After sailing 608 Nautical miles from Vancouver, through the Inside Passage with an average speed of 15.8 knots we arrive at 6.59am in Ketchikan, Alaska with the clouds slowly disappearing revealing a wonderful blue sky.
Cruise Day 3 – Ketchikan
Day 86 – May 27th, 2014.
What’s in Ketchikan Apart From Totem Poles and Jewelery Stores?
We dock alongside and soon disembark for our day in Ketchikan. There are two other ships already docked in front of us which can be seen from the ship’s webcam and also from our balcony and on deck.
Our friend Jnel met us at 9am by the bronze statue next to the visitor centre which is just where we got off the ship.
We used to work with Jnel in Australia at the Desert Cave Hotel in Cobber Pedy 15 years ago and have not seen her since. She finished her apprenticeship then moved to Ketchikan in Alaska and has been here for many years now. On talking with her we find out that in a few weeks she and her family are moving to another state so how fortunate we are to have timed this right.
Jnel along with three of her kids take us on a tour of the town and surrounds.
We start our tour in Ketchikan at the famous Creek Street
It used to be a red light strip, but today is host to many jewellery shops which line the entire creek. This is the iconic Dollys house which was one of the most popular brothels.
One of the shops used to belong to Jnel’s parents and was where she spent time growing up, before moving to Australia. Since then they have sold up and moved away, only her brother has several business in town.
The town is very quaint yet far too many touristy shops to make it really unique
We saw Bald Eagles and Otters and Seals
A short drive to Herring Cove where we are lucky enough to see Bald Eagles and Otters and Seals. I had my binoculars and managed to spot them in these trees, not much chance of any photos though.
A visit to Totem Bight in Ketchikan
Then we take a longer scenic drive out to Totem Bight where we look at the totem poles on display and a clan house.
The entrance is free and you can walk around at your own pace. There are 14 totem poles to see in Totem Bight and many more around town and the area.
On the way back we stop at a coffee drive through called Brewed Awakening and enjoy take away latte’s, apparently one of the better places for coffee.
The weather is good and blue skies are above, a rarity for Ketchikan which has so much rain throughout the year. The locals are easily spotted as they are wearing T-shirts and some even less, we have a jumper on!!
Next we take a drive to the top of the ridge to view the ships in the dock. Today there are three cruise ships, two Princess, and ours the MS Oosterdam.
The views are great from the top of the hill on the road out-of-town
We have docked in bay three which is perfectly situated for town. Around 1pm we say goodbye to Jnel and thank her for sharing her time and showing us around her home town.
Next we stumble through some of the shops using our vouchers to grab a few cheap goodies that we can wear, really cheap and good socks. You can buy so much stuff here from t-shirts to diamond bracelets, mostly very touristy stuff, it’s all here.
Many of the cruise ships actually own the shops and have arranged deals for passengers. It is very busy with around 6000 people off the three ships are in town. Jnel told us, that at peak season they regularly have six ships in one day which could around 13000 passengers walking around town.
We get back onboard and have some late lunch at the Lido buffet before the MS Oosterdam eases away at 3.05pm from the dock and we make our way to Juneau.
Gently she maneuvers away with the very picturesque town glowing in sun it looks rather like a Lego town, a backlot from universal studios and slowly it disappears in the distance.
Dinner at table 9 again was delicious with Moni continuing to stay away from the breads and having fruit for dessert.
After dinner we saw the show which tonight was comedian Jeff Burghart. He was very funny and did lots of voice impressions of famous people. We had a ball even though some found it less entertaining.
Off to bed.
Tomorrow we will visit Alaska’s capital, Juneau and spend the day there. Click the photo below to take a glimpse of what we saw in Juneau.