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Skagway Basics

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Scenes of Skagway

Fast Facts: Skagway


Skagway, the first city incorporated in the Alaska territory, is located at the head of the Taiya Inlet, in the north end of the Lynn Canal. By road or train, Skagway is less than 20 miles from the US-Canadian border. The town's official population is only 800 inhabitants, but that number swells to over 2,000 during the summer months.

The mainstay of Skagway's economy is tourism. In 2014, a projected 750,000 tourists will make a visit to Skagway--the vast majority of them coming on the roughly 375 cruise ships that visit the city between May and September.

Skagway enjoys a maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters. Due to its location in the temperate rainforest of Alaska's Inside Passage, Skagway enjoys moderate temperatures year round. Summer is the nicest time of the year to visit the town, as the daily high temperatures hover in the mid-60s F, and there's plenty of daylight to be enjoyed.


Skagway map


First Impressions


Skagway street
©2007 Timkal, under cc-by-sa 3.0 license

Skagway enjoyed its place in the sun just before the turn of the 20th century, as the town was the transportation nexus for tens of thousands of prospectors suffering from gold lust. But while the Klondike Gold Rush was short lived, the town of Skagway lives on, year after year reintroducing the world to the beauty of its location as the gateway to the Yukon.

Little Skagway--only 4 blocks wide and 16 blocks long--has the true feel of a frontier western town: clapboard one and two story buildings with false fronts, 19th century architecture and sidewalks built out of timber planks. Broadway Street, Skagway's main drag and historic district, hosts most of the town's commercial activities.

When the cruise ships arrive in the summer months, the population of the town swells appreciably, particularly on those days when four or five ships moor at the town's docks, sending more than 10,000 passengers and crew into the downtown streets and tourist spots throughout the area. It's akin to a human salmon run in August--it gets mighty crowded.

Many passengers who have taken cruise vacations in Alaska have said that Skagway is their favorite port--and with good reason. The scenery is spectacular, the Skagwayans are proud of their town and full of Alaskan hospitality, the history of the place is on display wherever you look, and the activities available in and around the town are fun, educational and enjoyable.

Many of the people you'll meet during the summer months are not full time residents of Skagway; they're imported to help manage the businesses that are dependent on tourism. Don't forget to leave a tip, as they're probably paying for their college tuition.

Your ship will dock at one of the city's docks--the Broadway Dock, which is situated at the end of Broadway, the Railroad Dock, which is at the southern end of the town, or at the Ore Dock, which is located at the end of Main Street. Some smaller ships dock at the Ferry Dock. It's a short walk to the town's shopping, dining and historic areas.


What to Do in Skagway


White Pass RR
© Norwegian Cruise Line

Skagway On Your Own

If you're looking for what you can do On Your Own in Skagway--like Food, Shopping, Bars, Activities and Attractions, click here for our Skagway On Your Own page.

The Top 10 Things to Do in Skagway

So it's your first time in Skagway? Or your fifth? Want to make the most of your visit? Well, click here for our list of the Top 10 Things to Do in Skagway.

Cruise Line Shore Excursions in Skagway

Trips on the iconic White Pass & Yukon Route narrow gauge railway are some of the most popular excursions in Skagway. But there's lots of other things to do in and around this small town. Here you can take a hike in the beautiful mountains, go on a wildlife or bird watching tour, kayak on a lake, bike down the White Pass, pan for gold, take in a salmon bake, head to the Yukon, go dog sledding, golf, fish and much, much more. There's lots to do in Skagway!

Click on any of the tiles below to see the Shore Excursions offered by the top 6 cruise lines.


Aquatic Tours Attractions Tours Bicycle Tours
Canopy Tours City Tours Combo Tours
Dog Sledding Tours Fishing Tour Flightseeing Tour
Food Tour Glassblowing tours Golf Tour
Hiking Tours Horseback Riding Motorsports Tours
Nature Tours Railway Tours Scenic Tours

Time Zone


Skagway 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.

USA flag Skagway Local Time
 


Language


English is universally spoken in Skagway.


Dealing with Money in Skagway


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

ATM machines in Skagway are pretty scarce, since the town's year-round population is only around 800 people. There's only one bank in town, which is found at the following location:

  • Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo has a branch with an ATM located at 601 Broadway Street.

Another ATM machine can be found at the following location:

  • Westmark Hotel: is located at 3rd and Spring Streets.

Skagway ATM Map


Map icon

Our Skagway ATM map shows you the locations of Skagway's ATMs.


Weather


Bicycles
©2008 ThreeifByBike, under cc-by-sa 2.0 license

Skagway enjoys a maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters. Due to its location in the temperate rainforest of Alaska's Inside Passage, Skagway enjoys moderate temperatures year round.

Skagway enjoys only 85 days of clear weather each year. Situated within the shadow of the mountains, Skagway receives less year-round than is typical of Southeast Alaska. Rainfall is pretty minimal during the summer months, with light mist and showers more common than heavy downpours. June and July are the driest months, with an average of just over one inch of rain falling each month.

It never really gets hot in Skagway, except on those few days each year when the temperature exceeds 80° F (27° C). During the summer season, expect average highs in the mid-60s F (high-teens C), and evening lows in the high 40s F (about 9° C).

