1 Year Journey – Alaska – Ketchikan

We woke up to complete fog the next day.  It remained like that for most of the day.  We spent the entire day at sea, so I’m not sure what all we missed scenery wise due to the fog.  We could hear the ship’s foghorn sound every three minutes.  We went up to the upper deck to look out and you had to be ready to plug your ears on the three minute mark!!  Those horns are deafening!


They switched out ship pilots part of the way into our trip.  It was neat to see the pilot boat cruise right up next to the ship so they could swap the pilots without stopping. 


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The waves below our balcony where are mesmerizing.  Every once in a while a big jellyfish would go by. 


At the rear of the ship on deck 12 was the Great Outdoors cafe.  It was fun to eat there a couple of times and watch the waves to go by. 

Tons and tons of food to choose from! There are 11 restaurants!  Sort of like having the dining plan at Disney.  It’s a good thing we did a lot of walking!

When the fog finally cleared in the late afternoon, we were able to see a total of seven humpback whales!  That was really exciting!


The next morning we woke up at 6am to our ship docking in Ketchikan, Alaska!


Another cruise ship was already there. 


There were so many sea planes taking off!  We always love watching them take off and land.  Someday we would like to take a ride in one.  Most of the excursions that involved a seaplane (usually to go see bears) were around $400 person!

Ready to hike around the town!

Ketchikan is known for all of its totem poles:

I would say the town revolves more around its jewelry stores than anything else, though!  It’s unbelievable how many jewelry stores there were at every port we entered.  A lady on the cruise ship was promoting the heck out of them and it even said they were paying to be showcased on the cruise ship.  The jewelry stores aren’t even owned by people who live in Alaska, so it seemed.  All of them seem to be owned by people from other countries.  It sure didn’t seem very authentic.  And when we did try to find a souvenir from Alaska, most of them weren’t even made in Alaska, but rather China or the Philippines! 😬

We tried to find things to see away from the blocks and blocks of gift shops.  We came here to see Alaska…not to be swarmed by high-pressure sales people standing in the store fronts wanting to sell overpriced jewelry!  It almost seemed like Tijuana at times…sad.  If you take a step back and look at the whole picture, the cruise ship is full of people who have just been told to go shop at certain shops.  When the ship pulls into the dock everyone swarms the gift shops until they can’t carry anymore and then they get back on the ship (aside from the excursions that people go on).  So unless you go on an excursion or make an effort to avoid the shops, you really aren’t experiencing what Alaska is really like aside from watching the pretty scenery go by.

Creek Street was probably the neatest part of the town.  It’s a lot of buildings built on top of the water.  They originally were brothells and bars (now gift shops and restaurants of course) built on the river to avoid laws during the prohibition period. Aapparently if a building was not located on the soil then the laws did not apply to them.  So it was neat to see a part of the town that had some history to it.

There were a few harbor seals in the creek chasing salmon for lunch.  That was a lot of fun to watch!   We saw one catch a salmon! Watching wildlife is probably our favorite thing to do when we are near the ocean or mountains. 

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We walked up to an area where the salmon we’re jumping up the rapids.  There was a fish ladder there, but we never saw any fish using it (overachievers!).  We were amazed at how the fish could swim up such strong currents!

You can see the salmon jumping upstream in this video:


I’m guessing at some point the fish will give up and find the fish ladder. 


Here they are all gathered in one area just before the rapids:

​We ate some good fish ‘n’ chips down by the water.

Avin’s favorite part of Ketchikan was the lumberjack show.  It was pretty funny!

Golden something funny we saw was a shuttle bus to take people a few miles down the road to Walmart!  That’s the first time we’ve ever seen that!

Goodbye, Ketchikan!


Next stop is Juneau!


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