Most cruise ships pull up to the Port Chilkoot dock at the foot of historic Fort Seward, a few blocks south of the town center. Some smaller cruise ships dock at the Fast Ferry dock, a block south of the Port Chilkoot dock.
Both docks are within (up hill)walking distance of most of the town's main attractions.
On those rare occasions when more than one ship is in port, passengers may be tendered to the dock in smaller craft.
During cruise ship dockings, there is a Shuttle Bus service that runs every 30 minutes. It starts at the Port Chilkoot Dock, and makes a loop to the Sheldon Museum, Visitor Center, Library, Dalton City, Eagle Foundation, Fort Seward Historic District, and then back to the Dock.
Printable map to take along.
Cruise calendar for this port.
Watch a destination video.
A haven for bald eagles and artists, Haines is distinctive, with the officers' quarters of historic Fort William H. Seward nestled around a parade ground and the snowy 6,500-ft/2,015-m Cathedral Peaks towering in the background. The first permanent army post in Alaska, the fort now houses hotels, restaurants, art galleries, Alaska Indian Arts and the Chilkat Center.
Each fall, more than 3,500 eagles flock to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve on the Chilkat River to feast on a late run of salmon. Several hundred remain in the area throughout the year.
Established as a result of a border dispute with Canada, Fort William H. Seward was named after the man who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from the Russians. Due to the confusion in the post office caused by the city of Seward also honoring the man, the Fort was renamed Chilkoot Barracks in 1922. The original name was resumed when the Fort was declared an Historic Landmark in 1972. Decommissioned in 1947, five former veterans purchased the Fort with plans to make it an arts and crafts area of the community.
Most of the original buildings still stand and are now private residences, accommodation establishments, eateries, and galleries showcasing local art. For more information about the Fort, visit the Sheldon Museum. A Fort Seward Walking Tour brochure is available at the Visitor Center.
Popular shore excursions include tours of the town and surrounding sights by van or bicycle, river-rafting through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, kayaking in the area fjords (Lutak and Taiya inlets), hiking in the Alaskan rain forest and flight seeing trips to nearby glaciers. Charter boats offer saltwater fishing, and several outfits guide hunting trips.
For golf enthusiasts, Weeping Trout Sports Resort offers nine-hole golfing in a remote setting on Chilkat Lake (a 26-mi/42-km trip by car and boat). There's also fly-in fishing.
If you are going to be there in August or September, there might be an opportunity to see brown bears fishing for salmon on the Chilkoot River. The real action on this river only starts when the cruise season is over.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
There is a fast ferry from Haines to Skagway.
If you rent a car, please read Murray Lundberg's detailed guide.
The official U.S. currency is the United States dollar (symbol: $). ATM's everywhere.
Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely used and accepted, even for transactions worth only a few dollars. In fact, in some cases, it may be the only way to make a transaction. Note to overseas visitors: Prices of goods and services always seem lower than they really are, as taxes and gratuities are seldom included.
Most states have a sales tax, ranging from 2.9% to nearly 10% of the retail price; 4-6% is typical. Sales tax is almost never included in posted prices (except for gasoline, and in most states, alcoholic beverages consumed on-premises), but instead will be calculated and added to the total when you pay.
Tipping in America is widely used and expected. While Americans themselves often debate correct levels and exactly who deserves to be tipped, generally accepted standard rates are:
The Haines Borough Public Library has several computer workstations available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. There are some (paid) WiFi cafes in town.
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