The Icy Strait Point in Alaska is a hub for tourists because of the various activities that they can be a part of during their tours. For example, you can enjoy humpback whale watching, bear searching, exploring the village of Tlingit and talking to the Tlingit tribe, kayaking, and fishing. With thousands of tourists coming to the Icy Strait every year, the Native American entity decided to make transportation easier and thrilling for everyone.
There used to be a time when the Icy Strait Point only had buses and cabs for visitors. But after the installation of the aerial lift system, tourists can now travel to their favorite destinations in gondolas. They won’t need to rely on local transport anymore. This will make Wilderness Landing in Icy Strait a vehicle-free zone.
The Icy Strait Point gondola is one of the most thrilling rides according to locals and tourists. One of the reasons why the gondola is a must-ride for tourists is the route it takes. It moves through the lush green treetops located between the Wilderness Landing and the historic Cannery. The gondola is both scooter and wheelchair-accessible and can accommodate as many as eight people in one cabin. Here are a few more reasons that make the gondola ride unique:
- The efficient, high-speed gondola offers you one of the most beautiful views of Alaska. You will be able to enjoy the top view of the forests underneath and watch the undisturbed Glacier Bay as you ride the gondola. Many say that the gondola is similar to the one in Walt Disney World’s Skyliner, but the one in Icy Strait Point has a much better view. This electric gondola has the capacity to move as many as 22,400 passengers every day. If you don’t want to take a bus or cab to reach your next destination, you can ride the gondola and experience the ride of a lifetime.
- You can take the mountain-top gondola to reach the Hoonah Mountain 360 Tram Tour. This one-and-a-half-hour tour shows you some of the most iconic places of Alaska from 1800 ft. above a cruise ship. If you love to get a bird’s eye view of a city, you shouldn’t miss the gondola and the tram ride. The open-air trams give you a 360-degree view of the mountain ranges of Alaska and its Inside Passage that includes the muskegs, glacially carved reflecting ponds and first growth forest. The tram ride stops at various places allowing you to enjoy the serene beauty of Icy Strait and take photos. In fact, you can hike a little and hop on the next tram that comes. The tickets for the tram ride are available with the gondola tickets. Therefore, don’t forget to enjoy both rides when you are in Icy Strait Point.
- The Alaskan Port is one of the busiest areas in Icy Strait. Although there are enough cabs and buses available, it takes time to reach the location due to the traffic. The installation of the gondola has now made it easier for tourists to reach the Alaskan Port. In fact, you can take the gondola from Wilderness Landing that goes to Adventure Landing and reach the Alaskan Port or the Cannery without making a stop anywhere.
- Each seat in the gondola can fold up, thus making enough space for handicapped riders to travel comfortably. If you have any specially-abled member in your family, you can fold his seat and use the wheelchair instead in the gondola. It won’t make a difference to the speed of the gondola and you wouldn’t have to pay additional charges also.
- Once you reach the Ziprider area with your family, you can ask for a wheelchair that is safe for the gondola. The operators will also take the original wheelchair at the same time and will take it out and keep it in the Drop Zone. This feature has made the gondola accessible to people who have mobility issues.
- The network connecting the starting and ending point of the Icy Strait Point gondola has different walking trails. You can get down at one of the trails and take a walk and enjoy the breathtaking scenes of Icy Strait from the top. There is also a 340-feet suspension bridge that sways on top of a box canyon. The box canyon has a vertical drop of 900-feet. If you don’t like to go on the different walking trails, you can take a trip to the nearest tour departure center. The center will have options for various activities, such as helicopter flightseeing, ATV adventures, and bear searches.
The Norwegian Cruise Line that operates the Icy Strait Point gondola believes that this new mode of transportation is attracting more tourists than ever. Its ticket prices are affordable and you can save a few bucks if you buy a family or group ticket.