Shore Excursions Near Icy Strait Point In Hoonah Alaska
If you're looking to explore the Alaskan wilderness and get a firsthand look at the local wildlife, you've come to the right place! At Hoonah Travel Adventures, we believe life is too short not to fulfill it with adventures.
We invite you to take shore excursions near Icy Strait Point in Hoonah Alaska and experience the native culture of Southeast Alaska. Our Icy Strait Point excursions will allow you to create memories you remember for a lifetime, with unexpected surprises along the way. You can expect to get a firsthand look at everything from brown bears to humpback whales while taking an Icy Strait Point tour with one of our guides and coming home with plenty of stories to share.
With our shore excursions near Icy Strait Point, you can book a kayak adventure, fishing tour, whale watching tour, and brown bear search for the experience of a lifetime.
Explore our activities
Guaranteed Whale Watching in the Icy Strait Point, Alaska Area
Our Hoonah whale watching tour begins when we pick you up at the Icy Strait Point Excursions Hub. We drive along Shaman Point to the Hoonah City Harbor where our charter boat is waiting. Along the way, you may spot some of our local wildlife, including bald eagles, blacktail deer, and more. Hoonah is home to the largest concentration of Alaskan brown bears in the world, so keep your eyes open!
We then board the boat and leave Hoonah Harbor. While traveling along the shorelines, sightings of bears, deer, coastal ducks and geese, blue heron, puffin, terns, cormorants, and more are common. In the water, you may get a chance to spot humpbacks, orca, sea otters, sea lions, porpoises, and seals.
Large numbers of humpback whales come to Hoonah to feed in the nutrient-rich waters of Point Adolphus, Glacier Bay and Icy Strait every summer before migrating south again in the winter. The whale population begins to arrive in Hoonah in May and stays through September. Humpback whales are large baleen whales that can reach over 50 feet in length and weigh as much as 50 tons. They are most famous for their whale songs, thought to be used by males as a mating call. Humpbacks are amazingly active and typical whale sightings include diving, blows, and flukes (tails). Lucky whale watchers may get to see breaching or bubble-net feeding, a cooperative feeding method where a pod forms a circle and dives under the water. They blow air to create a wall of bubbles that force krill and plankton to the surface where the whales can eat them. Observing humpbacks practice bubble-net feeding is a real treat and a truly thrilling experience. We have a $100 whale sighting guarantee! If a whale is not sighted on your tour your will be credited $100.
Wilderness Tour and Brown Bear Search
Chichagof Island, or Shee Kaax, is an island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Alaska Panhandle. At 75 miles long and 50 miles wide, it has a land area of 2,048.61 square miles, making it the fifth largest island in the United States. Chichagof Island has the highest population of bears per square mile of any place on Earth and its dense rain forests are some of the last grizzly strongholds!
The community of Hoonah, with a year-round population of approximately 750, is located in the northern part of Chichagof Island. The vast majority of the island is made up of pure, uninhabited Alaskan wilderness teeming with wildlife! The Ursus arctos, or brown bear, is the king of the forest, but Sitka black-tail deer, bald eagles, minks, martens, beavers, ducks, and seabirds thrive on the island and are sometimes spotted on this tour.
This Alaskan wilderness and bear search tour is only offered May through September because those are the months that afford the highest probability of bear sightings. In late April and May, the bears are coming out of hibernation and looking for food. In June, the bears are mating and eating grasses on the tidal flats. Older males fight each other for dominance and mating rights with the females, who at times are not receptive and force the male to give chase.
In July, the salmon start their migration from the ocean up the rivers and we find the bears feeding in coastal rivers and streams. In August and September, the salmon have made it further up the rivers to shallow streams where the bears chase them.
Depending on the month and the weather, the wildlife can be found in different locations throughout the island. Your guide spends a lot of time in the forest and knows where to look.
Join us as we search for these amazing creatures!
This tour is located on the Tongass National Forest under special use permit from the Forest Service, USDA.
Icy Strait Fishing Adventure
Fishermen come from around the world to cast their lines in the waters of Southeast Alaska in search of halibut and salmon. Join the ranks of these traveling fisherman and book a trip with us today!
Icy Strait Kayak Adventure
The reasons to Kayak with us are endless! A few reasons might be to experience unspoiled nature and stunning scenery amid a mountainous back drop! Or simply the serenity and peace that speaks to ones soul while gliding silently across the water in this majestic, remote location.
