Inside Passage Port of Call in Southeast Alaska
Petersburg is at the northern end of the Wrangell Narrows, a small channel near Frederick Sound in Alaska's Inside Passage in southeast Alaska. Petersburg was founded by a Norwegian homesteader, and the small town still retains a Norwegian flair. Tourism and fishing are the two main draws to Petersburg. The town has one of Alaska's largest fishing fleets, several processing plants, and is one of the richest small communities in the state.
During the summer fishing season, Petersburg's canneries are filled with hundreds of workers from around the world. Our Petersburg guide told us that workers from over 20 countries were there, living in dormitories and large tents. The pay is good, and some workers migrate back and forth between their home countries and Petersburg each year.
Tourists like Petersburg because of its proximity to Frederick Sound, the summer feeding ground of hundreds of humpback whales. Scenic LeConte Glacier, the southernmost saltwater terminating glacier in North America, is only 30 miles away. In addition, the hiking around the town and on nearby Kupreanof Island is excellent.
The Petersburg Mountain Trail is 7 miles roundtrip and leads from the Kupreanof State Dock to the mountain's summit.
Inlet on Petersburg Creek Hike
After passing through a rain forest and muskeg, the Petersburg Creek Trail on Kurpreanof Island reaches this inlet leading to the Wrangell Narrows.
5 Fingers Lighthouse in Frederick Sound Near Petersburg, Alaska
The 5 Fingers Lighthouse sits in a pretty setting in Frederick Sound near Petersburg, Alaska.
The 5 Fingers Lighthouse was originally built in 1902 and rebuilt in 1935 after a fire in 1933. The lighthouse was automated in 1984.
Steller Sea Lions on the Petersburg Harbor Buoy in Petersburg, Alaska
Sea lions in the southern hemisphere like to hang out on red buoys, too. This photo of Galapagos sea lions looks very much like this one!
Stellar Sea Lions in Petersburg, Alaska
Sea lions have articulated flippers that allow them to climb up on buoys for a quick snooze.
View of Petersburg, Alaska from the Wrangell Narrows
Petersburg is a pretty town, laid out by its first Norwegian settlers.
Island House near Petersburg, Alaska
Our guide told us that the local dentist lives in this island house in the Wrangell Narrows. He commutes via boat each day to his office in Petersburg.
Petersburg Fish Processing Plant
The Viking ship logo of this fish processing plant reminded me of the one for Viking River Cruises. Don't they look similar?
Cannery on the Docks at Petersburg, Alaska
Most fish "canneries" do more than just can fish--they flash freeze them for shipment to fish markets in the US and abroad.