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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in ALASKA
Sights to see & things to do

Cruise AlaskaKetchikan, Alaska

Known as Alaska’s First City, a reference to it being the first city along the Inside Passage, the climate of Ketchikan is surprisingly temperate because of it’s location—in the midst of a rain forest! That also explains its other nickname, the Rain Capital of North America. With average annual rainfall measuring a whopping 160 inches, in Ketchikan it’s either getting ready to rain, is raining, or it’s just stopped raining. Bring and umbrella and hope for the weather gods to smile on you. This is a picturesque city full of history and lore.


Visitors can’t help but notice the many totem poles that dot Ketchikan's landscape. These poles served many purposes in Tlingit and Haita societies, recording legends, family events, and history; none were connected to idol worship as the early missionaries thought. From the pier, stop at the Visitors Bureau Information Center right at the dock or the Southeast Alaska Visitor Center nearby on Front Street, which also houses a Native Alaska museum. Pick up a map and make your way to the restored gold rush era streets of Ketchikan and  Creek Street, the row of buildings on pilings over a stream which houses boutiques, eateries, and the infamous Dolly’s House. Dolly Arthur practiced the world’s oldest profession and her home stands today as a bawdy museum where docents dressed in period costumes bid passers by to enter—for a price. Some things never change. Just a short distance up Park Avenue is the observation deck at the artificial salmon ladder. While away some time marveling at how these determined fish make their way to the spawning grounds from the sea.

Outside Ketchikan are two historical sites, Totem Bight State Historical Park and Saxman Indian Village. Unless you’re wildly interested in totem poles, you might wish to arrange independent tours of these attractions. It’s easy for boredom to set in after dozens of poles are described in excruciating detail.

Even though they include no glaciers, flyover sightseeing tours of Misty Fjords are extremely popular. The majestic beauty of the fjords, waterfalls, and rugged tree covered mountains are capped by landing on a serene lake in the wilderness.

Cool Cruising-- Spring! It's in the air and cruisers' fancies turn north. North to Alaska, with thoughts of majestic scenery, frontiers to explore, and what  to pack.

Return to Alaska Ports of Call

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