If your Royal Caribbean cruise had a scheduled stop in Skagway, Alaska, it looks less likely you'll be able to go.
Guests booked on Quantum of the Seas for this year's Alaska cruise season received updates via email from the cruise line that stops there have been replaced with visits to other ports.
So far, there's been no change to Ovation of the Seas' scheduled visits to Skagway. This post will be updated if that changes.
Skagway is one of the most popular Alaska cruise ports, but an issue with the pier is preventing as many ships as usual from calling on it.
Last cruise season, landslides in Skagway, Alaska impacted the pier where Royal Caribbean ships dock. The resulting damage to the pier has necessitated the change, according to the cruise line.
The issue comes from large rocks above the railroad dock in Skagway. Rock slides are not uncommon, but falling rocks last year damaged the pier. Moreover, a rather large rock, known locally as "ship rock", is at risk of falling.
Ship rock poses a danger over one area of the pier, but the remainder of the dock is long enough to accommodate two cruise ships, provided one of them is relatively small.
"While repairs have been ongoing, they won't be ready for two large ships visiting simultaneously," the email to passengers said.
Instead, Quantum of the Seas will visit other ports. Depending on the sailing, the replacement ports vary. Some itineraries are having the Skagway stop replaced with Icy Strait Point, Alaska, with others are going to Ketchikan, Alaska instead.
In addition, more time is being given in other ports to make up for the issue.
Any pre-paid Royal Caribbean International shore excursions booked for Skagway will automatically be refunded to the original form of payment.
What to do in Icy Strait Point
If your new itinerary is taking you to Icy Strait Point, you can expect to find quite a few fun activities for your time there.
Icy Strait Point, located in Hoonah, Alaska, offers visitors a unique cultural experience, as it is owned and operated by the Huna Totem Corporation, a native Alaskan corporation.
One of the top attractions in Icy Strait Point is the ZipRider, which is the world's largest zip line. This exhilarating ride offers stunning views of the surrounding wilderness. The zip line stretches for 5,330 feet and descends 1,330 feet, reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.
For those looking for a more leisurely experience, the Icy Strait Point nature trail is a great option. This trail is a two-mile loop through the forest, offering visitors the chance to see wildlife and learn about the local flora and fauna. The trail is well-maintained and suitable for visitors of all ages and fitness levels.
Visitors to Icy Strait Point can also take a whale watching tour, where they can spot humpback whales, orcas, and other marine life. The tours are led by experienced guides who offer interesting insights into the whales' behavior and habitat. The tour boats are specially designed for wildlife viewing, offering a comfortable and safe experience for visitors.
Icy Strait Point is also home to the Huna Totem Heritage Center, which is dedicated to preserving and sharing the culture and history of the Tlingit people. Visitors can learn about the Tlingit's rich history and traditions, view traditional art and artifacts, and watch cultural performances. The center also offers workshops where visitors can learn traditional crafts such as basket weaving and carving.
For those interested in fishing, Icy Strait Point offers excellent opportunities to catch a variety of fish, including salmon and halibut.
Finally, Icy Strait Point is a great place to sample local Alaskan cuisine. The port has several restaurants and cafes that offer fresh seafood and other local dishes. Visitors can try fresh Alaskan salmon, crab, and other seafood specialties, as well as traditional Tlingit dishes such as fried bread and smoked salmon.
What to do in Ketchikan
Known as the "Salmon Capital of the World," this city offers visitors a wide range of outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and historical sites.
One of the most popular activities in Ketchikan is salmon fishing. Visitors can book a fishing charter and try their hand at catching a variety of salmon, including king, coho, and pink salmon.
Another popular activity in Ketchikan is visiting the Totem Bight State Historical Park. This park is home to a collection of totem poles, some of which date back to the 1800s.
Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the park and learn about the history and culture of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people who created these beautiful works of art. The park also has a replica of a traditional Native Alaskan longhouse.
Visitors to Ketchikan can also take a scenic flightseeing tour over Misty Fjords National Monument. This vast wilderness area is known for its dramatic fjords, waterfalls, and pristine lakes.
Ketchikan is also home to the Tongass Historical Museum, which is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of the region. Visitors can learn about the early settlers, the fishing industry, and the Native Alaskan cultures that have shaped the area. The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents, as well as interactive exhibits that offer a hands-on learning experience.
Finally, Ketchikan is home to many shops and galleries that offer local art and crafts. Visitors can browse through the shops and pick up a unique souvenir or gift, such as a hand-carved totem pole or a piece of traditional Native Alaskan art. The city also has several restaurants that offer fresh seafood and other local dishes, as well as craft breweries and distilleries that offer tastings and tours.
Read more about Ketchikan:
- Top 10 things to do in Ketchikan
- Visiting Saxman Native Village in Ketchikan
- Spending a day in Ketchikan, Alaska on a cruise
What to do in Sitka
Known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and stunning natural beauty, Sitka is a popular destination for visitors on an Alaska cruise.
One of the most popular attractions in Sitka is the Sitka National Historical Park. This park is home to a collection of totem poles, some of which date back to the 1800s.
Read more: Local’s guide of what to do in Sitka, Alaska
Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the park and learn about the history and culture of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people who created these beautiful works of art. The park also has a visitor center that offers educational exhibits and programs on the area's history and culture.
Another must-visit attraction in Sitka is the Russian Bishop's House. This historic building was built in 1843 and served as the residence for the Russian Orthodox bishop in Alaska.
Today, the building is a museum that offers visitors a glimpse into the history and culture of the Russian colonial period in Alaska. Visitors can take a guided tour of the building and learn about the daily life of the Russian bishop and his staff.
Sitka is also home to many outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking, and fishing. Visitors can take a guided hike through the nearby Tongass National Forest, which is home to towering trees, rushing streams, and a diverse array of wildlife.
For those interested in the natural history of the area, Sitka offers several options. The Sitka Sound Science Center is a research and education center that offers exhibits and programs on the marine ecology of the area.
The Alaska Raptor Center is another great option for nature lovers, with a focus on the rehabilitation and release of injured birds of prey, such as bald eagles and owls.
Read more about Sitka: