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Kodiak Basics

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Kodiak Harbor

Kodiak is situated on the northwest tip of Kodiak Island-- "Alaska's Emerald Island," and the state's largest island. The City of Kodiak is the largest city on the island, hosting a population of roughly 6,000 people; an additional 8,000 people live elsewhere on the island. When in Kodiak, think fish--its location in the Gulf of Alaska and the Northern Pacific Ocean place it near some of the richest fishing grounds in the world.

Commercial fishing accounts for about a third of the local economy. Kodiak is home port to Alaska's largest and most diversified fishing fleet, with over 700 commercial fishing vessels. Next comes federal, state and local government services (the Coast Guard's largest facility in the U.S. is on Kodiak), and tourism. During 2010, an estimated 35,000 tourists will make their way to Kodiak, the great majority of whom visit the town on board the Pacific Princess and Holland America's Amsterdam.

Kodiak's residents enjoy generally mild coastal weather patterns, with moderate precipitation (68 inches each year) and occasional high winds. More likely than not, it'll be cloudy or foggy when you visit; the city gets less than 60 clear days each year. The weather can change quickly, so just remember to bring a raincoat and windbreaker wherever you go.

Kodiak map


First Impressions


Life in Kodiak revolves around the bounties of the sea.  Whether fishing for it, processing it, shipping it or protecting the fishermen, the residents of Kodiak have fish oil in their blood. Tourism in Kodiak is something of an afterthought, which, when you think about it, is not a bad thing if you're a tourist and want to see Alaska in the raw. The town of Kodiak and the Coast Guard's Integrated Support Command Kodiak, located just 8 miles south of the town, are where the people are. The rest of the beautiful, green island remains in its natural state, with tourist lodges and native people's encampments scattered on or near the coastline.

Your ship will make port at Kodiak's City Dock II, located about 1½ miles south of the downtown area. The most direct pedestrian access from the cruise ship dock to downtown is along Shelikof Street, which will take you past Kodiak's fish processing facilities. Princess Cruises offers its passengers a shuttle service that takes them from the cruise ship dock to downtown and back.

The locals refer to summer as "salmon season." The summer months of June through September are the nicest time of the year in Kodiak: daylight stretches from early morning to late evening, the average daily high approaches 60° (F), the fishing is good, and the events and festivals that take place in the city liven the spirits of residents and tourists alike.

Horned Puffin

Time Zone


Kodiak is on Alaska Time, nine hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time during standard time, or eight hours during daylight savings time. Daylight savings time begins on the second Sunday of March, and ends on the first Sunday of November.

 

Language


English is universally spoken in Kodiak.


Dealing with Money in Kodiak


Currency

dollar bill

The currency of the United States is the U.S. dollar, and it is printed on bills in seven denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins include the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, fifty cent piece and dollar.

Canadian dollars are accepted in Alaska as well. You'll also find Canadian coins circulating freely in the state, and are accepted at par to their U.S. counterparts.

Banks and ATMs

The following Kodiak bank branches feature ATM machines:

  • Wells Fargo has an ATM at their local branch, located at 202 Marine Way in downtown Kodiak.

  • First National Bank of Alaska has an ATM at their local branch, located at 218 Center Ave., about mile from downtown Kodiak.

  • Key Bank has an ATM at their local branch, located at 422 E. Marine Way in downtown Kodiak.

In addition, ATM machines can be found in the following establishments:

  • The Best Western Kodiak Inn has an ATM at their hotel, located at 236 West Rezanof Drive, in downtown Kodiak.

  • Tony's Bar, located at 518 W. Marine Way in downtown Kodiak, features an ATM in their bar/restaurant.

To see the locations of Kodiak's ATMs, see our Kodiak ATM map.


Weather


Kodiak's climate is heavily influenced by prevailing marine weather conditions. Freezing weather is rare, and at 68 inches of rain per year, the precipitation is considered to be moderate. Kodiak experiences occasional high winds and frequent cloud cover and fog.

Kodiak is cloudy an average of 306 days per year; expect just 3 or 4 clear days during the summer months of June through September. Measurable amounts of rain takes place on at least 15 days out of every month. The weather in Kodiak can change abruptly, so a good raincoat and windbreaker are a necessity on every day's outing, even if there isn't a cloud in the sky.

On June 21, the longest day of the year, Kodiak receives approximately 20.5 hours of light, with darkness beginning at 12:31 am and ending at 3:48 am. Before and after June 21, each day is about 10 minutes shorter.


Kodiak Average Temperatures

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg High - F 35 36 38 43 49 55 60 61 56 46 39 36
Avg High - C 2 2 3 6 9 13 16 16 13 8 4 2
Avg Low - F 25 24 27 32 38 44 48 49 43 34 29 25
Avg Low - C -4 -4 -3 0 3 7 9 9 6 1 -2 -4

Kodiak Average Precipitation

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg, Inches 7.7 5.5 4.8 4.4 5.7 5.0 3.9 5.4 7.3 7.5 6.2 7.1
Avg, mm 196 140 122 112 145 127 99 137 185 191 157 180

Wellington Boots
©2005 Steinksy, under cc-by-sa license

Keeping In Touch


Internet Access in Kodiak

While you won't find a cyber cafe in Kodiak, net-deprived folk can go to the A. Holmes Johnson Memorial Library, located at 319 Lower Mill Bay Road, for a connection to the outside world. Free, public-use Internet computers are located near the circulation desk.

