All About SeaCraft Hover Tours
Skagway Hovercraft Shore Excursions
Looking for a unique and exhilarating way to explore the breathtaking landscapes of Skagway, Alaska? SeaCraft Hover Tours is Skagway’s first and only hovercraft shore excursion. On our tour, you and your family will have unrestricted access to many places inaccessible to traditional watercraft. Instead of riding on the waves, you will literally fly just above them, maximizing the comfort of your tour from start to finish.
With our state-of-the-art Explorer 24 hovercraft, you'll be able to glide effortlessly over the water, taking in stunning views of majestic waterfalls, glacier-covered mountains, and countless species of wildlife. Your experienced guide and naturalist will lead you on a thrilling journey through the wilderness, stopping along the way to share fascinating facts and stories about the local history and ecology.
As you hover above the water, keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles, seals, and even whales, as you explore the rugged coastline of Skagway and the Upper Lynn Canal.
Our hovercraft tours are environmentally-friendly, perfect for adventurers of all ages and abilities, and are a truly unforgettable way to experience the natural wonders of Skagway. Book your tour today and get ready for an unforgettable ride!
Skagway Hovercraft Shore Excursion – What to Expect
A Skagway hovercraft shore excursion is a thrilling way to explore the remote wilderness areas of Southeast Alaska, especially in the Upper Lynn Canal, the deepest and second-longest fjord in North America. Our hovercraft offers you and your family access to areas that are simply not accessible by traditional sea-going vessels.
Your tour begins next to your cruise ship, from the Skagway Small Boar Harbor, where you’ll meet your captain and familiarize yourself with the Explorer 24 Hovercraft, which is a state-of-the-art vehicle fully equipped to keep you safe and comfortable throughout your Alaska hovercraft shore excursion.
One of the things that makes our hovercraft tours unique is that every tour is entirely unique. Tides and prevailing winds dictate where your captain will travel and what you will see. One of our premier sightseeing destinations is Dyea, Alaska, which was a bustling boomtown during the Klondike Gold Rush but became a ghost town shortly thereafter.
You will also makes multiple stops to indulge in some of the most stunning views in all of Alaska, and whenever wild animals make an appearance. Your captain lives, works, and plays in Alaska, so they also act as a naturalist and historian, answering questions and regaling you with stories about the wild Alaskan wilderness – Planet’s Earth’s last true frontier.
Other popular sights on your Skagway hovercraft tour include raging waterfalls, an impressive array of birds and waterfowl, and a rich abundance of wildlife. Your captain is on the water every day and has keen insight on where to go to maximize your chances of seeing whales, eagles, mountain goats, and all sorts of other land and marine mammals.
Your Alaska hovercraft tour lasts approximately one-and-a-half hours and when it’s over, you be dropped off back at the Skagway Small Boat Harbor. Snacks and bottled water are available on board.
Here are some things you might expect on your hovercraft adventure:
Scenic views: Your hovercraft excursion will take you on a thrilling ride over the water, giving you a unique perspective on the stunning natural scenery of the Alaskan coast.
Wildlife sightings: The Skagway area is known for its abundant wildlife, including bears, eagles, whales, and seals. Your hovercraft tour guide will likely point out any animals that you might see along the way.
Informative commentary: Your hovercraft tour guide will provide you with informative commentary about the local history, culture, and ecology of the area.
Adventure: Riding on a hovercraft is a unique and exciting experience, as you glide over the water and navigate shallow waters and narrow channels.
Safety precautions: Hovercraft operators take safety very seriously, so you can expect to be provided with safety equipment and briefed on safety procedures before your ride.
What to Bring on Your Skagway Hovercraft Tour
Your Alaskan hovercraft tour will be an exciting and unique experience. As you plan for your tour, here are some items you may want to consider bringing with you:
Warm Clothing: Even during the summer months, temperatures in can be cool in Skagway. Dressing in layers can help you adjust to changes in temperature throughout the day. It's also a good idea to bring a jacket of some sort because temperatures on the water are almost always colder than on land.
