The port of Skagway presents a stunning destination, incredibly vibrant and wonderfully welcoming. Set in the Southeast, this tremendous terminus has passengers feeling as though they have taken a trip back in time. A true feel of Alaskan life is uncovered here with the sense of being back in the famous Alaskan gold rush. At the time the city was known as the “Gateway to the Klondike”.
The Dawson Gold Fields forced a huge change to the setting of Skagway following the arrival of gold hunters from all over the world in 1897. This was originally a quaint town, bare and intimate before the arrival of this era and the sudden formations of saloons, inns and the now ever popular dancing venues. The boardwalk here is delightfully charming and portrays an array of saloons along a rustic walkway. The saloons here actually do date back to the historic era and many of the venues form part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. The area has predominantly been restored to former glory and the many venues along the renowned boardwalk feature intriguing artefacts and insights into the outstanding heritage.
Skagway is considered one of Alaska’s most popular ports and it’s certainly not hard to see why. The scenery here is truly captivating and combines perfectly with the unique surroundings of by gone eras. Such charismatic features have caused the port to grow in stature over the years and many cruise operators now visit the location on a regular basis.
It is important to acknowledge that this port of call is not just about talking a trip back in time. The many superb restaurant and shopping venues bring guests back into the modern day realm. It is the combination of past and present designs that make the destination so alluring.
One of the most amazing attractions at this port of call is the chance to witness the White Pass and Yukon Railroad. This iconic method of travel is aboard the sensational narrow gauge railway and this is now notorious for being an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. This fabulous experience shares the acknowledgement with other mesmerising locations around the world including the Panama Canal and Paris’s enchanting Eiffel Tower. The route was made famous in 1898 when over 20,000 gold hunters made the decision to take on the challenge of the White Pass trails. The historical wonders along the way are truly spectacular and once at the peak of the climb, the views provide a once in a lifetime vantage point to capture the sublime Skagway setting.
Excursions here provide a brilliant range of choice; however, the most popular by far is to travel along the White Pass trails, especially to see the Yukon Route and the Fraser Meadows. The reason for the distinct popularity of this tour, along with the historical elements, is the amazing sightseeing opportunities as you travel. Glaciers, gorges and waterfalls line the route for an unforgettable view. The Gold Rush trails are a superb experience and many passengers decide to take the chance to head for the Klondike Highway Summit, there’s even the chance one you reach the peak to head back down via a mountain bike experience or even by dog-sled should you wish. If you would prefer to try something different and discover the dramatic array of wildlife here then perhaps opt for a gentle boat trip along the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve tributaries. The surrounding scenery is magnificent with flanking mountains rising to 6,000 feet as well as the chance to witness some of the famous wildlife here along the river bank. This is often combined by many cruise operators with an open camp fire experience for a delightful lunch at a log pavilion before heading back towards Skagway.
This majestically beautiful port of call offers something completely unrivalled and unique. Skagway is a gem of a cruise port and a wonderful destination to visit aboard an Alaskan sailing.