Inside Passage, Alaska Cruise Port
Rather than a specific town, Inside Passage is a coastal route for ocean vessels that extends from southeastern Alaska to the Puget Sound in Washington state. Cruising to Inside Passage, Alaska includes about 500 miles worth of islands, coves, and bays. An extremely popular destination for kayakers and canoeists, there's an annual trek via ocean from British Columbia, Canada to Glacier Bay, Alaska. Sailing here means getting an eyeful of the breathtaking natural beauty, a plethora of marine life, and native totem poles. The trip itself is definitely for those seeking adventure: While the Alexander Archipelago protects travelers from the Pacific Ocean weather, strong tides are not unexpected. As you make your way through the passage, keep an eye out for whales – and definitely get the camera out for the active Hubbard Glacier. Here are some of our favorite experiences for the cruise ports that make up Inside Passage, Alaska:
- The port of Ketchikan is rich in native culture. The Totem Heritage Center has the largest collection of 19th-century totems in existence created by the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian Indians. Ketchikan is also fantastic for spotting bald eagles and the century-old Guard Island Lighthouse watches over the northern entrance to Tongass Narrows.
- While the state capital of Juneau has 30,000 residents, it's about as remote as can be. You'll find this created-by-gold-rush town full of outdoor activities. From climbing Mount Juneau or Mount Roberts to getting close to the Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau has no end of great restaurants to curb your hard-earned appetite.
- Another gold rush town, Skagway, is a tiny town in comparison to other stops on the Inside Passage. Here you'll find the 1800s well-preserved within its historic relics. A tourist favorite, hiking the Chilkoot Trail takes you on the stampeders’ route to the gold mines; there's the option to walk the entire trail, which is a multi-day affair, or to take a much shorter jaunt.
- One of the highlights of the Inside Passage, Glacier Bay National Park is a protected World Heritage Site. This vast area covers 3.3 million acres, which includes mountains, glaciers, rainforests, and fjords.