Day Nine: We woke up at the dock in Ketchikan. Everyone had raved so much about the coconut lime muffins, we got coconut muffins again. This time with chocolate chips, still all warm and melty.
After breakfast I took a little walk on the outside deck and saw the Norwegian Pearl tied up across the dock from us. Looking up at the much larger ship, I saw people on their balconies looking down, watching me watching them. Here we all are in Ketchikan. What a different cruise experience on American Safari Cruises or InnerSea Discoveries seeing wild Alaska versus the large ships touring the tourist ports. I’ve done and enjoyed both, they are just very different. Earlier in the cruise when someone mentioned going back to the real world after the cruise ended, Kevin said that nature is the real world, the rest is man made.
The former mayor of Ketchikan, a Tlingit native, met us at the dock for a walking tour of the town. We docked right next to the Aleutian Ballad, a former Deadliest Catch ship. Now it gives a Bearing Sea crab fisherman’s tour. John has done that tour and says it is one of the best.
I saw a lot more of the city this time than I did the last time I was in Ketchikan. That time the rain was dumping buckets. We made it about as far as the first gift shop before running back to the boat. This time our beautiful sunny weather continued. Our tour guide talked about an eagle statue. He explained the origins of the name of the town came from an Indian word describing the sound of an eagle’s wings when you get too close. At least I think that is what he said. I was not paying that much attention. I found a house above a tunnel through the rock quite distracting. I’ve only seen that once before, where I-90 goes through Mercer Island near Seattle.
We saw some totem poles and the original hospital and moved on to Creek Street. Once the red light district, it now houses gift shops. True to its name, the creek does run through. You can look over the railing and see all sorts of salmon acclimating to the fresh water for their final upstream journey.
After a bit of shopping time, we made our way to the visitor’s center. From there you could book pretty much any tour
Ketchikan has to offer, and they have a lot. Everything from horse drawn trolley or Duck rides (amphibious vehicle) to float plane rides for aerial tours over the Misty Fjords, or with other destinations in mind. They have a myriad of other choices to fit any budget.
We met our bus, and took a detour on the way to the airport to check out Snorkel Alaska owned by Fred Drake. My husband John did this tour on a previous visit and says it is awesome. They showed us a collection of critters usually spotted on the tour. They explained that you really won’t be cold as they have wetsuits and things to keep you warm. John tried the snorkeling on a previous visit and said that is true.
We got to the ferry just in time to drive on before it left for the island on which sits the Ketchikan Airport. The destination of the infamous bridge to nowhere that never got built. The plane took off from sunny Alaska and landed in rainy Seattle, sadly the end of a wonderful journey.
InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises have combined and are now known as Un-Cruise Adventures.