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-   -   Icy Strait Point, Alaska What is there to see and do there ? (

Mike52 01-25-2008 03:30 AM

Anybody been to Icy Strait Point, Alaska .We are going on the Serenade starting May 17 and wondering what there is to do or see there.

CanCanCase 01-25-2008 11:26 AM

If you're looking on a map or Google Earth, you'll find Icy Strait Point listed as the villiage of Hoonah. ISP is simply the name of a lodge/restaurant/gift-shop/tourist area just outside of Hoonah located on what locals know as "Cannery Point". The tour facility was built a few years ago by private interests in hopes of capturing some of the cruise ship traffic that just kept sailing on by... it did! ISP has gone from 1 or 2 ship dockings per week as a trial to 1 or 2 ships every day.

I don't know what's being offered via the cruise lines for contract excursions this year, but all the reports I've heard from travelers visiting tell us to book independant tours there... ship offerings tend to be canned re-workings of tours that you can do in Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, etc...

If you're prioritizing your excursions, ISP has little or no flight-seeing available, so do that in other ports. You can walk all of town and several nice nature walks that are self guided, and there are a few gift shops around town featuring local native arts & crafts. It's about as close as you'll get to just wandering around a local Tlingit native fishing villiage unless you take a private cruise on a chartered yacht! Juneau fishing charters often run just off the point in search of halibut, and the whale-watching there is fantastic... Hoonah is less than 50 miles from Juneau and Auke Bay. You might almost call it a "suburb" of Juneau, but that's a stretch of the term!

I spend at least a few days each year in or near Hoonah with the Can Can while on various charters. If anyone has any other questions, fire away... I'm happy to help answer when I can!


Mike52 01-25-2008 04:43 PM

Thanks for the info Case

P.A. 01-26-2008 08:46 PM

I have a question for you. We have an excursion scheduled through our cruiseline RC. It is for the Halibut Fishing there in ISP. Have your heard or do you know if this excursion is any good? It's $236 and 3 1/2 hrs long. My husband would rather fish for Halibut than Salmon.

Any info on this excursion would be appreciated. Thanks!

CanCanCase 01-26-2008 09:54 PM

$236 for a 3.5 hour fishing trip seems steep to me. Does that rate include the $20 fishing license, or is the rate really $256 once you're licensed?

I've not taken the halibut fishing excursion in Hoonah (ISP) but I can offer info regarding my experiences on MY boat...

- Hoonah is about the only place in SE Alaska where you can actually do a 1/2 day halibut trip. Halibut charters in Juneau usually book a full-day halibut trip, then go to (or very near) Hoonah to fish.

- A 4-hour trip in Juneau runs between $150 and $225 booked direct, or between $200 and $275 booked via a cruise line. I know of one company (no names unless someone asks!) that does a 5-hour half-day for $200 including licenses...

- Other than the run-time to get to fish, there's really no difference in the charter's overhead to fish salmon vs. halibut. Most full-day trips are combination trips where you'll fish halibut first, and once limits are met, you'll troll for salmon on the way home. For a 3.5 hour trip, I'd imagine it will be just the bottom-fish and head home.

- There are pending federal regulations which may (if the Sec. of Commerce signs off in Feb.) limit charter anglers to 1 fish per day. Are you interested in 1 fish for $236? I think if it were me, I'd book a full-day trip in Juneau, fish the same areas for halibut, combo fish for salmon, and get some great scenery and whale watching in on the way there and back.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to push Juneau fishing on you... if you've already got other plans in Juneau, and fishing for halibut is a priority, Hoonah is the place where you can do it easiest and fastest.

Happy Alaska Travels!

Cruise Fanatic 01-27-2008 08:07 AM

When I was at ISP the new zipline adventure seemed to be the popular choice. I think it was $85 dollars.
I wouldn't compare your spending $236 on a 3.5 hour fishing trip the same as spending $236 on one fish. It's all about the adventure, the memories you create, the excitement and the way it makes you feel. To you that may be "Priceless".

CanCanCase 01-27-2008 10:01 AM


Originally posted by Cruise Fanatic:
I wouldn't compare your spending $236 on a 3.5 hour fishing trip the same as spending $236 on one fish. It's all about the adventure, the memories you create, the excitement and the way it makes you feel. To you that may be "Priceless".
Sorry, it was late when I was writing. My main point with that comment was that for not much more than the $256 you can book a full-day, get the same one fish, a few other fish, and 4 to 6 hours worth of additional adventure, memories, and excitement.


P.A. 01-31-2008 02:08 PM

Case~Thanks for the fishing info. However, we already have an excursion booked in Juneau. But to answer your, the $236 did not include the license.

Wonder who Royal Caribbean uses for this excursion? I would like to talk with them and get more detailed info.


CanCanCase 01-31-2008 02:53 PM

I just checked the RCI and Icy Strait Point websites. It looks like the RC-15 excursion is contracted through Icy Strait Point directly. They don't offer it on the ISP website, but I know the ISP folks were looking to hire charter boats out of Juneau to run many of these trips for them. You could end up on any of the locally contracted boats, possibly including some from Juneau... the problem with the brokered ship's excursions is that you really never know who you're going to get (even if you request a boat that you KNOW runs these trips, RCI won't have any clue what or who you're talking about.)

They never have enough boats to keep up with demand, however, so the excursions can't generate too many complaints! If you want to book a charter directly with a local company (so you'll know exactly who you're getting and can talk to them directly beforehand) I'd suggest getting ahold of Floyd (Peterson or Patterson?) at F.I.S.H.E.S. He's a long-time local guide who always gets good reviews. There are several others over there who get quite a bit of press in various discussion forums, but you know how easy it can be to "manipulate" a discussion forum! ;-)


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