A Different View

Alaska, well known for its wildlife, may soon be better known for adventure, specifically in the form of a 5,330-foot-long zip line that extends from a mountaintop to the beach below in Hoonah, Alaska.  Icy Strait Point's zip line runs across the Icy Strait Point Cannery

Such an excursion is offered by the Juneau, Alaska-based excursion company Icy Strait Point and is available for commissionable booking on Alaska itineraries through Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean.

Using a zip line manufactured by ZipRider, the cable rider—said to be the world's longest—drops 1,300 feet at a speed of up to 60 miles per hour, so it is not for the faint of heart. "The scariest part is climbing up to the first platform before your first run," says Travel Agent's Debbie Strong, who tried zip lining for a day through the Sierra Madres on a recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. "Once you get past that, the fear is gone and it becomes totally exhilarating."

Icy Strait Point points out that participants must be between 90 and 275 pounds and be comfortable with heights (obviously!). The one-hour excursion also includes a narrated bus tour through the village of Hoonah and up the mountainside.

Johan Dybdahl, president of Icy Strait Point, says wildlife sightings of Sitka black-tailed deer and Alaska coastal brown bear are common along the way. The company also adds that because the zip line consists of only a launch tower and landing platform, it produces a minimal impact to the environment below.