Icy Strait Excursions
Wednesday, July 7, 2004
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Back to Summary of all Excursions
Greys, Minks, Humpbacks and Orcas are just some of the impressive whales you may encounter along the Icy Straits in Alaska. With a forest-like atmosphere, the Straits offer a main feeding area for many marine mammals. Hiking or kayaking will be the perfect way to view these amazing mammals in their natural habitat.
Excursion Excursion Description Length Cost

Whale & Marine Mammals Cruise

After boarding your sightseeing vessel, travel approximately 17 miles through Icy Strait to Point Adolphus, one of Alaska's premier whale watching sites. Your onboard naturalist will describe the diversity of marine life that migrate to this location each summer to feed in the abundant waters of Icy Strait. Learn about the behavior and habitat of the wildlife you may encounter which include Humpback and Orca (killer) whales, Stellar sea lions, harbor seals, bald eagles and more. While cruising keep an eye on the shoreline, you might spot a brown bear on the beach. Whale sightings are not guaranteed, although you will be cruising in the waters where whales return to feed every summer.
Warm layered clothing and waterproof outwear are recommended for the open-air observation deck. Don't forget your camera and binoculars!
3.5 Hours $118

Remote Bush Explorations & Brown Bear Search
Board your bus for a trip through the tiny town of Hoonah as you head out to the remote bush area of the Spasski River Valley in search of brown bears, other animals, plants and points of interest. Your local guide will provide historical details of Hoonah as you drive through the quaint town that is home to 860 residents. Learn about the culture and history of the Huna Tlingits, the local flora and fauna and the logging industry. The area offers prime bear viewing opportunities when the salmon are running and the meadows are alive with plump, juicy berries and new growth plants. Stop for a short hike on gravel and boardwalk-lined paths through muskeg to viewing platforms. Keep your eyes open for deer, otter, waterfowl, salmon, bald eagles and brown (Grizzly) bears. Don't forget to bring your camera for once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.
The likelihood of seeing bears is good, although sightings are not guaranteed. Wear comfortable hiking footwear and warm layered clothing. Rain gear is provided. This excursion involves approximately 300 yards of walking over gravel and boardwalk paths.
2.5 Hours $129

Glacier Bay Flightseeing
Experience the grandeur of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, one of America's premier natural wilderness areas. The scenery of the park encompasses 3.3 million acres and is part of the largest internationally protected area in the world. Departing from the Hoonah Airport by fixed-wing plane, you will fly across Icy Strait, the main waterway connecting Southeast Alaska to Seattle. Fly over the feeding grounds for endangered humpback whales at Point Adolphus. At the entrance to Glacier Bay, your pilot/guide will point out Lemesurier Island. The massive glaciers almost reached this point before beginning their rapid retreat just 250 years ago. A giant sheet of ice covered all the area you will see. As your flight continues, see how the de-glaciated terrain is developing into lush rain forests of Spruce and Hemlock that line the shores of Glacier Bay. Fly over waterfalls, lakes, deep crevasses and azure blue meltwater pools of Glacier Bay National Park and visit the world as it was at the end of the Ice Age.
Bring plenty of film for your camera to capture the memories of your Glacier Bay experience. Approximately 60-65 minutes flight time.
1.75 Hours $285

Forest & Nature Tram
Join in an exploration of the Southeast Alaska Rain Forest. Your excursion departs from Icy Strait Point where you will board a covered tram and travel through an old growth forest. Learn of the diversity of the forest as you witness new growth, flowers, blow downs and a variety of flora and fauna set against the backdrop of the nearby shore of Icy Strait. Be on the lookout through the forest for Sitka Blacktail Deer and Brown (Grizzly) Bear that inhabit this island. Icy Strait Point is known for marine wildlife viewing, so watch for whales, porpoise, seals and sea lions just off shore the beach. The final destination will include a visit to view a bald eagles nest where you may gaze down upon the nest carefully constructed amidst the forest's canopy of old growth spruce trees.
Comfortable walking shoes are recommended as this tour includes approximately 30 yards of walking over uneven terrain. Don't forget your binoculars and camera.
2 Hours $38

Historical Cannery Tour and Museum
Step back in time to 1928 as you begin your first day on the job at the Hoonah Packing Company Cannery. The line forms to the left where you pick up your standard fish cutters apron. Your walking tour of this historic Cannery Museum begins as you clock in and proceed to orientation where you will learn about every step in the process of the canning line. As you walk through the entire canning line museum you will be instructed as to the many jobs that were involved from pewing fish, to how the Iron Chink operates, the filler station, all the way to the retort steam cookers. You may even be assigned the job of testing cans, patching or filling the retort. No one said that this would be an easy summer of employment! 1 Hour $24