Chichagof Island Birding & Nature Adventure
In the lush vegetation of Chichagof Island, near Hoonah, Alaska, where Brown Bears outnumber humans, birding is an adventure! Your expert bird guide is also a naturalist, and you will learn about the natural and human history of the area, the plants, animals, fish, forests, and rivers. Pigeon Guillemots, Bald Eagles, Varied Thrushes, Steller’s Jays, Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Red-breasted Sapsuckers are some of the favorites, but this is so much more than just another birding tour. Come experience the vibrant ecological web created here, in Hoonah, Alaska, near Icy Strait Point where the towering temperate forests of Chichagof Island tangle with the rich marine life of Icy Strait.
Why choose us?
Travel Adventures With The Top Guides
Hoonah is unique because it only has a population of 800 people but at times welcomes up to 10,000 cruise ship visitors, a day with open arms. We're experts when it comes to our Icy Strait Point excursions and providing visitors with an in-depth look at Chichagof Island.
We have a variety of excursions and adventures available near Icy Strait Point and as a veteran-owned small business, we're committed to providing our guests with unforgettable experiences that are thrilling and memorable.
We guarantee that you will have a great time on our excursions. We have a variety of activities to choose from, so you can find something that interests you.
We want you to learn about the places you visit on our excursions. Our guides are knowledgeable and can answer any questions you have. They will share insightful information about the places you see on your tour.
Back to Ship on Time Guaranteed
We know that you don't want to miss your ship's departure. We will make sure you are back on board in time. Everyone can relax and enjoy yourself.
Words from our customers
Because of our previous amazing whale watch adventure at our Icy Strait Point stop, we had no question about once again booking with Hoonah Travel Adventures, hoping to encounter the same exciting, spellbinding bubble-feeding events as before. We love whale watching, and go every chance we get during the various seasons, which can vary widely depending on numerous factors. Much is dependent on the climate, the abundance of food sources, and the mood of the whales, themselves. It was late April, as before, and we were experiencing temperate (60-degree) cloudy weather. Everything was lining up to be a great experience, except for one problem – nobody bothered to tell most of the whales to make their grand entrance, it appeared. We were blessed once again to have Paul Comolli captaining our vessel, Tail Chaser (truth), through the inlets and waterways surrounding Hoonah, Alaska. A smallish fishing village which prides itself on being self-sufficient, the residents, including our captain, hunt and fish for most of their sustenance, being fully cognizant of the cost of groceries in the remote location. As we cruised smoothly over the water, Captain Paul regaled us with shivering tales of $8.00 lettuce and other frightening prices at their local grocery. And while we did see whales, they were few and far between. But the journey was still enjoyable, as Paul continued his repartee almost non-stop, meanwhile showing his excellent focus on the task at hand. We saw a few arched backs, but none of the exciting feedings from our previous journey. When asked why, Paul was very straightforward – the whales were late coming in because the herring, their main food source, had not arrived. After the whales’ winter cavorting down south, followed by a 3000-mile journey back – all without eating – they simply had to go where the food was, and it wasn’t in Hoonah yet. That said, the trip was anything BUT boring, as Captain Paul kept us entertained non-stop with his rapid-fire crescendo of facts about the area, the people who live and work there, and the whales we were seeking – so much so that we almost did not miss the whales, themselves. So when one of the local whales breeched within feet of our boat, it was just a welcome and unexpected exclamation point on our journey. All in all, it was a great tour with a great crew, and certainly a great captain. We highly recommend Hoonah Travel Adventures, and all the excitement they offer. And with any luck, when you/we go next time, the whales will have checked their messages.
Terry Franklin Franklin
20th May 2023
Hoonah Adventures was a great organization to deal with. Christy set the trip up for me (last minute booking) and gave me all the information I needed and te assured me that I would get back to the cruise ship on time. They even provided a shuttle back to the port! Christy was the deck hand in my ship and was very knowledgeable and a perfect host. Captain Denise was simply precious! The smaller boat (holds 18) was perfect in size for everyone to be able to see the whales, otters and sea lions from all parts of the boat. While seeing whales was a bucket list check mark being able to hear Captain Denise tell stories of her life and stories from her clan and Tlingit tribe was the highlight! As the ONLY Tlingit female boat captain she is a treasure for the state of Alaska and I hope to visit her again.
