Princess Cruises News Center

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Cruising Article – 2011-02-15

History and hammers in Haines, Alaska

One of the best parts of Alaska cruises is the ability to visit some destinations that are off the beaten path. Haines, Alaska, certainly fits that description, and you can explore all the rich history of this town when you visit on an Inside Passage Alaskan cruise.

A guided tour of Fort William H. Seward, which is located right by the ship's pier at Portage Cove, starts off the journey. Fort Seward holds the distinction of being the U.S. Army's first outpost on the Alaskan frontier. Guests will have a chance to visit the barracks, parade field and Officer's Row.

The tour will continue at the nearby Army Hospital, which has since been converted into an Alaska Indian Arts center. Travelers can learn more about the culture and crafts of the natives when they view totem poles, rattles, masks and more.

Those interested in an alternative history should book to the "Haines Offbeat Attractions" excursion. Groups on this tour will still have a chance to explore Fort Seward, but they'll also visit some of the more notable spots in Haines, like the Hammer Museum. Why does this small town in Alaska have an entire museum dedicated to hammers? You'll have to take the tour to find out.

Another offbeat spot in Haines is "Dalton City," a fictional town that was erected for the film "White Fang." Dalton City was designed to be a picturesque gold rush town, so travelers will have plenty of photo ops while hearing all about what happened to the small town when Hollywood came calling.