Skagway is a small town located in Alaska, United States and is port of call on a Disney Cruise to Alaska. It may be the smallest town you stop at, but there is so much to see and do here, that it’s good that it’ll most likely be the longest time you spend in a port in Alaska!
Skagway is located on the Alaska Panhandle in the most northern Fjord on the Inside Passage. Skagway has a small population that generally triples over summer when all the tourists come to visit.
When coming in on a cruise ship, it is very easy to access the town – Skagway has 3 ship piers available – and the one you end up on all depends on not only the schedule of your ship, but the other ships you’re in port with as well. My favourite was the “Broadway” dock by far, as it sits in the centre of all 3 and ends at the start of the main street through Skagway – Broadway St. The other two are on either side and take about 5mins to walk into town from. The “Ore” dock takes you past the shipping area and along the train track. Whereas the “Railway” dock takes you around by the city park and where the White Yukon train ride begins.
My top spot for something unique to eat in Skagway is a little shop called “Klondike”, they are essentially a gift shop that sells food gifts. But for me, I would go there for their Doughboys. A Doughboy is essentially donut dough that they then stretch out so it’s thin, before deep frying it. After it goes nice and crispy, they cover it in a cinnamon sugar, wrap it in some paper towel and you’re good to go! Great for the cold Skagway mornings.
Another place for sweets is the Lemon Rose Bakery. It’s easy to spot as they always have a line out the front for their Giant Cinnamon Rolls that have a thick layer of icing on top!
Glacier Smoothies and Espresso do some awesome smoothie combinations – think all fresh berries and yoghurt. But my favourite was Cabin Fever – Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Banana. The Bagels are a good breakfast alternative to having one on the ship. The “Monster Bagel” was morish – Pastrami, Bacon, Swiss Cheese, Tomatoes and a Garlic Basil Cream Cheese!!
Northern Lights Pizzeria is a nice Mexican, Greek and Italian Fusion. Sounds odd, right? But it works…Their pizza bases are all made fresh on site and the Greek Style Pizza and Northern Lights Pizza are real hits – with a side of Onion Rings of course! Their Lasagna is also wonderful – a real hearty portion size, all washed down with one of their alcoholic smoothies or Alaskan tap Beers. And not forgetting dessert, the Chocolate Lava Cake is heavenly!
Sugar Mamas has amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes and a Lemon and Carrot Cake, both which are must tries!
Skagway is full of various offerings of things to do, from free walking tours, to booked tours or Port Adventures to general attractions that you can walk up to and visit.
One fascinating tour to take is at the Red Onion Saloon and it’s only 15mins long! It takes you on a tour of the old Red Onion Brothel. Obviously this is not one for the kids, but it gives a great background on the history of Skagway and how the town has developed over the years. What we found most fascinating was the comparisons between life now and how it was back then. It’s only $10 and you can stop by the bar after for a drink.
Without a doubt, one of the most popular tours/excursions is the While Pass Yukon Scenic Railway. The railway was built in 1898 and while the trains are a little newer, most of the terrain is still very much as it was then. On this tour, you board the railcar from right near the pier and it will take you up the historic railway and back, will full commentary.
For those of you keen on a more active tour, Ocean Rafting in the Lynn Canal. The Lynn Canal is North America’s longest and deepest fjord, and has many hidden caves and waterfalls, not to mention is the home of Skagway. While on the raft, your guide will show you all these, as well as looking out for local wildlife.
And finally, one for the whole family. This is an excursion that can only be booked through Disney. You are collected from the Pier and are taken to Lionsville Gold Rush Trail Camp. Here you will be taught how to pan for gold in the waterfall area and stream. Whilst you are panning, you may meet some of your favourite Disney characters panning as well. You can then roast some marshmallows on the fire and indulge in the buffet available.
As with all Port Adventures booked through Disney, you will have a meeting point allocated on your ticket you’ll then get further directions from there.
Skagway is not the best port for Alaskan souvenirs or shopping – better to leave the bulk of it for Juneau or Ketchikan and just get Skagway specific items – the gold rush themed items are super cute!
TIP: The day you’ll be in Skagway, you’ll most likely be in Port till 7-8pm-ish. It’s also the Frozen Fever night. Due to both of these, I would advise to find somewhere to eat Dinner in Port, then come back to the ship afterwards. Unless Disney greatly improves the Frozen menu, skip it at all costs – not worth coming back to the ship for.
Have you visited Skagway on a cruise? Do you have any extra restaurant or excursion recommendations?
Check out my other Alaska posts: Endicott Arm,