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Holland America Cruise Tours  Icy Straight Point, Alaska

Icy Straight is new development outside the Tlingit Indian town of Hoonah. It consists of perhaps 10 wood frame buildings of various sizes. These are very nicely done from local fir/pine/hardwood and include a roomy building for excursion rendezvous, a general area museum (free), a mock-up of a salmon cannery with period machinery and resin salmon (including salmon guts on the floor!), a cultural museum, and various shops and such. The area serves as a jumping off place for excellent wildlife tours.

About a mile down the road is the village of Hoonah. It's a nice walk down the bayfront, with the channels to the right and steep mountains to the left. Hoonah is a village of 800 Tlingits who were displaced from Glacier Bay. It occupies a large island to the west of Juneau. Eagles and whales are common sights in Icy Straight.

The town is unspoiled Alaska. The prevalent buildings are very rural-looking small homes, either prefab or framed with aluminum siding, many with pretty little gardens. The only industry is a major fish packing plant, which ships something like 50 million pounds of fish (mainly halibut) per year.

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