Skagway, Alaska Cruise Port Guide

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Skagway Alaska Cruise Port Guide – cruising Skagway, Alaska with Princess cruises – Alaska’s top cruise line, that makes Alaska even easier with OceanMedallion!

This post was sponsored by Princess Cruises. All opinions are my own.

picture of Majestic Princess cruise ship in port in Skagway Alaska

Cruising can be safe, incredibly clean, and just as relaxing and adventurous as ever. There is no better way to relax with friends and family, see gorgeous locations, eat amazing food – without the hassle and worry of many trips… so you can get right into vacation mode.

With upgraded HEPA filters and HVAC systems, increased cleaning protocols, and additional hand washing and sanitation stations for passengers – as well as mask, testing, and vaccination requirements – Princess Cruises has made a commitment to safety for their guests, and I can say I honestly felt safer on ship than in hotels, restaurants, and the few airports I have been in post pandemic – by far. I have cruised with Princess 9 times now, and can honestly say I have never been on a cruise where it wasn’t absolutely spotless – but the Majestic somehow felt even cleaner!

Disclaimer: Per CDC rules, my husband and I had to be fully vaccinated more than 14 days prior to embarkation and tested for coronavirus before boarding the ship, and my husband and I were negative 35 hours before boarding.

For my own curiosity for this review, we both tested, using lateral flow tests and PCR tests, to confirm we remained COVID free 14 days after sailing.

We were invited to sail with Princess Cruises for their relaunch back to Alaska as one of their very first cruises back in 2021 after over 500 days without sailing. This was my 9th Princess cruise – and the first time sailing on the Majestic Princess, a ship designed for the Asian market which will be sailing in the Western US (Mexico riviera from Los Angeles and Alaska routes) and Australia for the near future.

picture of yukon railway alaska

Historic Skagway

From the second you dock in Skagway, you know you’re in for something special.

The fog hung tightly to the high mountain peaks the entire time we were in port in Skagway, but it was entirely magical – the old frontier town is a perfect mix of gold rush and Alaska port – it is bursting with history and rough, natural beauty – and it’s an incredibly easy port to navigate and walk around.

Princess Cruises makes ports even easier with their OceanMedallion technology – simply tap your medallion when leaving the ship to scan out, then tap it back on your way back in – no lines, hassle, digging for a cruise card – just tap your wristband, lanyard, necklace, or other MedallionClass accessory!

When on ship, you can book excursions, scan ship program notes and schedules, and find activities closeby (plus even order food wherever you are on ship!) using the MedallionClass app – Princess takes the hassle and worry out of trips, so you can get straight to the fun, relaxation, and adventure of your Skagway port adventures!

picture of woman in jacket

While you’re in Skagway, some of the top museums and spots you’ll want to visit are

  • Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Visitor Center, 291 Broadway
  • Skagway Museum , 700 Spring Street
  • National Park Service Junior Ranger Activity Center,  350 Broadway
  • Skagway Centennial Statue, 271 Broadway.

White Pass & Yukon Railway

White Pass and Yukon Railway – The White Pass and Yukon Railway has a number of fun excursions on offer. We took the scenic Journey on the White Pass Railroad that took us up the beautiful stretch of the WPYR. The trip takes you along the original railway that was built in the 1890’s to move miners and supplies up the valley toward White Horse, Yukon Territory, Canada. 

Originally, gold rushers would hike up the valley with supplies packed on mules or horses in the hopes of striking it rich. While most didn’t find even a glimpse of gold, we were rewarded with more than a glimpse of the beautiful panoramic views along the Chinook trail. Our excursion was around a two hours round trip, which included narrated — and humors — history of the railway, the ‘98 goldrush, and Skagway. 

The rail cars are heated, but dress seasonally appropriate for the trip. Binoculars, cameras, video recorders are a must for this trip. Tip: besure to take a turn on the exterior balconies between railcars. They’re not large, but provide an immersive experience while on your trip. It’s also nice to get some fresh air on the trip, as the rail cars can get quite warm, even with the windows open. 

