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Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do 2023

Greetings, Internet Stranger, and welcome to the best Icy Strait Point things to do. Now, if you’re anything like me, it’s very possible that you have never heard of Icy Strait Point in Alaska. After all, it’s not really a town. It’s a cruise ship stop.

However, this is what makes Icy Strait Point unique. It’s the only cruise ship stop that is Alaska Native owned and operated. All the profits go to maintaining the nearby Tlingit town of Hoonah, funding the schools and other public buildings. You can learn more about this project here.

Want to cut right to the chase, Internet Stranger? The best activity in Icy Strait Point is this fantastic whale watching tour right here with tons of amazing reviews.

Today we’re going to explore the beautiful surroundings of Icy Strait Point. We’ll go for a walk and not even once get eaten by a bear. Aside from that, we’ll fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Sound intriguing? Then let’s go!

Best Icy Strait Point things to do

Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do

Where to Stay

Icy Strait Point is pretty much just a cruise ship stop, so if you’re visiting here, you’re going to be spending the night on a ship. If you are finding the best Icy Strait Point things to do as part of a one day shore excursion, like I was on my most recent Royal Caribbean cruise out of Vancouver, then this itinerary is perfect for you.

You can check out the best deals on cruises that sail to the best Icy Strait Point things to do, like Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas, click here. I loved Radiance of the Seas and would happily sail on her again.

best icy strait point things to do

Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do

Morning: Nature Walk!

So, if your cruise is anything like mine, your company will offer you several shore excursions in which you can take part. I opted for the wildlife watching walk because I love walking outdoors. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that you’ll see a particular kind of wildlife, like a bear, but you’ll definitely see some animals.

Plus, it’s lovely just to get outside and explore this beautiful part of the country! It was my first time in Alaska, but it definitely won’t be the last. So allow me to help you get the most out of your nature walk with…

Three Fascinating Facts: Icy Strait Point Things to Do

icy strait point things to do
1) Is the walking difficult?

I didn’t find it difficult, but I’m used to walking a lot. There isn’t any up hill climbing, so if you’re used to going for longish walks, you should be fine. There were some older people on the tour, since we were on a cruise ship shore excursion, after all, and no one complained or had a problem with the amount of walking.

There is a lot of standing, though, since a good part of the tour is standing silently and looking for animals. But one thing that’s very important to keep in mind when you are walking is to follow your guide closely! That’s because there are some sinkholes in Alaska, and no one wants to fall down a sinkhole. I gather it’s like lightning sand in the Fire Swamp in The Princess Bride.

In terms of other safety, the company had a couple of young women stationed around in case there were any animals in the area who got aggressive. (Our guide told us that this happens extremely rarely, and it certainly didn’t happen on the trip.)

icy strait point things to do
2) What animals can you see?

So if you’re going to see the best Icy Strait Point things to do on a cruise ship shore excursion, you’ll be there during the summer, and there’s one thing I can guarantee you’ll see: salmon. So much salmon. Salmon leaping here and there, to and fro. All the salmon you could wish for and more.

We saw a few otters tumbling and playing about in the water and boy were they cute. I think they were also in a pretty good mood because they were surrounded by more food than you can possibly imagine. Instead of saying “like a kid in a candy store”, we might start saying, “like an otter in a salmon stream”.

We saw a few deer, but we didn’t see any bear. A few people in the group kept saying that they saw a bear in the distance, but it looked a lot more like a rock to me. And I feel that if you’re not sure if you’re looking at a bear or a rock, you can’t really say that you saw a bear.

But just look at how beautiful this area is anyway! Who cares if we saw any animals at all? I can’t find this kind of scenery back home in New York City.

icy strait point things to do
3) What’s the closest town to this area?

The closest town to this area is Hoonah, which is the nearby Tlingit village. There is some driving time on this tour, but our guide kept us entertained by telling us stories about this community. It’s fairly seasonal because most of the jobs only exist during the summer months, when the cruise ships come to town.

Our guide was not from Hoonah, but he had come up to stay here as a tour guide for the summer. There’s actually a big lodging area which he showed us. Most of the guides are men.

Of course, there are members of the Tlingit community as well as other people who live in Hoonah year round. Our guide shared with us some of the stories about how the Tlingit migrated to this part of Alaska, but he asked us not to share those stories because we hadn’t been given permission to tell them.

icy strait point things to do

Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do

Afternoon: Explore Icy Strait Point

Icy Strait Point isn’t a huge cruise ship terminal or anything, but there’s actually a whole bunch of things to do here. There’s the usual shopping, but there’s also eating, drinking, a small museum, exploring nature, and whale watching. You can definitely spend an enjoyable afternoon here after your tour is over.

Let me help you with…

Approximately Top 5: Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do

icy strait point things to do
1) Go for a lift, then a walk!

At the area by your ship, you can go on these little cable cars for a short ride in the air to a different section of the woods. Are the views spectacularly high? No, as you can probably tell from my photo. But it’s still nice to go for a ride like this, and much less expensive than a helicopter.

icy strait point things to do

After that, you can walk back to the main part of Icy Strait Point through this little path in the woods. It’s quite peaceful, and there’s not too many other people on the path, so you can really feel like you’re getting a special moment to yourself, which can be rare on a cruise ship.

However, there were signs warning us to make noise so that bears wouldn’t show up, so I pulled out my iPhone and started playing some instrumental music, without headphones, as I walked, just to keep the bears away. If other people showed up, it was easy enough to turn the music off.

icy strait point things to do
2) Lunch!

At this point on our day of the best Icy Strait Point things to do, you’ll probably be hungry. That’s why I suggest stopping at Crab House. (Our guide had suggested it.) They serve excellent king, snow, and Dungeness crab. The Dungeness crab is super local, so that’s what I indulged in.