Dillard's Stop or Drop Laundromat, at 216 Shelikof Street, also provides internet access; they charge $2 for 15 minutes. Phone: (907) 486-2345

Kodiak's Wi-Fi Hotspots include McDonalds, located at 209 Thorsheim Street in downtown Kodiak. Nothing like data with your fries!

To see the locations of Kodiak's Internet sites, see our Kodiak Internet Access map.

Cellular Phone & Data Services

Verizon

Cell service: Verizon's CDMA service provides extended digital coverage to Kodiak and the surrounding area.
Data services: Verizon offers extended 3G coverage to Kodiak and the surrounding areas.
See details on Verizon's cell and data services coverage in Kodiak.

ATT Wireless

Cell service: AT&T's GSM service covers Kodiak and much of the surrounding area.
Data services: AT&T offers 4G services covering Kodiak and much of the surrounding area.
See details on AT&T's cell and data services coverage in Kodiak.

Sprint

Cell service: Sprint's CDMA service in Kodiak is provided through off-network roaming.
Data services: Sprint offers service in Kodiak and the surrounding areas through off-network roaming.
See details on Sprint's cell and data services coverage in Kodiak.

T Mobile

Cell service: T-Mobile's GSM service in Kodiak is provided through a service partner.
Data services: T-Mobile offers 2G service in Kodiak; there's no access for laptop sticks, tablets, etc.
See details on T-Mobile's cell and data services coverage in Kodiak.

Kindle Connectivity

In Kodiak, you can download your Kindle 3G data through AT&T's EDGE/GPRS coverage in the city.

Internet Cafe

Samsung Galaxy S III

Local Holidays & Festivals


Look for the following local festivals, holidays and events taking place in Kodiak in 2014:

  • New Year's Day, January 1.

  • Russian Christmas and Starring, January 7. "Starring" is a tradition of the Orthodox Church; it begins on the Eastern Orthodox Christmas eve. A choir follows a large twirling star going to homes of the faithful to sing the joyful news.

  • Russian New Year & Masquerade Ball, January 11. A dinner with many varieties of Russian food followed by a masquerade ball with dancing and judging of the costumes. Unmasking takes place at midnight.

  • Seward's Day, March 25. Commemorates the signing of the treaty by which the United States bought Alaska from Russia.

  • Pillar Mountain Golf Classic, April 4 to 6. A par 70, one-hole golf tournament up the side of the 1,400 foot-high Pillar Mountain.

  • Good Friday, April 18.

  • Easter Sunday, April 20.

  • International Migratory Bird Day, May 10. Guided bird walks, bird identification and observation workshops, and other events marking the return of migratory birds to the Kodiak Island Archipelago.

  • Kodiak Crab Festival, May 24 to May 27. A celebration of Spring and the Emerald Isle. Parades, carnival booths and a midway, golf tournament, bicycle and survival suit races, a blessing of the fleet ceremony, concerts and much more.

  • Independence Day, July 4. At midnight on July 3, a large fireworks display over Chiniak Bay marks the beginning of Independence Day celebrations. Island communities celebrate with parades and special observance, while in Kodiak the Multi-cultural Committee holds a parade in celebration of the community's diverse mix of races and cultures.

  • Bear Country Music Festival, July 14 to 16. An annual musical extravaganza that includes a full spectrum of bluegrass, country, folk, soft rock and Alaskan music. Over fifty bands and musicians from Alaska are slated to perform.

  • Kodiak State Fair and Rodeo, August 30 to September 1. Both junior and main event rodeos compliment blue ribbon fair exhibits during this fun-filled weekend. Special contests include: bubble gum blowing, pie eating, nail pounding, watermelon seed spitting, and Rodeo Queen Contest.

  • Oktoberfest, October 4. Traditional German feast and music.

  • Alaska Day, October 18. Anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory and the raising of the U.S. flag at Sitka in 1867.

  • Thanksgiving Day, November 27. A day to give thanks for the things one has at the close of the harvest season.

  • Harbor Stars, December 12. A Christmas fleet parade of brightly decorated vessels of all sizes. This annual event is a celebration of the Holiday Season.

  • Christmas Day, December 25.
Salmon Fishing

Kodiak Cruise Port Schedule


Kodiak is a boutique port on the Alaskan circuit. In past years, Holland America ships have made the most visits to the island, followed by small, luxury cruise lines like Crystal and Silversea.

In 2014, cruise ships will arrive at the city's cruise ship pier between 7:00 am and 8:00 am, and depart between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

In 2014, Kodiak is slated to host 9,000 passengers sailing on 7 ships, up 200% and 75%, respectively, from 2013. For further information, see our Kodiak Cruise Ship Schedule - 2014.

In 2015, Kodiak is slated to host 14,100 passengers sailing on 12 ships, up 57% and 71%, respectively, from 2014. For further information, see our Kodiak Cruise Ship Schedule - 2015.

Fishing boat in Kodiak

Cruise Lines Making Port in Kodiak


The following cruise lines will make port in Kodiak in 2014:

Holland America icon Holland America Silversea icon Silversea Cruises
Cruise Ship


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