Sunscreen and Sunglasses: The sun can be strong in Alaska, especially during the summer months when there are long daylight hours. Bring sunscreen with a high SPF rating to protect your skin, and sunglasses to shield your eyes from the bright sun.
Camera or Binoculars: You'll want to capture the stunning scenery around Skagway, so bring a camera and/or a pair of binoculars. It's also a good idea to bring extra batteries or a portable charger, as you may not have access to charging facilities during your Alaska hovercraft shore excursion.
Snacks and Water: Your Skagway hovercraft tour lasts one-and-a-half hours, so bring snacks and water to keep you hydrated and energized. If you forget to bring snacks, there are some available on the hovercraft.
Motion Sickness Medication: If you're prone to motion sickness, bring medication to help alleviate symptoms. While ho18vercrafts don’t move the same way as boats and are mostly unaffected by waves, persons extra sensitive to motion sickness may still want to come prepared.
Wildlife Viewing on Your Hovercraft Tour in Skagway
Skagway, Alaska is a popular destination for tourists seeking to experience the natural beauty of the Alaskan wilderness. One of the most impressive aspects of this region is its abundant marine wildlife, which draws visitors from around the world. One of the best ways to see wildlife around Skagway is by joining us on our Alaska hovercraft tours.
Skagway is located in a region that is home to a diverse array of marine animals, including humpback whales, orcas, harbor seals, otters, Dall’s porpoises, and sea lions. Common land mammals include black bear, brown bear, fox, marten, mountain goats, and the occasional lynx or moose. Birds are also abundant around Skagway and just some of the more common species include bald eagles, ravens, surf scoters, mergansers, pintails, marbled murrelets, great blue heron, and greater yellowlegs, along with a wide variety of ducks and shorebirds.
Because our hovercrafts allow for more unhindered access to rivers and shorelines, they offer the best form of transportation to see these animals up close.
Humpback whales are one of the most iconic marine animals in Skagway, and they can be seen breaching and feeding in the waters around the town from May to September. These majestic creatures can grow up to 50 feet in length and weigh up to 40 tons. They are known for their haunting songs, which can be heard underwater for miles around.
Orcas, also known as killer whales, are less common sight in the waters around Skagway, but we sometimes spot them on our hovercraft tours in Skagway. These intelligent and social animals hunt in packs and can be seen jumping out of the water or swimming in synchronized groups. Visitors can also see harbor seals, which are often seen lounging on rocky shores or swimming in the water.
In addition to these larger animals, visitors to Skagway can also see Dall’s porpoises, which are known for their playful nature and high-speed swimming, and Steller sea lions, which are one of the largest species of seals in the world.
Obviously, many people want to see a bear during their trip to Alaska. Because our hovercraft tours travel to Dyea and make it possible to access shallow shorelines, we have a much greater likelihood of seeing bears on our excursion, especially in the fall when bears are feeding on spawning salmon.
Mountain goats are also commonly seen near the shoreline, especially during the spring months, so be sure to bring along a pair of binoculars.
Overall, Skagway, Alaska offers an incredible opportunity to experience a diverse array of marine wildlife in its natural habitat. Whether you’re interested in whale watching, sea otter spotting, or simply taking in the breathtaking scenery, a visit to Skagway is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
The Hovercraft – Touring in Style
Your Skagway hovercraft tour will be aboard an Explorer 24 Commercial Hovercraft, which is undeniably the safest and most environmentally-friendly saltwater capable hovercraft on the market today. You will sit in a climate controlled, fully enclosed cabin and because we keep our tour groups small, you will have plenty of room to stretch out.
If you want to remain warm and cozy while enjoying the untamed Alaskan marine wilderness, the Explorer 24 hovercraft offers something you simply can’t find on any other tour vessel.
Your hovercraft cruises at speeds of 32 miles per hour and leaves virtually no wake. It’s quiet and, unlike other boats, has a braking/pivoting feature that allows us to get into places other vessels only dream of accessing.
