Hoonah, Alaska is a small city of 760 permanent residents on Chichagof Island along Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage. Hoonah is the largest Tlingit Village in Alaska, and the native Alaskan culture thrives here. Locally carved totems and canoes, and handmade native crafts are still made in the traditional style today by the local Tlingit residents.
Hoonah’s main industries are fishing and logging, and was once home to a cannery, now a tourist attraction called Icy Strait Point. Tourism has become a growing industry in Hoonah with plans to build a large cruise ship dock near Icy Strait Point, a privately owned property, just outside of downtown. Visitors can take in the breathtaking scenery of Chichagof Island and enjoy numerous wildlife encounters. Hoonah is home to the largest concentration of Alaskan Brown Bears in the world, with around 3.5 bears per square mile. Other amazing animal sightings include Sitka black-tail deer, land otters, beavers, minks and more. Hoonah Harbor is also a great place to observe bald eagles soaring majestically overhead. Home to over 250 species of waterfowl and birds, Hoonah is a bird-watchers paradise.
One of the biggest wildlife attractions in Hoonah is the summer migration of humpback whales. Whale watching is becoming increasingly popular. Sightings from shore are common, and a whale watching charter in season virtually guarantees an up-close encounter with giant humpbacks. Other marine residents include porpoise, orca, seals, sea lions, and sea otters. The local residents of Hoonah are friendly, rugged, spirited and are happy to welcome visitors and share with them the unspoiled beauty of their Alaskan home.
Icy Strait Point
Icy Strait Point was originally built as a salmon cannery in 1912. The cannery was in operation for many years and has since been shut down and converted to a tourist facility owned by the Huna Totem Corporation. The Huna Totem Corporation built a lightering dock for the cruise ships on its property and opened in 2001 as the only private cruise ship destination in the United States.
Attractions include cannery tours, a giant zip line, local Tlingit dancing, singing and storytelling, bear and wildlife excursions, kayaking adventures, local food and cooking excursions, shopping, dining, biking, hiking and fishing. Icy Strait Point caters to several cruise ship companies including Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Princess Cruises, and Alaskan Dream Cruises. Icy Strait Point is open to the public whenever a cruise ship is in port and has helped make the City of Hoonah and Chichagof Island a real tourist destination.