Recommend March 2016 - (Page 82)

MICHELLE MARIE AREAN Icy Strait Point in Hoonah, Alaska is building a new dock and Welcome Center for the upcoming cruise season. Icy Strait Point, Hoonah onsitereview Michelle Marie Arean What can a town with no stop lights, two gas stations, one public school from pre-K to 12th grade, a total population of 765, one combined volunteer fire and police station, and a clinic with one doctor who comes to town a few times a month offer your clients? A whole lotta charm-a place where literally everyone knows your name (they knew mine by the second day). And...ziplining, whalewatching, deer and bear spotting, salmon cooking classes, ATV rides through the rainforest, and kayaking on the beach, plus cultural lessons, legends told by the Tlingit clan, halibut fishing and birdwatching tours. This is Hoonah, home to Icy Strait Point, a port facility for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, 82 march 2016 Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America, Princess, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas and visited by approximately 1.4 million cruise passengers from 2004 to 2015. This upcoming cruise season, Icy Strait Point (ISP) will be offering these cruise lines and their passengers a brand-new dock, and guests will be welcomed to a new 6,000-sq.-ft. Welcome Center. That means ships won't have to tender, making it further attractive to more cruise lines looking to sail to Alaska. In fact, Seabourn has signed on to nine sailings to ISP for 2017. (Full disclosure: For my trip, I didn't arrive on a cruise. I flew to Hoonah from Juneau on a seaplane, which offered an incredible bird's-eye view of Glacier Bay.) The 'Wow' Factor "In Alaska, you're going to get 'wow' moments," says Tyler Hickman v.p. of operations for Icy Strait Point. Those three letters were at the tip of my tongue throughout my time in Hoonah, with experience after experience upping the "wow" factor. There was a whale-watching excursion in the late afternoon that gave me an up-close look at this giant marine mammal splashing about in the water. A walk through the rainforest observing wildlife from an observation deck offered the opportunity to spot a brown bear making its way along the river, munching on leaves from the trees above, and then running back into the forest.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend March 2016

Editor’s Notes
Hotel Desk: Growth of Barcelo
Tour Talk: Are We There Yet?
The New All-Inclusives For Families
Onsite Review: Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
New Happenings at All-Inclusives
2016 Delta Air Lines Europe, Middle East, and Africa Travel Guide
Family-Friendly Sailings
Spring into Hawaii’s Family Fun
New Choices for Families in Florida
Onsite Review: Icy Strait Point, Hoonah
What’s New in Alaska
Adventure-Lands Ripe for Family Travel

Recommend March 2016