Saltwater Salmon Fishing
If you have always wanted to fish in a remote setting, this is your fishing trip of a lifetime. After a brief safety orientation, your fishing boat captain will head for the fishing fields. Within minutes, you will be able to begin fishing in the waters of Icy Strait amidst the background of the Chilkat mountain range. Be sure to bring your camera and plenty of film as you will be fishing in the same waters that attract whales, sea otter, sea lions, porpoise and seals to Alaska to feed each summer.
Deck or rubber soled shoes must be worn on the boat. Bring warm layered, waterproof clothing. Alaska State Law requires a valid one-day fishing license, which may be purchased for $10 from your fishing boat captain. During the King Salmon season, an additional $10 King Salmon stamp is also required. For an additional charge, your catch can be custom packed and shipped to your home. Processing charges are payable at the conclusion of your tour and credit card payment is required. Please note that once sport fishing participation figures have been sent to the operator (minimum of 24 hours before arrival) no refunds will be granted in cases where guests decide not to utilize the service for whatever reason. We regret that fish cannot be stored on board the ship. No guarantees are made with respect to catching any fish.
3.5 Hours $179

Ceremonial Salmon Bake
It's a short walk to the coastal shoreline of a wilderness beach, Cannery Point, the site of your salmon bake. The waters of Icy Strait and the Chilkat mountain range provide a panoramic backdrop for this secluded location. Savor the smell of fresh salmon as you select the side dishes that will accompany your meal, which includes barbecue salmon or chicken breast, coleslaw, rice pilaf, corn on the cob, Native-style flat bread, dessert and beverages. Relax by the fire and keep an eye out for eagles soaring overhead or whales swimming in the adjacent frigid waters. 1 Hour $34

Native Tlingit Journey Through Time Trail
Join a guided interpretive walking tour led by a Native Huna Tlingit on a Journey Through Time. Learn of a people's survival and success in an environment that is harsh and wild, yet bountiful and beautiful. The trail takes you along the edge of a lake where you will view multiple displays that illustrate the many ways the Huna Tlingit learned to live and thrive in this land. Learn how the Huna Tlingits were subjected to many changes in their social, economic and cultural lifestyles with the advent of western civilization. You will be shown how these industrious people have changed and adapted as they emerged from a subsistence lifestyle to fishing and timber harvesting. Your final stop will be in the "living" museum where rarely seen native Tlingit artifacts are on display. No other story in this region is quite like the story of the Huna Tlingit and through it all they have preserved their cultural identity, their ties to the land and their rich history.
Participants must be able to walk approximately one-eighth mile over relatively flat packed gravel surfaces. Warm layered clothing and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
1.5 Hours $36

Native Tlingit Dancers & Tribal Story
Meet at the Native Heritage Center Theater for a tribal story featuring the local Huna Tlingit Dancers. Performing in their colorful regalia the dancers will share their history through interpretive song, dance and story telling. Performances embrace the ancient significance of the Raven and Eagle and how these birds have given them identity. When the Huna Tlingits were forced out of their original homestead in Glacier Bay when the glaciers advanced thousands of years ago, they brought with them their cultural identity and their love for the land and sea, which is expressed in the stories that have been handed down for generations. Don't miss the opportunity to absorb the history and culture of this region as presented by the Huna Tlingit.
Please do not photograph or videotape the performance.
1.5 Hours $36

Hoonah Sightseeing
Discover the "Doorstep to the Alaskan Wilderness" as you explore the coastal village of Hoonah. This tiny town of 860 people was first established when the Native Huna Tlingits relocated out of Glacier Bay thousands of years ago. Your local guide will provide insight on the history and culture of the Tlingits as you pass by an old cemetery and Shaman Burial area. Learn about life in the Inside Passage, the importance of the Alaska Marine Ferry system, and the influence of WWII on this island. At the Boat Harbor, you will hear about the fishing industry, the different types of boats, and the canning industry that brought life to this town every summer. You are then off to the Hoonah Ranger District Office for a talk about the Tongass National Forest, commercial uses of the Forest and the logging industry. Your drive continues through town where you stop to see totem poles and learn about the artistic skills the Tlingits have passed down through the generations. 2 Hours $34

Hoonah Bike Tour
After being fitted for your bicycle and helmet and receiving a safety briefing, begin your cycling sightseeing. Your local guide will take you through the tiny fishing town of Hoonah and during your ride you will make various stops including the local cemetery and downtown Hoonah. Visit the Alaska Marine Ferry Terminal and learn how island residents travel throughout the Inside Passage using the ferries for everything from getting a new car to high school basketball games. Visit fishing and crabbing industry areas and the boat harbor, viewing the various fishing, work and pleasure craft used in the waters of Icy Strait. Be sure to keep your eyes open for bald eagles that are often perched in the downtown area.
Minimum age to participate is 10 years old. Minimum required height is 4'6". Closed-toed athletic shoes and layered clothing appropriate for inclement weather are recommended. Rain gear is provided, if necessary. This tour involves approximately 300 yards of walking and 4 miles of cycling on flat dirt and paved roads. Participants should be aware that there are certain inherent risks involved in any cycling excursion.
2.5 Hours $65