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Icy Strait Point, necessary to book ahead?

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Hi there, we'll be in ISP next May for 3 pm to 10 pm.   I understand that when we leave the ship there will be a ton of vendors selling excursions,  my question is, do we need to book ahead?   We're interested in whale/wildlife kayaking tour.  

 

Thanks in advance :)

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43 minutes ago, cruise kitty said:

Hi there, we'll be in ISP next May for 3 pm to 10 pm.   I understand that when we leave the ship there will be a ton of vendors selling excursions,  my question is, do we need to book ahead?   We're interested in whale/wildlife kayaking tour.  

 

Thanks in advance 🙂

I would book in advance so I knew I had a spot on a tour and where I was leaving from (the dock were the ship ties up, the pier at ISP or in town). Tours that leave from the docks in town meet at a gathering spot and each tour has a van / bus to take people to their tour.

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There weren't tons of vendors when we were there in June. It is a somewhat isolated area that is part of native land. Certainly there was some activity there, but "tons" is definitely not the way I would describe  it.

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We did a whale watching tour with Glacier Wind in June 2018 and it was excellent. They have small boats with personal service. I would book ahead with them. We are going back in August 2020 and will probably go with them again.

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If you want a popular small boat vendor, it is best to book as soon as possible as they tend to book up quickly.  We are big fans of Glacier Wind Charters for whale watching.  Small boat experience with excellent customer service.  Here is the link to their website.  You can also check them out on Trip Advisor.  We have gone with GW numerous times and will be going with them again in May of 2020.  https://www.g-wind.com/

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Here is a map of where ships dock. Its a few miles into Hoonah and you gather  at the "excursion hub" to the left of the cookhouse restaurant.

 

There is a new dock being built for next year. not sure where it is. There aren't a lot of excursions being sold when you get off the boat.

 

 

New-map.jpg

 

https://icystraitpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Icy-Strait-Point-Map.pdf

 

image.thumb.png.a2956f42324524f9f71ac4ebfaf039ee.png

 

20190516_080923.thumb.jpg.1a17c46eb5582b96bec3542607e1bb42.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hoonah,+AK/@58.1096206,-135.4424262,6641m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x54016e328db9b761:0x6cb7fb631ee5abfd!8m2!3d58.11!4d-135.4436111

 

 

image.png.95b72f46ede9a0b4af831c7b159025e5.png

 

 

20190516_090514.jpg

Edited by AlanF65

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wow, thanks everyone, super helpful info!  I'm going to look into booking ahead.  I already have Jayleens small boat whale watching tour booked for Juneau, so I'm looking for something more active here, hopefully a kayak tour :)

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Just a little update:  I ended up booking G-Wind w/Captain Shawn. :)

 

Reading the kayak trip reviews, it looks like they are often cancelled due to bad weather, while the small whale watching boats can still go out ( I don't mind rough water on a small boat)  

 

Thanks for all the help everyone!

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8 hours ago, cruise kitty said:

Just a little update:  I ended up booking G-Wind w/Captain Shawn. 🙂

 

Reading the kayak trip reviews, it looks like they are often cancelled due to bad weather, while the small whale watching boats can still go out ( I don't mind rough water on a small boat)  

 

Thanks for all the help everyone!

 

You won't be sorry. Captain Shawn really knows that area. His son does too. We saw lots of whales.

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11 minutes ago, hawk1972 said:

 

You won't be sorry. Captain Shawn really knows that area. His son does too. We saw lots of whales.

 

thank you!   I've never laid out this much money for excursions, we've almost always done exclusive DIY or private (in Europe, where it's easy to DIY & the private excursions can be had pretty cheaply) so it's a bit of sticker shock, but looking at  the photos & videos I've seen online, & reading the reviews, I think we're going to be happy with what we've booked.  

 

 

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Excursions are definitely more expensive in Alaska. Last time we rented bikes in Skagway and Sitka or explored on our own.

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On 10/13/2019 at 8:40 PM, hawk1972 said:

 

You won't be sorry. Captain Shawn really knows that area. His son does too. We saw lots of whales.

Ditto on Glacier Winds. Shawn is working on his 3rd book. Check out "Night Vision" and "Icy Passage". I could not put Night Vision down!

And we definitely saw Whales!

 

ypYQh4g.jpg

 

JAkPJ34.jpg

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We were in IPS in September and sure don't recall seeing 'tons' of vendors anywhere. If you want to go out, you should book ahead of time and sure yourself a spot. 

In Juneau, there are scores of vendors around the square, when you get into town.

 

Cheers

Len

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After reading this thread, I looked into Glacier Wind tours.  Was impressed by all the positive reviews.  SO I called and capt Shawn's wife answered my numerous questions :).  Ended up booking for our Aug trip.  Seeing as the boat only 6 passengers,was really glad i booked so far ahead!

 

Thanks ya'll!

 

baf

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2 minutes ago, bafinegan said:

After reading this thread, I looked into Glacier Wind tours.  Was impressed by all the positive reviews.  SO I called and capt Shawn's wife answered my numerous questions :).  Ended up booking for our Aug trip.  Seeing as the boat only 6 passengers,was really glad i booked so far ahead!

 

Thanks ya'll!

 

baf

Have gone with Glacier Wind 7 times and have another trip booked with them in May.  Shawn, Teresa and their son, Casey all work hard to provide a great whale watching experience.  Glad to hear that you were able to book with them.

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On 10/17/2019 at 2:54 PM, bafinegan said:

After reading this thread, I looked into Glacier Wind tours.  Was impressed by all the positive reviews.  SO I called and capt Shawn's wife answered my numerous questions :).  Ended up booking for our Aug trip.  Seeing as the boat only 6 passengers,was really glad i booked so far ahead!

 

Thanks ya'll!

 

baf

You will have a great day with Captain Shawn.  Booked my second trip with them for May 2020 :classic_biggrin:

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