The glacier formed islands and magnificent coastline of Southeastern Alaska is the area defined as the Inside Passage. Ask someone who is going on one of the more well-known cruise lines to Alaska what they intend to see, and they will most often name places like Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm, a massive fjord just south of Juneau.
Alaska’s Inside Passage is filled with stunning landscapes, from saltwater fjords, misty mountaintops and waterfalls that plunge hundreds of feet into crystal clear rivers. You can spot salmon as they spawn and glimpse bald eagles overhead in small seaside cities like Ketchikan which rises up through brightly painted totem poles, artfully displaying its native legacy.
Home to sea lions, porpoises and whales, the culture of the Interior Passage is mostly defined by its rich maritime heritage. Make a stop in Juneau for unbeatable seafood and to visit the Alaska State Museum. Take a tram to the top of Mount Roberts for aerial views of the capital city and azure waters of the Lynn Canal. When traveling through Alaska, the Inside Passage is definitely a place that you want to have on your bucket list.
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Truly the people’s museum, the Alaska State Museum in Juneau’s broad collection of over 32,000 cataloged objects preserves the cultural past of native and modern-day Alaskans. Beginning with Eskimo artifacts like prehistoric carved ivory to icons from the Russian colonial era to fine art crafted under American statehood in the last century, visitors can a take a tour, from the ground up, of Alaska’s storied evolution.
From helicopters, boats or mountain trams there are multiple ways to get up close with the sights of Alaska’s Interior Passage. Coastal helicopter tours take you over acres of icefields and make glacier landings to give you the walkabout of a lifetime. Shore excursions depart from Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway and provide awe-inspiring whale watching and seal spotting.
For a unique in-land tour covering Alaska’s famed Gold Rush history, book the Skagway City and Summit Tour which draws you into the life of the legendary outlaw, Soapy Smith, and takes you back in time on the Klondike Highway.
Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve is situated on the peninsula west of Juneau. Encompassing a sprawling 3.3 million acres, it offers limitless inspiration from deep sheltered forests containing hemlock and spruce to rugged mountains and substantial glaciers. The park is known just as much for its natural beauty as for being a prime location for whale watching and hailed as one of the best spots in Alaska for viewing glaciers. The most popular attractions inside the park include fishing, kayaking and hiking near the headquarters located at Bartlett Cove.