Destination – A Glimpse of Ketchikan – Not Just Totem Poles and Jewelery Stores

Cruising towards Ketchikan

Cruising towards Ketchikan

 

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?

Aproaching Ketchekan on MS Oosterdam

Approaching Ketchikan on MS Oosterdam

 

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.

The other cruise ships docked in front of MS Oosterdam in Ketchikan

Cruise ships docked in Ketchikan in front of MS Oosterdam

 

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.

Jumping with joy in Ketchekan by the famous bronze Rock statue

Jumping with joy in Ketchikan by the famous bronze Rock statue

 

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

Creek Street in Ketchekan

Creek Street in Ketchikan

 

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.

The Iconic Dolly's house in Creek Street

The Iconic Dolly’s house in Creek Street in Ketchikan

 

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.

Perfect Partners in Creek Street Ketchekan

Perfect Partners in Creek Street Ketchikan

 

The town is very quaint yet far too many touristy shops to make it really unique

Ketchikan town from the dockside

Ketchikan town from the dockside

 

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.

Herring Cove where we are lucky enough to see Bald Eagles and Otters and Seals

Herring Cove where we are lucky enough to see Bald Eagles and Otters and Seals

 

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.

Totem Bight in Ketchikan

Totem poles and the Clan House at Totem Bight in Ketchikan

 

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.

Brewed Awakening in Ketchikan

Brewed Awakening coffee in Ketchikan

 

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!!

The Ketchikan rain gauge and the town

The Ketchikan rain gauge and the town

 

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.

I see no ships... ahh there they are, group photo with Jnel and kids

I see no ships… aah there they are, group photo with Jnel and kids

 

The views are great from the top of the hill on the road out-of-town

Panorama from the hill

Panorama from the hill

 

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.

MS Oosterdam panorama

MS Oosterdam panorama

 

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.

Ketchikan in Alaska

Ketchikan in Alaska

 

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.

Sea Princess & MS Oosterdam - The rear end of two fine ladies of the sea

Star Princess & MS Oosterdam – The rear end of two fine ladies of the sea

 

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.

Leaving Ketchikan cruising towards Junea in Alaska

Leaving Ketchikan cruising towards Juneau in Alaska

 

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.

Destination A glimpse of Juneau in Alaska

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