Whale Watching

If you are wondering what to do in Icy Strait Point Alaska, and you are a whale lover, you won’t want to miss the numerous opportunities to see whales up close in the surrounding area around Icy Strait Point. Humpback whales are the most common whale species often spotted in the waters around Chicagof Island, near where Icy Strait Point is located.

At the right time of year, though, you might spot some orcas and gray whales lazing about in the waterways. There are several whale-watching tours nearby to choose from, some with special deals for cruise passengers.

Whale Watching In Alaska


2) Explore Chichagof Island

Icy Strait Point isn’t the only cool thing about this destination, as Chichagof Island is one of the largest islands in the Alexander Archipelago. Take a quick boat ride from the docks for some spectacular wildlife viewing, such as sea lions and brown bears, maybe even spot a bald eagle.

Chichagof Island also offers some wonderful hiking and fishing opportunities. Some activities at this destination include:

  • Kayaking

  • Fishing

  • Do some whale watching from the beach

  • Go for a ride on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry

  • Visit Elfin Cove, a settlement on the island with no vehicles, only accessible by boat or plane

  • Visit the bathhouse at Tenakee Springs

  • Have a picnic on the beach

Icy Strait Point Kayaking


3) Glacier Bay National Park

One of the most stunning parks in the United States National Park System, Glacier Bay is located just north of Icy Strait Point and is one of the few places left in the world to view the receding glaciers up close.

Visitors have the option of taking a boat tour of the glaciers or renting a kayak and paddling their way around the icy walls for a remarkable up-close view. At the visitor’s center, learn all about the park, its addition to the National Park System, and the Park System’s commitment to preserving the environment of this area.

Glacier Bay National Park


4) Enjoy The Cruise Port but make it into town!

With Icy Strait Point, located in Hoonah Alaska being a popular spot for cruise ships as well as one of the newer cruise ports, there is no shortage of activities for disembarking passengers. Check out the Icy Strait Point Cannery Museum, local eateries, and shopping locations for a unique souvenir. While the port has some shopping and food, get out of the “tourist trap” portside and get to town, a short mile away!  Some spots in town to see include:

  • The Shops by HTA

  • Oso Gordito 

  • Fishremans Daughter

  • Hoonah Bay Aquarium

  • Carvers Den
  • The Eagles Nest

Cruise Port In Alaska


5) Check Out The Local Wildlife

Icy Strait Point has a variety of wildlife to enjoy, not just whales and bald eagles but also sea lions, brown bears, and several fish varieties. These majestic creatures are sure to make an appearance on your hike or boat tour around the Alaskan wilderness surrounding Icy Strait Point. You might even see a few Alaskan brown bears on the shore when your cruise ship heads out to sea!

Sea Lion In Alaska


6) Wilderness Landing

Wilderness Landing is Icy Strait Point’s newest docking spot and is unique in that it is a vehicle-free zone. With an eye towards environmental protection, the Landing is eco-friendly with its electric gondola transport system, and access to the ZipRider, the world’s largest zip line. Cruise ship visitors to Icy Strait Point can take a sightseeing tour or have a nice picnic on a nearby beach.

An Old Wooden Pier In Icy Strait Point


7) Ride The Zipline

The Icy Strait Point ZipRider is Icy Strait Point’s claim to fame as the largest zipline in the world! Adrenaline junkies will love seeing the area from a bird’s-eye view as they speed through the treetops of the Tongass National Forest.

You might even outrace some bald eagles! Adventure seekers won’t want to miss this one, and be sure to get your souvenir “I Survived the Icy Strait Point Zipline” shirt!

Icy Straight Point Zipline


8) Learn About Tlingit Culture

Icy Strait Point is the brainchild of the local Tlingit tribe, who use proceeds from the port to support their community but also offer several educational opportunities. Visitors can visit the local heritage center, take a ride in a Tlingit canoe, and learn about the area’s history and traditions by attending a local festival.

Learn About Tlingit Culture


9) Visit The Hoonah Harbor & Marina Area

If you’ve been exploring the tourist trap around Icy Strait Point, you’ll want to head to town and check out the Hoonah Harbor & Marina area!  The Shops by HTA, the Oso Gordito food truck, and Fisherman’s Daughter restaurant are all close together. The establishments not only offer fresh seafood and affordable meals to visitors, but they feature daily specials!

On top of that, there are also stunning views of the area from these eateries. Don’t miss the potential humpback whale sightings on your way back to the cruise ship!  The Shops by HTA runs a shuttle back to the ship every 30 minutes!

Icy Strait Point


Plan Your Visit!

No doubt, Icy Strait Point is the place to visit on your next Alaskan cruise! As we see, there are many exciting things to do in Icy Strait Point Alaska. The community offers a rich history and several fun activities for all ages. Visitors to this cruise destination not only get the benefit of a wonderful shore excursion and unique day trips, but they are also supporting the local community. The port is fully owned and operated by the local Tlingit people, and everything from the restaurants and shops to many of the tours and excursions is operated by local residents.

Visitors can rest assured that they are learning about unique people and their history and heritage while also supporting them in their economic ventures. If you’re looking for wildlife, whale watching, culture, outdoor adventure, or perhaps a fishing adventure, you’ll find it in this whimsical and colorful community when you visit Icy Strait Point.

Whether you are in search of a whale-watching tour or a fishing tour, Icy Strait Point Excursions has just the tour for you. Click here to schedule your next adventure with Icy Strait Point Excursions today!

Whale Watching Cruise

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 10

Wilderness Tour and Brown Bear Search - LEO, Military, Teacher Discount!

This Alaskan wilderness and bear search tour is offered on Chichagof Island, a one-of-a-kind location with the highest population of bears per square mile of any place on Earth. Depending on the season, catch the bears coming out of hibernation and looking for food; or later on in the season when the bears are mating and eating grasses on the tidal flats. Older males fight each other for dominance and mating rights with the females, who at times are not receptive and force the male to give chase. This is truly an experience for the books, and cameras.

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.

4 to 5 hours
Group Size
1 to 6

Freshwater Stream Fishing

Professionally guided stream fishing excursions on the hidden edge waters of Chichagof, Island.

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!