108 Cannery Rd, Hoonah, AK 99829, USA

Icy Strait Point 1-Day Travel Guide | Whale Watching


Icy Strait Point was our second port of call on our Celebrity Millennium 7-Night Northbound Cruise. This port was previously the home to one of the most productive salmon canneries. We were told repeatedly that this is one of the best places for whale watching. Many tours offer a 100% money back guarantee if you don’t see a whale and many have never had to reimburse someone. Here is our 1-day guide to Icy Strait Point and Hoonah! We arrived early in the morning, but took our time waking up, getting ready, and having breakfast on the ship before getting off at this port. We didn’t feel a need to rush because it’s a very small area. When we did get off the dock the first thing we did was take a short stroll around the Nature Trail Loop to the left of the Adventure Center. It’s a very short walk, 10-15 minutes at most.  From there we walked past a beach area before hitting the warehouse retail shops and the cannery museum. We strolled through the shops and old cannery line display before eating lunch at the Cookhouse Restaurant by the water. The restaurants here are quite expensive, but at least you can eat while taking in a beautiful view.

After lunch, the highlight of this port started! We booked the 3-Hour Premier Whale Watch Tour with Hoonah Travel Adventures and it BLEW AWAY all of our expectations. We were picked up from the Icy Strait Point Excursions Hub and driven into Hoonah to the harbor. We met our tour guide, Jimmy, and took a seat on our intimate vessel, seating a max of 18 people with outside viewing decks in the front and back of the boat.

A huge number of humpback whales visit the Hoonah area to feed in the nutrient-rich waters of Glacier Bay and Icy Strait every summer as they migrate south for the winter. The whale population is in the area from about May to September. We were so lucky to see the whales breach and we were given plenty of time to observe them before the tour guides moved us to another viewing area.

We also were able to see Orcas. The tour guides did a great job communicating with other tours in the area to see where the most exciting whale sights were spotted. Orcas are rare to come across and they do their best to make that the priority while on the tour. We had the rare experience of having them come up to our boat and seeing them just mere feet away from us!


The guides were extremely kind and so knowledgeable. You can tell how much they love what they do and the wildlife. We had such an amazing time and would highly recommend Hoonah Travel Adventures to anyone visiting the area!