Set sail with a 30-year Alaska resident who is anxious to introduce Whale Song Cruise guests to the spectacular sights of what many say is the most beautiful part of Southeast Alaska. You'll cruise and fish the same waters as Tlingit natives did centuries ago and sail through ice-fields from which Norwegian immigrants gathered glacier ice to prepare their fish for shipment. You'll pass by massive stands of spruce, hemlock and cedar forests that are circled by eagles, ravens, seagulls and all types of shore birds. Humpback and orca whales will frolic with porpoises and sea lions will be plentiful.
Three miles southeast of the town is Sandy Beach Park. Besides being a great place to discover tide pools and watch birds, it is also the site of ancient native Alaskan petroglyphs and remnants of prehistoric fish traps. These traps, best seen during low tide, forced salmon into channels where they would become trapped once the waters rose.
Exploring the town on foot is a great way to sample the local culture. Wander along the boardwalks of Hammer Slough then head toward Sing Lee Alley's specialty shops and cafes. Nearby is Bojer Wikan Fisherman's Memorial Park, where there is a monument dedicated to those lost at sea and a replica of a Norwegian Viking ship.
Petersburg's central location in the heart of southeast Alaska's Inside Passage provides spectacular flightseeing tours over the many glaciers located just outside of the remote Alaskan town. Kupreanof Flying Service has been offering glacier tours in the beautiful Alaska Wilderness setting for many years. Butch's local knowledge and experience provides an authentic insight of the people, their culture and the spirit of Petersburg. Harbor seals choose LeConte's protected water and abundant icebergs as a breeding, birthing and rearing area. Remember not to disturb these little ones. Abandonment of a young pup by its mother is a common occurrence, particularly if they are disturbed by hunting or other activities by humans.
The Little Norway Festival, May 16 -19, not only commemorates Norwegian Constitution Day (Syttende Mai, or May 17), but it is also a good excuse to dress up and have some fun. The three-day event features art openings, contests, sports, live music and fashion. Many favorite activities are returning, and there are also a few new events to check out. The Little Norway Festival offers up about 10 events per day -- wear comfortable shoes. Some events have long lines, so plan ahead. And there are activities for all ages and varied interests.