If you’re sailing north by cruise ship from Seattle or Vancouver, the Port of Ketchikan will likely be your first port of call. The former salmon fishery and the Salmon Capital of the World offers visitors a real taste of Alaska’s frontier personality and cultural heritage and a chance to explore the surrounding temperate rain forest.
Travelers docking in Ketchikan can choose to explore the former fishery and gold mining town on their own or head further afield on a half-day shore excursion to explore the natural surroundings. See the world’s largest collection of totem poles at Saxman Native Village, explore the Inside Passage on a Zodiac cruise, board a fishing boat from Deadliest Catch for a fishing excursion, walk through the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, or take off on a floatplane tour above Misty Fjords National Monument. Many tours offer the chance to spot wildlife, like eagles, bears, and marine mammals.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Most Ketchikan shore excursions include pickup and drop-off at the Ketchikan port.
- Guided shore excursions typically last two to four hours, depending on the activities involved.
- Bring bug spray ashore, especially if you plan to spend time in the woods.
- While it’s possible to explore on your own, booking a shore excursion with transportation and a guide is the best way to eliminate hassle.
How to Get to Ketchikan from the Port of Ketchikan
Cruise ships dock at one of four berths located right near the city center. On the occasional days when the berths are full, ships might be required to anchor offshore and tender passengers into town.
While the US dollar is the official currency, some shops also accept Canadian dollars. ATMs are located throughout town near the cruise ship dock.