Average Temps

Average Precipitation

Average Daylight Hours



Keeping In Touch


Internet Access in Skagway

Internet access in Skagway is hard to find.

Internet Terminals

  • The Skagway Public Library has been a stalwart provider of internet access to cruise ship passengers for years. The newly remodeled facility is located at 769 State Street. During the summer months, it's open weekdays from noon to 9:00 pm, and on weekends from 1:00 to 5:00. Their Wi-Fi is available daily from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Phone: (907) 983-2665

  • Seaman's Center (aka Ports of Call), which caters to the crews of the Cruise Ships, is located at 375 2nd Ave. It offers internet terminals and Wi-Fi along with money transfers, a great international grocery selection, calling cards and phone services. This place is often crowded with crews, but it's equally popular with cruise ship passengers. The best part of the Seaman's Center is that the internet speeds are much better than you'll find anywhere else in Skagway. Phone: (907) 983-9503

Wi-Fi Access

  • Chilkoot Cafe, located in the Westmark Hotel on Spring Street, offers Wi-Fi connectivity with purchase.

Skagway Internet Access Map


Map icon

See our Skagway Internet Map for the locations of Skagway's Internet Cafes/Wi-Fi locations.


Internet Cafe

Cellular Phone & Data Services


Customers of U.S. wireless carriers can expect the following levels of service in Skagway:

Verizon

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

ATT Wireless

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

Sprint

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

T Mobile

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


Samsung Galaxy S III

Skagway Telephone Information

Canadian cell phones used in the U.S. work seamlessly in Alaska, and just like back home.

The Country Code in the U.S. is 1, just like in Canada.

The Area Code used in Skagway (as in all of Alaska) is 907. In the neighboring cities of Fraser, British Columbia, and Carcross, Yukon Territories, the area code is 867.

Local Phone Numbers have seven digits: XXX-XXXX

Woman with a cell phone

Local Events, Holidays & Festivals


Look for the following local festivals, holidays and events taking place in Skagway in 2017:

  • New Year's Day, Sunday, January 1.

  • Backcountry Bash & Ball, Friday, March 24 through Sunday, March 26.

  • Buckwheat Ski Classic race
    ©2012 Andrew Cremata
  • 31st Annual Buckwheat Ski Classic, Saturday, March 25. Look for 10K, 25K and 50K cross country ski races along a breathtaking White Pass Mountain course which gold seekers traversed during the Gold Rush of 1898. For amateurs and professionals.

  • Seward's Day, Monday, March 27. Commemorates the signing of the treaty by which the United States bought Alaska from Russia on March 30, 1867.

  • Good Friday, Friday, April 14.

  • Easter Sunday, Sunday, April 16.

  • 29th Annual International Folk Festival, Friday, April 14.

  • Skagway Marathon
    ©2012 Duff's Backcountry Outfitters
  • 6th Annual Skagway Marathon, Saturday, June 3. The Skagway Marathon will take runners from Skagway up the Dyea Road to West Creek and back.

  • International Softball Tournament, Friday, June 30 to Sunday, July 2. Teams from Alaska and Canada compete for the title.

  • Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4. They have fun in Skagway on the nation's independence day.

  • Pat Moore Memorial Game Fish Derby, Thursday, July 20 through Sunday, July 23. This event enables families, kids and anglers a chance to get out in the fresh ocean air and fish for cash prizes and gift certificates from local merchants.

  • Klondike International Road Relay, Friday, September 8 and Saturday, September 9. This 110-mile race starts Friday evening in Skagway and continues all night along the road, ending in Whitehorse, Yukon on Saturday afternoon. Teams of 10 members from all over the world compete in this event.

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

  • Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23. A day to give thanks for the things one has at the close of the harvest season.

  • Yuletide & Santa Train, December. Activities include the lighting of the tree followed by open houses at the AB Hall and Park Service visitor center. The annual Yuletide Ball is held on one evening, and many additional activities and contests take place, including dancing, shopping and walking around a gold rush town.

  • Christmas Day, Monday, December 25. The second most important Christian holiday, after Easter.

Cruise Port Schedules


Aerial shot of Skagway
©2009 Christopher Michel, under cc-by-sa 2.0 license

Skagway is the third most popular Alaskan destination for the seasonal Alaskan cruise ship trade, which extends from May through September.

It's not unusual to have up to six ships visiting Skagway at any one time. As a rule, ships arrive at one of the four cruise ship docks in Skagway at around 7:00 am, and depart between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm.

In 2017, Skagway is slated to host 793,300 passengers sailing on 377 ships. For further information, see our Skagway Cruise Ship Schedule - 2017.

In 2018, Skagway is slated to host 897,500 passengers sailing on 387 ships. For further information, see our Skagway Cruise Ship Schedule - 2018.


Cruise Lines Making Port in Skagway


The following cruise lines will make port in Skagway in 2017:

Carnival icon Carnival Royal Caribbean icon Royal Caribbean
Celebrity Cruises  icon Celebrity Cruises princess icon
Princess Cruises
Holland America icon Holland America
NCL
Disney Cruises Regent icon Regent Cruises
Oceania icon Oceania Cruises Silversea icon Silversea Cruises
Crystal icon Crystal Cruises Hapag Lloyd icon Hapag Lloyd
Seabourn icon Seabourn Cruises
Cruise Ship


       
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