Welcome to the Haines cruise port guide. Haines is a simple authentic town of 2600 inhabitants in Southeast Alaska. It is the heart of the Chilkat valley, the historic capital of Tlingit Indian culture and art, the first permanent army base in Alaska and adventure capital of Alaska. Because Haines is not overflown by tourism it offers one of the best Alaskan experiences. Wildlife is abundant here with one of the largest populations of Bald Eagles and brown bears feeding on salmon in the world shortest river. Sea lions, seals, black bears, beavers, river otters, porcupines, orcas, humpback whales and 120 species of bird make this one of the best destinations for wildlife. The U.S. Army built up its presence in Alaska in 1903. For 42 years the first Army post was situated here in Haines. The remains of roughly 80 buildings today tell you the story of life at this post in this remote corner of the world. Haines is perfect for a combination of hiking, adventure, history and wildlife and because it is yet unspoiled we think this might just be the best destination in Southeast Alaska.
Sailing into Haines is an experience you cannot miss. Your ship will be sailing in one of the largest fjords of North America. Be surrounded by the snowy mountain tops, bald eagles and glaciers in the far distance. Make sure to be on the outside deck 1 hour before arrival and for about 1 hour after departure.
The heart of the historical town of Haines is the Parade Ground. Most of the historic buildings are situates around this square where back the days the troops were drilled. Find it a few minutes walk from the cruise terminal.
Visit the museum to see the beautiful collection of Chilkat weavings and exhibition of pioneer history. The Sheldon museum is a 10 minute walk from the dock. You can also catch the local shuttle service to it.
The town’s old bakery has now been transformed into the Port Chilkoot Distillery. Visit it for a great tasting of fine spirits and whiskey. Especially their gin comes well recommended.
In Alaska you can find all five species of Alaska’s Pacific Salmon. They are King, Sockeye, Coho, Pink and Chum. Every year from August to October you will find the salmon find the very stream they were born to spawn and die. It is a phenomenal event that you cannot miss if your cruise is arriving in August or September.
When shopping in Haines make sure to buy the products with this logo. This indicated the products has actually been made in Alaska.
The town of Haines offers a shuttle service when a cruise ship is in. It can bring you all over town. They have stops at the Cruise dock, Fort William H. Seward Historic District, Eagle Foundation, Visitors centre, Downtown and Dalton City Brewery.
There are many hikes you could do in Haines that can take you to breathtaking viewpoints and incredible landscapes. Walk to the Portage Cove Wayside or Battery Point for example. Always make sure to pass by the Visitors Centre on the dock for the last update on the trail and a hiking map.
Find a new respect for hammers. This small museum has over 2000 hammers from all over the world on display. This museum is about 10 minute walk from the dock. The local shuttle bus also makes a stop here.
When you walk off the pier, take a look to the right hand side. About 1 block from the dock you will spot this building where you will be able to find bicycle and motor/scooter rental.
Pick up this folder at the visitors centre. It holds all kinds of interesting information about the history of Haines as the base of U.S. army in Alaska. Guide yourself through town and read about the story behind every single building in this brochure.
This non-profit organisation is dedicated to preserve the local art and culture. Visit their gallery of Alaskan art or see one of the many totem poles in town that have been created by them. The Alaska Indian Arts building is a 5 minute walk from the dock.
There is a small cruise dock available in Haines. Ships dock right in front of this small town and from here you can easily navigate the town by foot. The Haines cruise dock offers tourist information and some limited transportation options. Read the full Haines cruise port guide for all your options.
This micro-brewery makes very unique ales made with local ingredients like trees. Yes, trees. They use the Sitka Spruce for a delicious ale full of vitamine c. Find the distillery about 25 minute walk from the dock or take the local shuttle bus to it.