Alaska Shore Excursions & Tours
Haines, Alaska - Shore Excursions
The town of Haines, located at the base of the Chilkat Peninsula, is the ancestral home to the Tlingit people. Tlingits were the first settlers to the area and called Haines "Dei-shu" meaning "The End of the Trail". The area is still rich with Tlingit culture and history. Haines is home to the first established US Military Base, Fort William H. Seward, which is over 100 years old.
Haines has the largest annual gathering of American bald eagles. Many tours in Haines often see a variety of wildlife, including eagles, bears and wolves. Tours such as the Alaska Nature & Wildlife Expedition and the Eagle Preserve Scenic Float Adventure are just a few of the popular tours Haines has to offer.
Juneau, Alaska - Shore Excursions
Juneau is located on the Gastineau Channel which was a favorite fishing ground for local Tlingit Indians, known then as the Auke and Taku tribes, who had inhabited the surrounding area for thousands of years. Juneau is named after Joe Juneau who, with Richard Harris, discovered gold nuggets "as large as peas and beans" in 1880. By the end of World War II, more than $150 million in gold had been mined.
Juneau has been the capital of Alaska since the government was moved from Sitka in 1906. Today, over 30,000 people live in Juneau. Tours such as helicopter glacier flights which land on the ice and allow you to explore, and whale watching are just a few of the popular tours Juneau has to offer.
Ketchikan, Alaska - Shore Excursions
Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “First City” because it’s the first major community travelers come to as they journey north. Located on an island, Ketchikan began life as an Indian fishing camp.
The name Ketchikan comes from a Tlingit phrase that means “eagle with spread-out wings,” a reference to a waterfall near town. In the early 1900s, when gold was Alaska’s claim to fame, fishing and timber industries were established in Ketchikan. The growth of these industries helped make this Inside Passage port Alaska’s fourth largest city. Visitors to Ketchikan will be intrigued by its rich Native heritage, which includes the world’s oldest collection of totem poles at Totem Heritage Center.
The Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian are all a part of the city’s colorful history. Ketchikan, with its abundance of salmon, is also a sport fishing paradise. Sightseers will be impressed with both the scenic town and its surroundings, especially Misty Fjords National Monument.
Sitka, Alaska - Shore Excursions
In 1799, the Russian explorer Alexander Baranof founded New Archangel next to the Tlingit village of Sitka. This was the beginning of permanent Russian settlement in North America. But New Archangel was destroyed three years later by the Tlingit Indians in an attempt to reclaim their ancestral home.
Their brief victory ended in 1804, when Baranof returned with warships and retook Sitka in the Battle of Alaska. Sitka was now the capital of Russian America. In 1867, the Imperial Russian flag was replaced by the Stars and Stripes when the United States purchased Alaska.
With the discovery of gold, and the rapid population growth that followed, Alaska’s capital moved north to Juneau in 1906. Today, picturesque Sitka, sitting opposite snow-capped Mount Edgecumbe, is known for its fishing, its annual summer classical music festival and, of course, its many historic visitor attractions.