14th May 2023
This tour company was professional from booking several months early through a wonderful whale watching tour. The guides we’re wonderful. Easy to navigate, good communication, knowledgeable local guides. As advertised.
5th May 2023
We booked this whale watching adventure on the recommendation of a FB user. What a wonderful experience! Our captain, Paul, was so knowledgeable and shared so much information about the local town, the sea, the whales as well as seals and otters. We saw many whales on our trip. Don't hesitate to book with this group. You won't be disappointed! It was one of the highlights of our trip to Alaska.
27th October 2022
Nous n’avons vu aucun ours La guide ne donnait pas beaucoup d’explications
27th October 2022
Une ride de camion de 3hr que j’aurais pu faire moi même !
27th October 2022
Excellent guide very knowledgeable saw orca and hump backs and a variety of other sea animals on this very entertaining boat excursion
8th October 2022
We had an awesome day with Luke. He was very personable and showed us all over the island. Would defiantly recommend him for any excision. We’ll worth the money.
27th September 2022
Hoonah Travel provided the transportation to and from our cruise ship to our whale watching tour. They were very friendly, prompt and attentive. The best thing though was their store as we bought most of our t-shirts and souvenirs here. They had the best selection and was a lot cheaper than everywhere else.
27th September 2022
Icy Strait Point Is An Outdoor Playground For Adults
Hoonah, Alaska, home of Icy Strait Point is unique for its lush environment that has been well-preserved. The abundant wildlife makes it possible to run into different types of animals and spot mammals in the water each day during your visit, whether you spot bald eagles in the sky or get a firsthand look at a family of sea lions.
The spectacular beauty of Icy Strait Point is why many people choose to visit the destination on an Alaska cruise. Many visitors arrive on cruise ships and enjoy an educational experience that allows them to learn more about the local area and the culture and society of the Tlingit Tribe.
Originally built as a salmon cannery in 1912, this destination now has a variety of attractions for thrill-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts who want to immerse themselves in a destination that is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Frequently asked questions
To receive a full refund guests may cancel up to 24hrs before the date of the experience. If for some reason your cruise ship does not make it to port, or we have to cancel due to weather, this would also be a 100% refund. No refund for cancelations less than 24hrs. This policy does not apply to Private Charters, please email for details.
Your health is our top priority! We have put special measures in place to keep all guests safe both during and after your activity. At this point in time, we are requiring employee’s and guests to wear a mask over the nose and mouth.
Stringent Cleaning – We’ve increased the frequency of disinfecting surfaces and high traffic areas during and between each tour. Aside from the increased cleaning above, our boats and vehicles are now deep cleaned at the end of each day. Hand sanitizer will be available to all of our guests.
Wellness Checks – Employees receive daily wellness checks to ensure they are healthy and symptom-free. If you or anyone in your group is experiencing symptoms, we will work directly with you to cancel or reschedule your tour.
Yes, all of our boats have a marine head on board.
Hoonah summer time weather can range from 45 degrees and raining to 75 degrees and sunny. We tell guest to plan for 50s & 60s, to dress in layers with a light packable rain layer. It is best to check the 10 day forecast online and pack accordingly.
We get this question a lot. The waters we operate in are usually pretty calm. If you are prone to seasickness we recommend Dramamine or a wristband. Over the years, less than 1% of our guests have gotten seasick.
We have guests that book up to a year in advance. We suggest you book as soon as you are able as many tours do sell out.
If your ship is docked at the Adventure Dock, proceed ashore to the Icy Strait Point Adventure Center. Once inside the Adventure Center walk through the building and exit through door number “2”. (This is clearly marked above the door). Follow the signs on the gravel path to the Excursion Hub. The total walking time is 6-8 minutes, please allow extra time if you are not a fast walker. We ask that you check in for your tour 15 minutes early and we leave on time. If your ship is docked at the Wilderness Dock, walk all they way up the dock and to the right. Ride the FREE Green Transporter Gondola(4 minute ride). Exit the Gondola and go left, follow the signs on the gravel path to the Excursion Hub, a 3 minute walk.
Gratuities are never expected, but always appreciated if your crew or guide did a great job!
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