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Southeast - Inside Passage - Cruise Ports

Whale Watching, Flightseeing, Glacier Cruises, Native Culture

The Southeastern region of Alaska is known as Alaska’s Inside Passage, since the ocean channels are protected by islands, which you pass through on your way up the coast. This region is comprised of dozens of islands and a thin stretch of mainland divided from Canada by the Coast Mountain Range. Admiralty Island is known for having the highest concentration of brown bears in the world. Alaskan towns are nestled in valleys and along the coastline, backed by mountains and rain forest.

The most popular destinations in Alaska’s Southeast region are cruise ship ports, including Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Skagway, and Haines. Travelers looking for off-the-beaten-path destinations also visit Petersburg, Wrangell, Yakutat, and Gustavus. The region includes Glacier Bay National Park, famous for its glaciers and wildlife. Klondike National Historical Park, the most visited national park in Alaska, is located in Skagway, while Sitka has the Sitka National Historical Park. Much of Southeast is part of Tongass National Forest. Misty Fjords National Park, with its sheer cliffs, waterfalls, and wildlife is another national jewel.

Alaska’s southeast areas are heavily influenced by the heritage of the Tlingit and Haida peoples. Their story-telling totem poles can be seen in many towns, especially in Ketchikan and Sitka. Tours of Alaska Native villages are available in Ketchikan to Saxman Village, in Haines to Klukwan, and from Icy Strait Point to Hoonah.

The Alaska Gold Rush was also important in the region. Both Juneau and Skagway were founded by gold seekers. Gold mining remains a major industry, as well as tourism, fishing, and the capital of government in Juneau.

Because of the islands and mountainous mainland that make up the Southeast, there are very few roads in this part of Alaska. Visitors who wish to tour the Southeast Inside Passage by car can drive through Canada to Haines or Skagway. From here, state ferry service is available for both passengers and vehicles to almost every community in Southeast Alaska.

Most visitors arrive in the Inside Passage on either a large or small cruise ship. By cruising, travelers visit towns during the day and cruise between them at night. Most Inside Passage cruises also tour spectacular wilderness areas that are completely inaccessible by road including Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay, Misty Fjords and Tracy Arm.

Jet service is available to Juneau, Ketchikan, Gustavus, Yakutat, Petersburg, Wrangell. Float planes and bush planes are also used to reach smaller communities not serviced by Alaska Airlines with many flightseeing opportunities from Ketchikan and Juneau.

 

Choose from 18 vacations in Alaska related to Southeast - Inside Passage - Cruise Ports

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Tracy Arm Fjords Glacier Cruise

On this Juneau day trip, you’ll enjoy a day cruise through some of the most picturesque fjords and glacier viewing found anywhere in Alaska. Tracy Arm is one of Alaska’s best kept secrets and rivals other, better known Alaska... Browse tour

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Mendenhall Lake Hike and Glacier Trek

This active outdoor Juneau day trip begins with a 4 mile moderate to challenging hike through the rainforest along Mendenhall Lake. The beginning of the Mendenhall Lake trail is well maintained, while the second half is off the beaten... Browse tour

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Mendenhall Glacier Canoe Paddle & Trek

This Juneau day trip begins paddling across Mendenhall Lake in 6 or 12-person canoes. Take in the awe-inspiring Mendenhall Glacier ahead as well as the blue icebergs of all shapes and sizes. Upon reaching the beach near the glacier’s... Browse tour

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Juneau Helicopter Glacier Trek

On this Juneau day trip, board a helicopter to go flightseeing while you travel out to a remote glacier. Then enjoy a 2-hour guided glacier hiking trip and learn the proper use of the glacier trekking mountaineering gear. Learn to... Browse tour

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Juneau Helicopter Tour, Glacier Trek & Climb

This Juneau day trip by helicopter and glacier trek is the ultimate Alaskan adventure on ice! This Juneau getaway includes three hours glacier hiking and climbing over the rugged glacier terrain of the Juneau Icefield. Upon landing your helicopter... Browse tour

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Mendenhall Lake Kayaking Adventure

This fun Alaska kayaking tour takes you as close as the U.S. Forest Service allows to the face of Mendenhall Glacier. Begin with a scenic drive to Mendenhall Lake, where you will suit up with gear and board a... Browse tour

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the small cruise ship "Wilderness Explorer" in calm water by a rocky shore

Alaska Fjords and Glaciers Cruise

Beginning in Juneau or Ketchikan on Alaska's Inside Passage, this adventure cruise sails through Dawes Glacier, the Wrangell Narrows, Behm Canal and Misty Fjords National Monument. Guests enjoy daily guided opportunities to experience the wildlife and landscapes of the... Browse tour

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two people in a sea kayak; a small cruise ship and snow-capped mountains in background

Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise

Discover Alaska on this seven-night adventure cruise round trip from Juneau. Destinations include Glacier Bay National Park, Icy Strait, Tracy Arm and Frederick Sound. Guests enjoy daily guided opportunities to experience the wildlife and landscapes of this impressive region... Browse tour

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Alaska’s Glacier Country Cruise

This seven night adventure cruise in Alaska's Inside Passage sails round trip from Juneau. Destinations include Glacier Bay National Park, Icy Strait, Kuiu Island, and Frederick Sound - a prolific summer feeding ground for humpback whales. Guests enjoy daily... Browse tour

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Humpback whale gracefully breaches in front of mountains

Bears, Whales and Glaciers Tour

Experience watching the majestic bears residing in the Admiralty Island National Monument wilderness, just a short seaplane flight from Juneau. Known as "Fortress of the Bears", Admiralty Island is home to the highest density of of brown bears in... Browse tour

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Evergreen trees and a wooden sign on a lodge reading "Glacier Bay Lodge | National Park Service Visitor Center"

Glacier Bay Lodge

Glacier Bay Lodge offers visitors a concentrated glimpse into many of the natural wonders found in southeast Alaska. Glacier Bay is part of a World Heritage Site and exploring this rugged mountain coastline by boat brings guests to tidewater... Browse tour

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