Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Making the Most of Skagway, Alaska
Making the Most of Skagway, Alaska
Welcome to the northernmost ice-free deep water port in the U.S., at the north end of the Lynn Canal (actually, a long, straight fjord). Skagway’s docks—Railroad, Broadway, and Ore—can berth five large cruise ships, but on Thursdays just two or three will be docked beside the Wonder. Passengers can walk into downtown from any of the piers, tour buses and even trains may be waiting dockside, and the main White Pass & Yukon Railway depot is at the edge of the waterfront. All ashore time is 7:15 am and all aboard is 7:45 pm. As you cleared U.S. Customs in Vancouver, there will be no customs here, but you will need your passport if your excursion crosses into Canada.
Skagway is a small, very walkable town sandwiched into the long, narrow Skagway River valley, with most tourist areas within a half mile of the piers. The main tourist street is Broadway, a pleasant row of low-rise Victorian-era buildings housing shops, restaurants, and galleries. You’ll find both the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Visitor Center and the White Pass & Yukon Railroad Depot on Second Street just as you enter town, and by about Eighth St. you’ll have run out of shops. The Skagway Visitor Center is in very picturesque Arctic Brotherhood Hall (marked “AB”) between Second and Third Streets. While you don’t want to ignore the side streets, you’ll find that the shops and cafes peter-out about a block either side of Broadway. A city bus service offers rides around town, but if you hope to get out of town, it’s a very long drive up the Yukon Highway to the next human outpost—take a bus or a train! Still, there is an Avis car rental office at Second and Spring.
Skagway’s tiny population and remote location add up to small town safety. The biggest risk may be falling for some of the town’s pricier objets d’art. If you go hiking, be prepared for wildlife encounters, including black bears, and dress for changeable weather with warm layers and suitable rain gear.
If you need cuddly outerwear, you’ll find many shops offering good deals. For high quality native goods and works by local artisans, both Kirmse’s and Corrington’s are worthy stops, on opposite sides of Broadway by Fifth. Red Onion Saloon has a limited bar food menu and lots of brews and local root beer on tap. By Railroad Dock, Skagway Fish Company serves excellent fish and chips and chowder. Broadway Bazaar between 5th and 6th is a pleasant courtyard with shops offering chowder, crepes, reindeer sausage, and gelato.
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 52535) Photo contributed by © chezp
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