Icy Strait Point is a popular nature port of call on Chichagof Island that opened in 2004. The facilities are only open when cruise ships are visiting. It was developed by the native Tlingits and is focused on celebrating the areas history, nature and the Tlingit culture. It is the ideal location for exploring wildlife and sea life. Hoonah, the only town on the island is described as the largest Tlingit Village in the state of Alaska.
Where You’re Ship Docks
Depending on tides and the number of ships, cruise ships either dock or tender in. Often you will find that your ship is tied up to the pier in the morning and using tenders to return to the ship in the afternoon. In either case, arrival is a pier near the Adventure Center and the starting point for land tours. Walking past the Adventure Center away from the pier a boardwalk takes you to the old cannery complex which now houses a museum, local shops, snack bar and a display of the original cannery operation. The Fish House restaurant is also located on the boardwalk and this is also where most of the marine tours depart.
Transportation – There are very limited car rentals or taxi services. A sightseeing trolley is operational only part of the time. If you plan to do more then a walking exploration, it is probably best to book a tour through the ship.
Money – The US dollar is used here, credit cards are welcome and there is an ATM machine.
The largest and highest zipline in North America is located at ISP. It runs 5330 feet and includes a 1300 foot drop. There are also kayak rentals and tours and the Hoonah Village is a short ride from where you come ashore. If the Hoonah trolley is running the Nature Center will be one of its stops. It is a very small community with only a few shops and restaurants.
The nature trail provides an opportunity to see some great scenery, a virgin Alaska rain forest and possibly brown bears, bald eagles and the Sitka black tailed deer. If the weather is wet, trails can be very muddy so hiking boots are recommended.
Porpoises and whales have been sighted from shore and from anchored ships and several excursions visit the Point Adolphus area, which is a prime location for whale watching.
- NOTE: Cruise ships do not dock near town but dock or tender to a pier near the Adventure Center.