While the track is one way, don’t worry if you think you’re seated on the “wrong” side of the trail. The seats flip backwards to reverse the way they’re facing for the return journey and guests are asked to switch sides on the way down, so everyone get both of the unique views from each side of the train.

We didn’t get to go all the way to the summit, as there was an outage on the track, but it was gorgeous, even in the pouring rain!

I had a friend take the train just two weeks after our cruise, and she got to see a bear from it on her shore excursion!

Where to Eat in Port in Skagway

Skagway, like other Alaskan ports, offers tons of delicious restaurants with American fare and bar food, as well as tons of fresh seafood options that will completely ruin you for fresh fish forever – I know halibut just won’t ever be as good as the fish and chips I had in Skagway, until I am there next time!

Skagway Brewing Company

We actually headed straight to Skagway Brewing Company to meet one of our friends on the ship for lunch before our excursion, and had on of the best fish and chips meals I have ever had in my life – it was so fresh, light, and delicious!

picture of fish and chips at skagway brewing company

We got samplers of beer and made sure to try tons of appetizers – we loved absolutely everything we ate, would love to head back for a great meal anytime we’re in Skagway in the future.

The Skagway Brewing Company serves American bar food – burgers, fish and chips, french fries, onion rings, tater tots.

Red Onion Saloon

The Red Onion Saloon was opened in 1898 as a bordello – and still operates a brothel museum to this day as a part of their famous tour in downtown historic Skagway.

You can also tour the Red Onion Saloon in many show excursion packages, which include food and some historical information and a little tour!

The Red Onion serves up lots of lively drinks, appetizers, and pizzas.

The Red Onion Saloon is one of the main attractions in Skagway. It was the bordello and saloon that catered to the miners and railway workers during the goldrush.

It’s incredibly easy to find when coming out of the port, located on the corner of Broadway and 2nd Avenue.

picture of red onion saloon skagway alaska

What to Drink

Like other ports in Alaska, Skagway has no shortage of delicious microbrew beer and bars pouring plenty of the good stuff – Skagway’s rich gold mining tradition certainly cemented lively bars

Klondike Brewing Company. Klondike is a lively, year-round brewery that is serving up tons of delicious Alaskan style beers with a great history!

Skagway Brewing Company. Skagway Brewing Company has a lively brewpub with tons of food and beer. I loved the spruce tip ale, brewed with real spruce tips!

Shopping in Skagway

Skagway, like all Alaska ports, is great for shopping – my husnand and I had a blast looking through all of the shops in historic Skagway for gifts for our kids.

We loved browsing the White Pass & Yukon Railway store – they had some really neat items like train spikes, lots of historic books, and train memorabilia. Our kids love historic steam trains when we travel, so it was neat to browse through the White Pass & Yukon Railway’s shop.

Sweet C’s + Princess Cruises

For more on our trips with Princess Cruises, please check out some of our favorite trip recaps and recipes inspired by our favorite cruises below:

You can also find our entire cruise travel archives here, or visit our complete travel index here.

Book Your Own Real Vacation

Ready take a real vacation, and let the last years sail away?

Check out some of the offers below:

Take advantage of up to $200 onboard spending money per stateroom. Available on all cruises and cruisetours. BOOK A CRUISE TODAY!

Princess is back — on the California Coast! Guests and crew together again starting October 6 aboard Majestic Princess! We will operate these cruises consistent with CDC guidelines for a vaccinated cruise. Book now!

Check Out Princess Cruises – Alaska 7-Day Voyage of the Glaciers (Northbound) – Interior from $899* per person. BOOK TODAY, TO SAIL LATER!

Princess is committed to meeting and often exceeding CDC guidance for safe cruising, so you can truly relax and enjoy. If you haven’t considered cruising in the past, it is time to reconsider!

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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