A wide swath of the traveling public has the Inside Passage on their bucket lists — with good reason. The trip is easier to plan and execute than you might think, and the experience will loom large in your memory banks for decades. The following snippets are courtesy of TravelAlaska.com. Read on.
Ketchikan serves as Alaska’s southern most port of call for the majority of Inside Passage cruises. Visitors can tour the Tongass Historical Museum, which offers exhibits of traditional native culture, a history of the fishing industry and an example of a timber camp bunkhouse. A major center for sport fishing, opportunities abound for fishing from shore or aboard one of many charter boats. Visit the world’s largest collection of totem poles in Saxman and Totem Bight State Park, just outside of town. Or glimpse Ketchikan’s frontier days at “Dolly’s House,” a former brothel located downtown.
In Sitka, the Russian capital of Alaska from 1808 to 1867, the New Archangel Dancers keep the Russian spirit alive. St. Michael’s Cathedral and the Russian Bishop‘s House are also reminders of the Russian presence. Visitors can view Alaska Native artifacts at Sheldon Jackson Museum, totem poles and a cultural center at Sitka National Historical Park, as well as an up-close view of eagles and other birds at the Alaska Raptor Center.
Downtown Juneau sits snugly between Mount Juneau, Mount Roberts and Gastineau Channel, and is a maze of narrow streets running past a mix of new structures, old storefronts and quaint houses featuring early 19th century architecture left over from the town’s early gold mining days. The waterfront bustles with cruise ships, fishing boats and floatplanes zipping in and out. With no road access to Juneau, it is the only state capital in the United States that can only be reached by airplane or boat.
Glacier Bay Area
Sixteen spectacular glaciers flow from surrounding mountains into the waters of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Departing from Bartlett Cove or Juneau, enjoy a day trip, overnight cruise, flightseeing or sea kayaking expedition of the area.