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Kodiak Alaska as a cruise destination

A bad day cruising Alaksa
A bad day cruising Alaksa
Photo by U.S. Coast Guard/Getty Images

Having cruised Alaska several times I found the same ports to be nice but lacking on some of the different activities and scenery we really wanted to see. So I looked at all of the cruises to see what ports are offered on the big ships that we’ve not stopped to visit. I specifically looked at the big ships as they stick to a pretty much regimented port of call schedule where the smaller ships may skip ports more often to meet customer and wildlife demands.

Kodiak, Alaska is the one port we’d not visited that I really wanted to see via ship or even for that matter by just flying in. Via ship the options are pretty limited. In 2014 for instance there are only a handful of stops made by Holland America ships. These are some of the smaller big ships sailing in Alaska and that is critical in the smaller ports such as Kodiak. Well Kodiak, rates as a bigger port when compared to some of the very small Southeast Alaska ports of call such as Skagway.

For 2013 I didn’t see any big ships making the port of call. We wanted to go anyhow so we did by flying in. It was a great visit to a nice fairly small town. Although it’s small it’s full of modern stores and other conveniences making Kodiak a great place to visit. We went to fish, see the area from the road system, and to try to fly out to remote bear viewing areas. Unfortunately the foggy weather on our fly out day made going bear viewing a wish that did not come true.

Having now spent a couple week at Kodiak we have a good idea of what is there to see and do. Having also cruised Alaska we know how it works when a ship stops in a port in Alaska for a day of exploring. Kodiak, the town, being a smaller port without too many things to do, at least in terms of tourist traps does make for a good cruise ship stopping spot. Of course Kodiak is also a huge island, that can’t all be visited in one day.

As a cruise ship passenger a tour of town with some associated wild life viewing is a great option. Head out to some of the areas outside of town where you can see Bald Eagles and other wildlife and enjoy the nice cool weather. Take a boat ride to see marine wildlife including whales. Personally I’ve seen more whales on fishing trips than thru any other mechanism and because we just watched them as we cruised or fished it was better than on a whale watching vessel. There are also many opportunities, depending on the length of time the ship is there, to go fishing for big halibut and salmon.

Remember Kodiak is not a tourist trap town. As such don’t expect to easily find souvenir shops…instead one must go shop at Kodiak Marine Supply or Maks outdoors store. They do have some touristy shirts for sale there but generally speaking there is not much in the way of tourist things to buy there. Have fun when your ship stops in Kodiak.

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