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Top 10 Ketchikan Cruise Ship Excursions

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Posted by Lukas B on

Ketchikan boasts the reputation as the crown jewel of Southeast Alaska. Why is that? Well simply put Ketchikan offers so many activities and sightseeing opportunities for visitors with a plethora of excursions offered daily. Not to mention the activities and sights can all be accessed in a compacted duration that fit Ketchikan cruise ship port times. With Ketchikan being the most popular stop for cruise ship passengers on an Alaska cruise, means you’ll most likely be visiting this quaint Alaskan town during your cruise. In this article we will review the top things to do in Ketchikan with excursions and activities that fit each visitor.

Everything from sightseeing in the Misty Fjords National Monument by floatplane, to charter fishing in the, “Salmon Capital Of The World! Ketchikan truly offers it all! Additionally, the amount of wildlife including whales, eagles, bears and other marine animals seen on these tours makes it a complete package that emphasizes the natural beauty of Alaska. In contrast, for the landlubbers there’s private scenic van tours, UTV adventure cart rides and historic landmarks abound, all accessible from downtown cruise ship ports. For these reasons we’ve highlighted the best of the best for your visit to Ketchikan.

Misty Fjords National Monument

The Misty Fjords National Monument is nothing short of breathtaking! Nestled in the heart of the Tongass national rainforest the Misty Fjords picturesque 3,000 granite walls tower out of the ocean. Offering scenic views of glacial carved lakes, majestic old growth forests and cascading waterfalls weaving down to the oceans edge. This jaw dropping national monument is best experienced by seaplane or boat. Ketchikan tour operators offer multiple trip times daily to the Misty Fjords National Monument to satisfy busy summer demand. Seaplane tours to the Misty Fjords range from 1-1.5hrs. While tour boat operators tour duration is 4.5hrs, with a higher probability of seeing marine wildlife on the roundtrip excursion from Ketchikan.

Expect to see wildlife abound in the Misty Fjords! Particularly by way of seaplane, as you'll have an eagle's eye view of the scenery and wildlife below. Wildlife on land includes mountain goats,brown bears, black bears, wolves and eagles. By way of the sea one can expect to see whales, Dall porpoise, sea lions, harbor seals and common murres. This is a must see Southeast Alaska treasure that needs to be on the top of your list when visiting Ketchikan.

Ketchikan Whale Watching And Wildlife Viewing

Whale watching tours in Ketchikan are a great way to spend the day for visitors stopping in on an Alaskan cruise. The immense beauty and close proximity to the cruise ship docks makes it easy for groups wanting an authentic Alaskan experience. Where one can see humpback whales and orcas feeding in nearby waters. Surrounding waters anywhere from a ten to thirty minute boat ride from the downtown cruise ship ports hold an abundance of life.

Additionally, passengers may see harbor seals, sea lions, eagles, deer and bears. There’s such a diversity of wildlife in the heart of the Tongass National Rainforest where the land meets the sea. For these reasons we encourage everyone visiting Ketchikan to get out on the water and enjoy the scenic beauty that makes this area so unique.

Ketchikan Cruise Ship Fishing Excursions

For those interested in booking an Alaskan fishing excursion during their Alaskan cruise we absolutely recommended Ketchikan as the port to do so. Ketchikan fishing excursions offer it all in terms of what Southeast Alaska represents! Where world class fishing meets unparalleled natural beauty. Where scenic fjords covered in ancient rainforests cascade down to meet the sea. From the time you leave the dock, you’re in for a majestic Alaskan adventure that will fill your family's memories for a lifetime. In combination with world class fishing you’ll have the opportunity to see whales, eagles, harbor seals and sea lions! And that’s only a fraction of what is possible. Ketchikan fishing excursions pair this unmatched scenic wildlife tour with the best salmon and halibut fishing on your Alaskan cruise.

Fishing Excursions with Ketchikan's Finest Fishing Charters

Based on the cruise ship ports location in downtown Ketchikan, Ketchikan's Finest Fishing Charters offers cruise ship passengers a guaranteed on time pick up and drop off from the downtown cruise ship ports! We pick you up right as you disembark your cruise ship! No shuttles or taxis needed as our boats are located next to your ship. This ensures you’ll be met and dropped off without having to worry about getting back to your ship in time. Furthermore we offer a variety of Ketchikan fishing trips that fit each group's preferences and can accommodate groups regardless of age or experience.

The most popular Ketchikan fishing excursions for cruise ship visitors are the four hour salmon fishing charter or the five hour halibut and salmon fishing combination charter. The four hour salmon fishing charter is by far the most popular fishing excursion for cruise ship passengers. Enjoy trolling for salmon in relatively calm waters and a short boat ride from downtown cruise ship docks. Expect to catch multiple species of salmon including king salmon, silver salmon and pink salmon, depending on the time of year.

