Icy Strait Point Cruise Port

When you take a cruise to Alaska, there are many beautiful ports along the way! We enjoyed the sights and sounds of Alaska on board the beautiful Carnival Splendor in July 2022. This was Mark’s first time experiencing Alaska, and while it wasn’t his traditional Caribbean itinerary, he was excited to embark on a new adventure.

If you’ve never sailed to Alaska before, I can tell you that it’s completely unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. The weather is definitely cooler. And, while there are beaches in the region, you won’t find yourself building any sandcastles! Nor will you likely find yourself laying out on the upper-most decks of the cruise ship. The scenery is what it’s all about.

Things to do in Icy Strait Point

We did extensive research on Icy Strait Point and Hoonah, Alaska prior to our cruise as I hadn’t visited on my previous Alaskan cruise. We found many things that excited us about this port, including the world’s largest ZipRider, beautiful hiking trails, a quaint village with breweries and local dining options. We plotted our day ahead of time and upon docking, we headed immediately to the free gondola that takes you partially up the mountain. Here you’ll find the entrance to the SkyGlider, a trail system, some decent lookout points, restrooms, and gift shops.


You can book an excursion for something called the SkyGlider. It’s another gondola that takes you to the very top of Hoonah Mountain through some treacherous terrain – trust us, it’s an engineering marvel! At the top of the mountain, there’s another hiking trail, some restrooms, a food truck (that was closed when we visited) and some absolutely EPIC views. While the mid-mountain lookouts were nice, the lookouts from the top of the mountain are truly stunning.

At the top of the mountain, there’s also the launch platform for the ZipRider!


Prior to sailing, we booked two tickets on the ZipRider through Carnival. It’s important to note that the ZipRider doesn’t sell tickets online, instead, they direct you to your cruise line’s shore excursion website/desk. We purchased two tickets to experience the thrill ride and were excited to give it a try once we took some breathtaking pictures at the top.

We recorded the entire experience, including the walk down to the platform, the safety briefing, loading up on the ZipRider, and even our descent down the mountain! Check out the video showing the entire experience. We highly recommend taking a look at ZipRider if your Alaskan cruise makes a stop in Icy Strait Point.

Heading into Town

After we completed our run at the top of the mountain, with our adrenaline soaring high, we decided to head into the nearby town of Hoonah, Alaska in search of some local food and drinks. Our sights were set on a brewery in town which we discovered as we were researching this trip. The walk into town took about 30 minutes along the shoreline. Hoonah has done a great job with sidewalks and walking paths; it was flat and easy to get around. Plus, there are some truly picturesque views along the way.

Icy Strait Brewing + The Fisherman’s Daughter (Bust!)

Hoonah is a small town, so it’s funny that we completely missed the brewery and walked right on by! We doubled back only to find out that it was closed down (and had been since the pandemic started). Feeling defeated – and hot from our trek – we pulled out our phones in attempt to find an alternate option for finding local brews. We walked over to a tourist-heavy place that was teeming with people. We decided to give The Fisherman’s Daughter a try based on it’s Yelp reviews. We checked the menu and went up to the counter. The worker was very quick to inform us that it was a minimum 60-minute wait, but likely much longer. This was longer than we wanted to wait, so we passed on that option and continued to walk.

Eventually we found a local who we asked about the best place to catch a local beer. He caught himself as he started to mention the now defunct brewery and instead mentioned Icy Strait Lodge. We got our bearings on our phones and made the trek to this new destination.

Icy Strait Lodge (Boom!)

Icy Strait Lodge was a fantastic find – and truly, one of the highlights of our trip! We loved it so much, we even wrote a Yelp review. The owner welcomed us into her establishment with open arms (even though we arrived when they were closed for a few hours during mid-day). She offered bar service including a selection of several local brews. We each had to try several – for research purposes, of course! Check out our video review of the experience we had at Icy Strait Lodge.

Wrapping Up Our Port Day in Icy Strait Point

While we simply planned to walk back to the cruise ship, the owner was kind enough to offer us a ride as she was headed into town. Once back at the cruise port area, we explored some of the shops where you could get your standard cruise port gift shop staples (tshirts, post cards, magnets) and some unique-to-Alaska finds (fresh salmon anyone?!)

If your cruise ship is making a stop at Icy Strait Point on its Alaskan itinerary, do yourself a favor and be sure to explore the port! If the heart-stopping, adrenaline rush of a zip line isn’t your thing, take a walk or catch a ride into town and meander over to Icy Strait Lodge for some fantastic hospitality while you soak up the cool and quiet Alaskan air. Whatever you do, you’re bound to have an enjoyable and memorable visit to this unique and secluded port of call.

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