Alaska Cruise: Ketchikan

Well here it is already, my last post on our cruise to Alaska with our final stop at Ketchikan!

Ketchikan is in fact, the first city you would normally encounter cruising north into Alaska’s Inside Passage.  Our itinerary however, took us to Juneau first, then to Glacier Bay, followed by Sitka and lastly to Ketchikan.  Of the three cities we visited I think Ketchikan is the most colorful of them all.

And the rainiest, it turns out.

202 inches in 1949?  That my friend, is some serious rain!

And then there’s this, taken from the ‘Alaska Cruise Handbook,’ by John Upton:

“Ketchikan visitor to child: How long has it been raining?

Child: I don’t know;  I’m only five.”

So yes, it was raining in Ketchikan and we pulled out our umbrellas and explored the town on our own. I headed for colorful Creek Street, a historic boardwalk along the banks of Ketchikan Creek .

Creek Street used to be the red light district of this rough and tumble fishing and logging town. Its colorful buildings now house shops, art galleries and restaurants. Salmon still swim upstream in the creek to spawn.

Most of the sawmills in Ketchikan have closed down but you can still see the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show on the pier. The show is fun and also demonstrates serious logging skills by young athletes.

We finished up our shopping before returning to the ship to start the journey home. The next two days we would cruise south under overcast, but beautiful skies.

While walking the promenade deck, or gazing out the window from our balcony I liked to watch the sea, hoping to catch more of this.

And this.

No, not a sea monster.  A humpback whale!  Yes, we saw them several times on our journey and every time it was a thrill!

After a week of sailing we arrived back in Seattle, happy to be home again but also happy to have finally seen Alaska.  In fact it left us hungry for more.  And though I can now cross Alaska off my list, I’m sure we’ll be back someday to see more of this wild and beautiful state.

~  Susanne