For the more avid outdoors families choose the halibut and salmon combination charter, which offers the best of both worlds! Catch halibut, cod, rockfish and sharks jigging the bottom in 200-300 feet of water. Following the halibut fishing we switch over to salmon fishing for multiple species of salmon. We also offer options to have your fresh Alaska catch professionally processed and shipped home to your doorstep. In summary, Ketchikan fishing excursions take a comprehensive approach to Southeast Alaska that combines interactive activities like fishing, along with whale watching and wildlife viewing, and a professionally guided trip with a narrative of the local area's history and culture.

Contact Ketchikan's Finest Fishing Charters to Book or Learn More

Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show - Ketchikan, Alaska

Believe it or not one of the most popular tours in all of Ketchikan is the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. The Alaskan Lumberjack Show takes place only a short walk from the cruise ship ports and packs in almost 700 people! This is a great value based option for the whole family and only takes an hour and a half. Watch as the audience and lumberjack teams are divided and encouraged to cheer on their designated lumberjacks through the series of events. Following the finale of the lumberjack show most families choose to walk amongst the town stopping in at the many shops and cafes.

Creek Street Historic District

Creek street historic district is located in downtown Ketchikan and is one of the top places to visit on your Alaska cruise. For one, creek street offers rich historical points along with a picturesque scene of the creek. During the summer months from July through September visitors to Ketchikan can expect to see hundreds of salmon swimming up the creek. In addition, visitors may see harbor seals, eagles and sea lions feeding on the annual abundance of the salmon run. Make sure to place creek street at the top of your list when visiting Ketchikan on your Alaskan cruise.

Ketchikan UTV Tour Safari

While Southeast Alaska remains remarkably well known for all the beauty surrounding the scenic waters and marine wildlife, there’s also options available for landlubbers. For example, Ketchikan UTV Tours offer daily trips for cruise ship guests where they take you on a guided off roading adventure up old forest service roads in remote parts of Ketchikan. This tour gets the adrenaline pumping and highlights the rugged outdoors with your family and friends. Remarked by many as an adventurous tour built with family in mind, this tour gets you off the beaten path. View the stunning Alaskan wilderness by way of UTV with a guided tour.

Saxman Totem Park and Totem Bight Historical State Park - Bus And Vans Tours

Families wanting to take part in the sights and sounds of this historic town can opt for a convenient bus or private van tour. These tours highlight Ketchikan and the surrounding areas with a narrated approach to the towns native history snd culture as well as the sights. Did you know Ketchikan maintains the reputation for having the most Totem poles of anywhere in the world? Enjoy hearing the stories, traditions and meaning of what totem poles represent and how they played a role in indigenous cultures.

These tours are concentrated around visiting either Totem Bight Historical State Park or Saxman Totem Park. Highlighting the cultures, values and traditions of the native culture in Southeast Alaska. In addition, these tours include visiting the historic district of Creek Street, as well as bear viewing in Herring Cove. Guests will have the option to choose from large bus tours or privately guided van tours.

Bear Viewing In Herring Cove

Want to see bears in Alaska? Who doesn't! The prime place to see bears in Ketchikan, Alaska lies in an area called Herring Cove. Boasting a wild salmon stream in conjunction with a salmon hatchery makes Herring cove an epicenter for wild salmon runs and bear viewing opportunities. The absolute best time to see bears in Herring Cove is when the low tide coincides with low light conditions such as mornings and evenings. When this takes place the bears come out in force to feed on the salmon who have minimal water to escape their pursuers. Making for an all out feast for bears feeding on wild Alaskan salmon. In addition to seeing bears in Herring Cove one can expect to see lots of eagles preying on the salmon as well as harbor seals, sea lions and orcas.

Best Places To Eat In Ketchikan - Alaska Fish House

By far the most popular choice for locals and cruise ship visitors alike is a resounding and unified nod to the Alaska Fish House. This culinary treat sits on the historic Thomas Basin harbor located directly next to the Alaskan Lumberjack Show. Treat the entire family to fresh crabs, fish and chips or my personal favorite the Alaskan fish tacos. This casual and convenient location will leave you delighted in every sense. Watch the boats coming in and out of the harbor as you sip a beer while awaiting the culinary delights.

Best Places To Shop In Ketchikan

Ketchikan offers a wide variety of shops and stores for visitors looking to purchase souvenirs. Firstly there's plenty of cruise ship owned jewelry stores on Front street, these won’t be hard to find as they’re placed smack dab in front of you as you disembark the ship. These stores display a wide variety of gems and jewelry for cruise ship guests. Secondly, there's gift shops that cater to apparel like sweaters and jackets.

For visitors looking for genuine local designers off the beaten path,our top picks for this arena would be Tongass Trading Company located at the downtown cruise ship docks. Furthermore for those looking to purchase authentic Alaskan memorabilia and souvenirs we recommend Caribou Creek and Rain Barrel. Caribou Creek and Rainbarrel are located directly across from the Alaskan Lumberjack Show in downtown Ketchikan. In addition they're owned and operated by locals.

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