Alaska’s Inside Passage Vacation Packages
Explore Alaska’s Inside Passage
Bordering British Columbia and the northern Pacific Ocean, and comprised of a thin strip of coastline and large islands, the Inside Passage region is home to the remote, historic towns of Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka. A visit to these towns will immerse you in the nostalgia and romance of bygone days, with friendly locals, bountiful wildlife and magnificent nature.
Sitting snugly between Mount Juneau, Mount Roberts and Gastineau Channel is Juneau. Its downtown is a maze of narrow streets sprinkled with old storefronts and quaint houses that feature architecture left over from the town’s early gold mining days. The waterfront bustles with cruise ships, fishing boats and floatplanes zipping in and out. With no road access to Juneau, it is the only state capital in the U.S. that can only be reached by airplane or boat.
Southeast of Juneau, Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “first city” due to its location at the southern tip of the Inside Passage. It is the first city you reach if you are heading north, and for many it’s their first introduction to the beauty and majesty of Alaska. Ketchikan is also the departure point for side trips to Prince of Wales Island, Annette Island and the area’s most impressive attraction — Misty Fjords National Monument.
North of Ketchikan, Sitka is the only Inside Passage community that fronts the Pacific Ocean, hugging Baranof Island's west shore in the shadow of the impressive Mount Edgecumbe, a dormant volcano with a graceful cone reminiscent of Japan's Mount Fuji.
- Mendenhall Glacier Slide 1 of 3: Located in Mendenhall Valley, not far from downtown Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier is approximately 13.6 miles long and is one of the most visited glaciers in the world.
- Misty Fjords National Monument Slide 2 of 3: Approximately 40 miles east of Ketchikan is a spectacular wilderness area known for its thousands of ocean inlets.
- Tongass National Forest Slide 3 of 3: Covering most of southeast Alaska, the nation’s largest national forest offers unique opportunities to see breathtaking vistas of wilderness and wildlife viewing sites.
Walk Juneau’s historic streets and stop in museums that feature stories from the earliest Alaska Native cultures to the gold mines of the past. Stroll the sea walk and meet Patsy Ann, a dog statue and local legend. Savor the city’s culinary scene and enjoy libations at historic pubs. Sitting on one of the largest wilderness areas in the U.S., Juneau has a variety of activities. Walk on ice at Mendenhall Glacier. Enjoy marvelous views on the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway. Go on a whale watching cruise. In the winter, go ice skating, skiing and walk across a frozen Mendenhall Lake.
Ketchikan is famous for its float planes and outstanding sport fishing for wild Alaska salmon and halibut. Ketchikan’s main attractions include historic Creek Street, a boardwalk built over the Ketchikan Creek, and majestic totem poles dot its downtown streets, parks and museums.
Once the ancestral home of the Tlingit Indians, Sitka has 24 attractions listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also in the middle of the finest sea kayaking country in the world. Plus, Sitka offers superb hiking with trails that begin in the lush Tongass National Forest, which surrounds the city. Wildlife viewing is one of the most popular activities, including whale watching and birding cruises to Saint Lazaria Island National Wildlife Refuge, home to 1,500 pairs of breeding tufted puffins.
Juneau is a shopper’s haven with dozens of art galleries and shops that offer everything from native-carved silver bracelets and argillite pendants to carved wood masks, antiques and more. Ketchikan has a host of gift, jewelry, bookstores and art galleries that give plenty of gift options to take home as souvenirs. In Sitka’s shopping district, you’ll find traditional Tlingit designs carved into totem poles, masks and painted on artwork, nesting dolls and jewelry.
From sourdough bagels and homemade fudge to award-winning coffee and beer, Juneau delivers tastes that delight the senses. Ketchikan features a variety of restaurants and eateries that serve dishes with locally-sourced seafood, including seafood chowder, crab and shrimp omelets, baked salmon and traditional fish and chips. Or plan a picnic by grabbing bites from a deli. Sitka has a variety of dining styles that will please anyone’s palette, including delicious Northwest cuisine.
Delta serves Juneau International Airport (JNU), Ketchikan International Airport (KTN) and Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (SIT) from late May to September. Delta also offers flights to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) or to Fairbanks International Airport (FAI), which would require a connecting flight to the Inside Passage cities.
Travel between Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka is available via the state’s ferry system, known as the Alaska Marine Highway, which covers 3,500 miles of coastline and 35 communities. Chartered floatplanes are also a travel standard within the Inside Passage region, serving groups ranging between two and nine passengers. If you’re visiting Juneau and want the convenience of exploring on your own, Delta Vacations offers car rentals you can add to your package.