Skagway literally began as a one cabin town, which quickly grew to huge proportions as gold rush schemers and dreamers made their way through Skagway and north to the Yukon on the nearby Chilkoot trail. Today it is a major cruise ship stop, sometimes having several ships in port at once and swelling the normally small population of about 800 year round residents to over 10,000 people on any given day. Gold rush glory still permeates the air here, giving visitors the sensation that the gold rush followers passed through just a day before. With most of the downtown district forming part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, there is a wealth of history to be seen, as well as outdoor adventures, shopping and great food.
Exploring Skagway is easy, as most of the sights are within walking distance of each other and near the cruise ship and ferry dock. For those wishing to immerse themselves in the gold rush, a stroll down Broadway is like a walk through the past. Old time false front buildings and saloons line the streets with plenty of gift shops and restaurants. The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park museum contains exhibits, photos and artifacts from the White Pass and Chilkoot trails. Visitors will also want to see the Moore Cabin, located off 5th Avenue. Built in 1887, this was the first structure in Skagway. The Moore House is next door to the cabin with exhibits on the original homesteaders.
Shore excursions include the Heli-Hike Glacier Trek, a helicopter tour that takes guests to Laughton Glacier, where they embark on a 4 mile hike. There is also a hike of the famous Chilkoot trail available, which starts with a guided van tour of the town of Dyea and ends with a float trip on the Taiya River, as well as bicycle tours and day cruises on the Lynn Fjord.
Summer weather is mild and often rainy. Dressing in layers is always recommended. Accommodations are fairly plentiful for anyone wishing to spend some time here, ranging from hotels to small inns and bed and breakfasts. Reservations are a good idea, however, as Skagway is a very busy town during tourist season and rooms fill up quickly.
Alaska cruises that visit Skagway Alaska:
Carnival Cruise Line:
• Carnival Miracle
Celebrity Cruise Line:
• Millennium, Solstice
Holland America Line:
• ms Amsterdam, ms Statendam, ms Volendam, ms Zaandam, ms Zuiderdam
• Coral Princess, Diamond Princess, Golden Princess, Grand Princess, Island Princess, Sapphire Princess, Star Princess
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line:
• Radiance of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas
Additional Skagway Alaska cruise information:
• Skagway Convention & Visitors Bureau
Official site for the Skagway Convention & Visitors Bureau. Lot of great information and photos of Skagway and the surrounding area.