You have to eat the crab with this special crab leg cracker that the restaurant provides, but it’s all worth it when you get to dip the crab in a little butter sauce and gobble it down.

The crab is delicious, but the portions aren’t huge, so I suggest filling up with a hearty bowl of reindeer chili as well. Then you’ll have the energy to continue our exploration!
3) Salmon Cannery Museum

OK, I’ve been to a lot of odd museums in this world…the Mutter Museum of Medical Oddities in Philadelphia, the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia, the Butter Museum in Cork, Ireland…but this was the very first salmon cannery museum I have ever been to.

But before it was a cruise ship port, Icy Strait Port started life as an actual salmon cannery (not a museum). So it makes total sense that they are carrying on the tradition here.

My favorite part of the Cannery Museum was the salmon guillotine which was used to cut off the fish heads. A worker actually needed to be there to push the salmon under the blade. I wonder if Salmon Louis XVI was executed here during the Salmon French Revolution, while a whole bunch of salmon sat nearby knitting.

icy strait point best things to do
4) Donut Walk

So one thing I was not expecting to find at Icy Strait Point was an excellent donut shop called Lil Gen’s Donuts. As you can see from my odd photo above, they’re mini donuts dusted with sugar. But the catch here is that the toppings come in all kinds of flavors. I got half Mounds and half pumpkin pie, and I regret nothing.

icy strait point things to do

The line for the donut shack can be long, but it is worth it. Once you have your donuts, take them for a walk along the water. I went down to the Hoonah Veterans Memorial Sea Walk, which was created to honor locals who served in the armed forces. Keep your eyes peeled for whales while you are there!

icy strait point things to do
5) Beer and Whales

If you just can’t get enough whales, don’t worry! I have the perfect spot for whale watching. Just go down to the Duck Point Smokehouse, grab a local beer, and sit outside. You’ve never seen so many whales in your life! If your day is anything like mine, you’ll be confronted with one whale after another.

You can see them dive underwater, come back up, and flip their adorable tails. Truly, I don’t think you can find a more majestic experience in Alaska.

icy strait point things to do

Icy Strait Point Things to Do

Evening: Enjoy Life on the Cruise Ship

As I mentioned, Icy Strait Point is not like Juneau or Sitka or Skagway, which are all actual places in Alaska where real people live. Real people live in Hoonah, but for the most part, any tourists who are here are visiting just on a cruise ship. So you won’t be spending the night in Hoonah. Our day of the best Icy Strait Point things to do will continue on board our ship.

I’ve been on a lot of Royal Caribbean cruise ships. In fact, I’ve been on so many ships that I am a Diamond Member, which is pretty exciting. So I know very well how Alaskan cruises, especially Radiance of the Seas, are different from other cruises in warmer climes like the Caribbean.

So, one thing that’s different is that even in the summer, the weather is a lot colder on an Alaskan cruise. Often on a Caribbean cruise, I would get the cocktail special of the day and take it out on the deck to enjoy with a mystery novel.

However, on the Alaskan cruises, it’s harder to do that because it’s just too windy. So take your cocktail indoors with a mystery novel instead. Radiance of the Seas has some Alaska only cocktail specials like the Malibu hot chocolate, the hot toddy, and the Skagway mule. It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting a hot toddy on a cruise out of San Juan.

icy strait point things to do

On any Royal Caribbean ship, a three course dinner in the main dining hall is included with the price of the cruise. (And actually, the food in the main dining hall is unlimited, so you can get multiple apps if you want. I’ve seen people do it.)

I usually start the meal with something light like a soup because there’s so much food on a cruise.

icy strait point things to do

For a main course, comfort food usually goes down the best, especially if there’s pasta involved. That’s why I never say no to a nice piece of chicken parmesan.

icy strait point things to do

For desserts, you’re going to get a lot of comfort food classics as well, like this sweet little lemon meringue tart. Although, if you see a Baked Alaska on the menu on your Alaskan cruise, be sure to snatch that up.

Once dessert is over, be sure to head to the theater to catch a show! There aren’t as many entertainment options on Radiance of the Seas as there are on some other cruise ships, but they do have a cool movie theater. You can also catch live entertainment on a nightly basis. The cruise ship performers will have a couple of special shows per cruise and there will be stand up comics, magicians, things of that nature.

It will be the perfect end to a perfect day in Alaska!

Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do

Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do

Tools For Travel

  • A portable cell charger so that your phone won’t die a miserable death during your day of the Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do
  • The best international travel adapter because if you’re European, you’ll need one to be able to plug in electronics during your day
  • The most reliable travel umbrella that is small enough to fit in my purse, but strong enough to stand up to powerful winds.
  • These great TSA approved clear toiletries bags, so I can always keep spare toothpaste and travel sized toiletries in any carry-on.
  • My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you how travel can take your life from blah to AMAZING!
icy strait point things to do

Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do

How To Get There

Now, I wish I knew where you lived, Internet Stranger, because I could send you a bottle of the finest Alaskan craft beer. But sadly, I do not, and so I can’t tell you exactly how to get from your home to the Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do

But I can tell you that I used a lovely airplane to get from my hometown NYC to Vancouver, where I met my cruise ship. I recommend Expedia for the best way to find the cheapest flight at the best time of day.

You can even use Expedia to rent a car so you’ll be all set when you arrive at your destination. (I can’t drive, but if you can, this must be helpful.)

Just click here to start looking for the best possible deals on your flight, so you can head out on your Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do ASAP.

That’s the Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do!

What do you think are the Best Icy Strait Point Things to Do? Any questions about anything in this post? Please email me at and let me know!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours in Alaska.

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