Hovercraft are also one of the most environmentally-friendly ways to access and preserve pristine coastal environments like those in and around Skagway, Alaska. When you stand on the beach, you exert a pressure of around three pounds per square inch, which rises to 25 pounds per square inch as you walk. By way of comparison, the Explorer 24 hovercraft only exerts a pressure of 0.33 pounds per square inch regardless of the craft’s speed, which is less pressure than a seagull standing on one leg!
If conservation is important to you, there is no better option for a marine tour than our Skagway hovercraft shore excursion.
The Lynn Canal, Dyea, and Skagway, Alaska
The Lynn Canal is a fjord that extends for over 90 miles and is surrounded by the towering peaks of the Chilkat Range and the Coast Mountains.
The Upper Lynn Canal region encompasses the area from the town of Haines to the city of Skagway, along the northern end of the Lynn Canal. This area is where we conduct our Alaska hovercraft tours and is home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in Alaska, including glaciers, lakes, rivers, and forests.
The town of Haines, located at the head of the Lynn Canal, is the gateway to the Upper Lynn Canal region. It is known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. Haines is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of recreational activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and hunting.
The Upper Lynn Canal region is also home to several glaciers, including the Davidson, Rainbow, and Meade glaciers. These massive ice formations are stunning to behold and offer a glimpse into the region's geologic history.
As you continue up the Lynn Canal, you will come across the Chilkat River, which is renowned for its salmon runs and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Skagway Hovercraft Tours
Further up the Lynn Canal is the town of Skagway, which is known for its role in the Klondike Gold Rush. Skagway is a popular tourist destination, with a vibrant downtown area that is home to numerous shops, restaurants, and historical sites.
Skagway and Dyea are two small towns located in the southeastern region of Alaska and are both part of the greater Skagway Borough. Your Skagway hovercraft shore excursion visits both of these amazing places. These towns played a significant role in the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-1899.
In 1887, gold was discovered in the Yukon Territory of Canada, and news of the discovery quickly spread. This led to a mass migration of people to the area in search of gold, and the Klondike Gold Rush was born.
In 1896, gold was discovered in the streams near the Chilkoot Pass, which was a difficult and dangerous mountain pass that needed to be crossed in order to reach the goldfields. Skagway and Dyea, located at the head of the Lynn Canal, became the starting points for the trek to the goldfields.
Skagway was established in 1897 and quickly grew into a bustling town, with thousands of people passing through on their way to the goldfields. It became known as the "Gateway to the Klondike" and was a center of commerce and transportation for the region. Many of the buildings in Skagway were built during this time, and some of them still stand today as a testament to the town's rich history.
Dyea, located just a few miles south of Skagway, was another important town during the Klondike Gold Rush. It was the starting point for the Chilkoot Trail, which was one of the most popular routes to the goldfields. Dyea grew rapidly as well, with many businesses and services catering to the needs of the gold seekers.
Seeing the shores of Dyea and the dilapidated ruins of the docks where so many stampeders first set foot in Alaska is one of the highlights of our Skagway hovercraft tours.
The rush to the goldfields was not without its dangers, and many people lost their lives during the trek. The Chilkoot Trail was especially treacherous, with steep terrain and harsh weather conditions. Some estimates put the number of people who died during the rush at around 3,000.
The Klondike Gold Rush began to wind down in 1899, as the easily accessible gold deposits were depleted. Many of the people who had migrated to the area in search of gold returned home, and Skagway and Dyea saw a decline in population and activity.
Today, Skagway and Dyea are popular tourist destinations, known for their historic buildings and scenic beauty. Visitors can still hike the Chilkoot Trail and explore the sites and buildings that played a role in the Klondike Gold Rush. The towns are also popular stops for cruise ships traveling through the Inside Passage.
If you’re visiting Skagway by cruise ship, join us at SeaCraft Hover Tours for a hovercraft ocean adventure you will never forget.