Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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Skagway, Alaska

Skagway, Alaska

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Alaskan Itineraries

Skagway is a direct route into the days of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897, guarding the ends of the White Pass and Chilkoot trails, the best routes into the Yukon. Photos of prospectors queued-up heel-to-toe in the snow as they climbed the pass have made an indelible mark on our imaginations.

Historic Skagway

AMBIENCE

Set in a deep valley surrounded by dramatic peaks, Skagway has the feel of a small ski resort, only at sea level. While its port and the road and railway through White Pass have been in constant commercial use since gold rush days, tourism dominates today. Up to five large cruise ships visit daily, their passengers wandering the streets heedless of traffic. Historic buildings have been moved to prime downtown locations to enhance the ambience and populate the national historical park. The town sometimes borders on tourist trap, but there’s enough charm that you probably won’t mind. The year-round population is less than 900, and once the tourist hoards depart, a fair number go back to creating the fine art objects that fill local shops and galleries.

HISTORY

Tlingit people have lived here for thousands of years, but recorded history starts in 1887 when William Moore, a surveyor sure that gold would be discovered in the Yukon, built a homestead and dock at this promising deepwater port. The prospectors arrived 10 years later. Despite his foresight, Moore didn’t prosper as well as he’d hoped, but the town did, for a short while. “Hell on Earth” to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the town celebrates the memory of its one shoot-out, which ended the lives of crime boss “Soapy” Smith and vigilante Frank Reid. By the time the White Pass & Yukon Railroad was finished in 1900, the Gold Rush and events of major historical interest were already near their end.

FACTS

Size: 464 sq. mi. (1,200 sq. km.)
Climate: Temperate Oceanic Temperatures: 40°F (4°C) to 68°F (20°C)
Population: 862 Busy Season: Summer
Language: English Money: U.S. Dollar ($)
Time Zone: Alaska (Pacific -1) Transportation: Walking, tour bus, train
Phones: Area code 907, dial 911 for emergencies
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Top Photo Slice: (℗ 52542) Photo contributed by © chezp



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