Home of the Cruise Ships
After a brief stop in Haines, our ferry went to its last destination, Skagway, where we got off. Ironically, to drive from
Haines to Skagway is a 200 miles plus and several hour trip. The ferry makes the short water trip in under an hour.
Arriving in Skagway, we were greeted by four cruise ships. Skagway has only one gas station but has as many as ten
thousand cruise ship visitors a day, all of them using transportation provided by the cruise ships..
Pictured below is our ferry (on the left) next to the two smaller of the four cruise ships in port!
Skagway has reinvented itself as a Disney version of a gold era town. Looking down main street, it almost looks like one
of the cruise ships is ready to sail up the street. Haines on the other hand is a fishing town with ambivalent feelings
about cruise ships and offended the cruise ship industry by picketing the cruise ships.
From the days of the gold mines, Skagway has always made its money off of people passing through, so it is
comfortable with the tourist trade industry. Train tracks have been laid directly to the cruise ships so that people can
walk off the ship and on to the Whitepass railroad train. Ladies in Victorian dress take visitors on B ticket horse carriage
In the picture above, you may have noted that the store is a diamond shop. My estimate was that 50% of the shops were
diamond shops. Jackie thought it was 70% which may be more accurate. Looking inside, one could see the vultures
waiting for the passengers to embark.
We did take the historic narrow gauge train to White Pass. The rail road was laid in 1898 to give faster access to the
Yukon. The first people to go over the pass did so carrying heavy loads. They are the ones you see in pictures in the
snow, so many that it was said that if you stepped out of line, it might take a day to step back in.
The train no longer goes over this trestle.
But we did cross this one.
And we enjoyed views such as these.