Cruise to the rugged side of Alaska at Icy Strait Point

Princess ship cruising the glaciers of Alaska
Princess ship cruising the glaciers of Alaska

Nestled at the mouth of Port Frederick, Alaska's Icy Strait Point is home to the Huna Tlingit tribes, which have remained in this area for more than 2,000 years. Translated to "Where the north wind doesn't blow," the Tlingit have perpetuated their environment by living sustainably and using resources available within a 50-mile radius. Luckily for passengers on an Alaskan cruise, the illustrious scenery has remained unharmed by modern pollutants, and wildlife roam freely throughout the rugged landscape. Fewer than 1,000 people live in the Hoonah village, and locals welcome visitors with open arms, eager to share their beautiful land with all those who arrive on their shores.

A brief history

During an Alaska cruisetour of Icy Strait Point, passengers will learn about a truly unique side of The Last Frontier State. The Tlingit have managed to keep their day-to-day lives humble by fishing, farming and handcrafting stunning goods such as baskets, wooden bowls and paintings. Originally built as a salmon cannery, Icy Strait Point served as an economic mainstay for Hoonah natives who wanted to learn more about the world outside of their isolated home.

One hundred years later, this small village caters to cruise ships sailing through Alaska, providing numerous outdoor activities and historical tours.

The Native Heritage Center is an ideal place to get to know the history of this secluded part of Alaska and provides cruise passengers the opportunity to look through genuine, centuries-old Tlingit artifacts before settling down to enjoy a live cultural performance.

Tlingit tribal dances

Located within the Native Heritage Center, the theater displays entertaining and informative live performances that showcase the rich and colorful history and legends of the Tlingit people. Dancers and actors don traditional garb as they tell audience members the story of their land and people.

Alaska shore excursion packages include the seafood feast and tribal dance experience, during which passengers can wine and dine on fresh seafood including salmon, king crab and halibut while watching the cultural performance.

Touring The Last Frontier

Surrounded by snowcapped mountains and endless rows of evergreens, Icy Strait Point is a nature lover's dream destination. The land is teeming with wildlife such as brown bears, bald eagles and moose, along with stunning flora that blossom in the early summer - right when Princess Cruises docks.

Visitors won't want to miss the chance to take a road trip inland, where they'll be treated to incredible views of the jagged coastline as well as the dense wilderness. Princess passengers can experience The Last Frontier in any way that suits their fancy, from thrilling ATV rides through the forest to fishing and whale watching along the glimmering shoreline.

The land surrounding Icy Strait Point supports the largest concentration of brown bears in the world, and Princess passengers should have their cameras ready and fingers on the shutter to capture these majestic beasts as they catch salmon in their mouths.

Icy Strait Point Cannery

Formerly one of the world's most productive salmon canneries, The Icy Strait Point Cannery once exported more than 150,000 cases of salmon every year - amounting to about 3600 tons. Today, the cannery has been converted into a popular shopping strip where Princess passengers can browse through the local shops and craft workshops, gaining a better understanding of who the Tlingit people are.

Among the unique shops, Alaska Wood Creations features products made by Tlingit natives, and visitors are encouraged to ask about the meticulous etching and sculpting process.