Haines, Alaska cruises
Haines port guide.
Located at the top of one of the world’s longest fjords, Haines occupies an area of natural beauty so picturesque you’ll be reaching for your camera at every opportunity. Soaring peaks, sweeping forests and expansive lakes add to the city’s infinite charm, while local distilleries, Tlingit culture and wildlife encounters offer just a taste of what you’ll discover in port.
Top landmarks and sights in Haines.
As Alaska port calls go, Haines unlocks scenery quite unique to this part of the world and you’ll find no shortage of ways to take it in. From guided mountain climbing and nature walks to glacier trekking, sea kayaking and flightseeing, the possibilities for outdoor adventures in Haines are far reaching.
Close to port you’ll find Fort William H. Seward, the last of 12 military forts built during the Klondike Gold Rush and named after the man who secured Alaska’s purchase from the Russians. While many of the officer’s residences have been turned into private housing, the once military hospital is now an arts centre and information boards impress insightful nuggets about the fort’s historical significance.
Things to do in Haines.
Join a fishing expedition to Chilkoot Lake or spend an afternoon bouncing between the city’s independent galleries. Haines enjoys a rich local art scene and museums you won’t find anywhere else; such as the Hammer Museum with its 2000 exhibits dedicated to this common DIY tool. A visit to the American Bald Eagle Foundation will introduce you to several species of this majestic bird up close, or join a guided wildlife tour for a chance to sight some of Alaska’s native creatures, perhaps even a distant brown bear, while enjoying more of the area’s spellbinding scenery.
Eating and drinking near Haines cruise port.
Haines has a varied food and drink scene, which champions native Alaskan fare alongside some worldly offerings. You’ll find everything from food trucks serving innovative takes on local favourites to roadhouse restaurants offering a blend of sweet and savoury staples. Downtown has one of the highest concentrations of food outlets in the city, and the historic houses here provide plenty of character to admire. Haines is also home to a handful of local breweries and a gin distillery, which offer a great taste of natively brewed craft beers and spirits.
Shopping in Haines.
One of the most original keepsakes you can collect on a visit to Haines is a piece of art by a local artist and for this you won’t be short of options. Haines has a thriving gallery scene, abundant with works inspired by the scenic beauty of the surrounding area. From watercolour paintings of palatial glaciers, to ceramic sculptures of bears and wooden carved Alaskan Indian arts, you’ll find both traditional and contemporary tastes catered for.
Main Street is a great place to hit the shopping trail, while the Chilkoot Distillery is perfect if an Alaskan bottle of vodka, gin or bourbon appeals.
Haines culture and history.
Alaska offers over 10,000 years of history and a port call to Haines provides the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in it. From historic forts and sculpture gardens to native art and history, the city is a celebration of the Great Land’s native culture, military connection and Tlingit heritage. Combine a guided raft ride through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve with a visit to the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Centre or discover the Dalton Trail, established at the height of the Klondike Gold rush. A rich variety of exhibits including mining company ledgers and Chilkat blankets can also be found at the Haines Sheldon Museum, which occupies the former Haines Mission grounds.
Haines port facilities and location.
Cruises to Haines stop at Chilkoot port, directly opposite Fort William H. Seward. From here it’s just half a mile to the vibrant downtown area, where you’ll find Haines’ main concentration of cafés, restaurants and shops. The port features a small visitor’s centre, stocked with maps and literature to help guide you around town, and staffed by local residents who are all too happy to impart their Haines knowledge. There’s also a shuttle service to ferry you back and forward from the terminal if you don’t fancy the walk, while the size of the port (only one large ship can dock at a time) means you’ll have the run of Haines on the day of your visit.