If you’ve got Ketchikan, Alaska on your upcoming cruise itinerary, get ready for an array of shore excursions that promise to make your Alaskan experience truly unforgettable. From wildlife encounters to cultural explorations, there is a Ketchikan excursion for every kind of explorer. Let’s dive into the heart of this coastal city and discover the must-try shore excursions that will leave you with stories to share and memories to last a lifetime.
Great Ketchikan Excursions to Explore
Highlights of Ketchikan: A Walk Through Ketchikan’s History
Begin your adventure by strolling along the iconic Creek Street, where charming wooden buildings elegantly stand over the water, whispering tales of a bygone era. Let the historical ambiance captivate you as you wander through this picturesque setting, filled with the echoes of the past.
Next up is Saxman Village, a cultural haven that beckons with its traditional totem park. Immerse yourself in the stories and traditions of the Tlingit people as you meander through this vibrant community. Admire the craftsmanship of totem poles that stand as silent storytellers, preserving the cultural legacy of Ketchikan.
But your Ketchikan excursion doesn’t end there; it’s a gateway to a world of discovery. Take your time to leisurely explore Rotary Beach, a serene stretch of coastline that offers stunning views and a chance to connect with the natural beauty of Ketchikan. Feel the soft sand beneath your feet and let the rhythmic sounds of the waves soothe your senses.
Continue your journey to Herring Cove, where nature’s wonders unfold in a picturesque setting. Explore the pristine landscapes, breathe in the fresh coastal air, and witness the beauty of Alaskan wildlife in its natural habitat. Herring Cove is a haven for nature enthusiasts, offering a glimpse into the wild beauty that makes Ketchikan truly exceptional.
Rainforest Sanctuary Center and Totems
Get ready for an unforgettable journey into Ketchikan’s rainforest, where every step is a chance to connect with nature’s beauty. No need for fancy hiking gear – just lace up your favorite boots and get ready to explore!
As you wander through the sanctuary, let the crisp air invigorate your senses. It’s not just a hike; it’s like stepping into nature’s warm embrace, with every rustle of leaves and bird’s song creating a symphony in the wild. Here you might catch a glimpse of some of the native wildlife, such as bald eagles, bears or even a moose.
After your hike, visit the Herring Bay Lumber Company Sawmill, where you’ll feel transported to a time long ago. This historic site shares tales of Ketchikan’s timber industry legacy. It’s like walking through history, feeling the resilience and hard work that shaped our town.
Next up, be prepared to be amazed by the skill of a native totem carver. Each carving is a story, a piece of Ketchikan’s cultural heritage. You can feel the passion and dedication that goes into creating these totems, each one reflecting the rich traditions of our indigenous peoples.
And when you are finished exploring the rainforest and the historic sites, take a moment to visit the General Store. Take a moment to soak in the ambiance, enjoy a cup of coffee, and browse through treasures that capture the heart of Ketchikan – the perfect souvenirs to remember your Ketchikan excursion.
Lumberjack Legends: High-Flying Axe Action
The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show & Crab Feast is an experience that’s as wild as it sounds and is a classic Ketchikan excursion! Picture this: a stage filled with burly lumberjacks showcasing their skills, the air buzzing with energy, and the crowd cheering for their favorite logger.
As you settle into the show, you’ll be treated to a rollicking good time – axe throwing, log rolling, and chainsaw action that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. It’s not your average show; it’s an all-out lumberjack showdown, where the laughter is as infectious as the spirit of the competition.
And just when you think the excitement can’t get any better, it’s time for the Crab Feast! Picture cracking into succulent Alaskan crab legs, savoring the freshness of the sea, and digging into a feast fit for a hungry lumberjack. It’s a hands-on experience where the messier, the better – a true celebration of Alaskan flavors and hearty appetites.
So, if you’re up for a day of laughter, thrilling lumberjack antics, and a crab feast that’s nothing short of epic, the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show & Crab Feast is a great choice for your Ketchikan excursion. Get ready to cheer, feast, and dive into the heart of Alaskan hospitality!
Cast Away: A Fishing Expedition to Remember
Ketchikan is synonymous with world-class fishing, and your trip won’t be complete without dipping your toes (and your line) into the pristine Alaskan waters. Book a small group Skiff Fishing and Fresh Catch Wilderness Dining for the ultimate Alaskan fishing experience. Picture this on your Ketchikan excursion – casting your line into the crystal-clear waters of the Inside Passage, surrounded by nature’s beauty and the sweet tunes of the sea. It’s not just fishing; it’s an adventure waiting to unfold.
After landing your own catch, you head to a wilderness camp spot. The camp chef will then turn your fresh catch into a culinary masterpiece. With the open sky above, the ocean breeze in your hair, and the taste of Alaskan flavors on your plate, it’s more than a meal – it’s a feast in your very own outdoor sanctuary. It’s about celebrating nature’s goodness and the sheer delight of sharing scrumptious food in the great outdoors. So, who’s up for a seafood extravaganza?
Flightseeing & Crab Feast: A Feast for the Eyes and Palate
Imagine boarding a small plane, soaring high above the misty fjords of Alaska. The breathtaking views below, with towering cliffs, mirror-like lakes, and lush greenery, create a scene straight out of a dream. It’s not just a flight; it’s a cinematic experience where nature’s beauty takes center stage, leaving you in awe of Alaska’s majestic landscapes.
As you glide through the misty wonderland, keep an eye out for wildlife below – from playful otters to majestic eagles. It’s like having a front-row seat to Mother Nature’s own show, with surprises waiting at every turn. After your flight, land back on solid ground, and get ready to indulge in a feast fit for royalty.
So, if you’re up for a day filled with jaw-dropping views, wildlife surprises, and a crab feast that’ll have you coming back for more, the Misty Fjords Flightseeing & Crab Feast is your ticket to Alaskan bliss. Get ready to soar, feast, and create memories that’ll linger long after the last crab shell is tossed aside!
Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour: A Seafood Safari
Get ready to sail on the Aleutian Ballad, the very boat you’ve seen on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch.” Don’t worry though, no rough waters, only the calm waters of the Inside Passage.
As you sail, the crew, a bunch of seasoned fishermen will take you through the ins and outs of life as a commercial fisherman, sharing exciting stories of their time out at sea.
You will also get to experience the on-boat live tank – It’s not your usual aquarium experience; it’s like having a front-row seat to the sea’s finest residents. Watch as curious sea creatures swim around, and if you want, you will have the chance to touch some of them as well.
Hold on tight because here comes the highlight – watching the skilled crew in action! Feel the excitement as they haul and set long lines, barrel pots, and massive 700-pound king crab pots. It’s not just watching; it’s being part of the action, feeling the adrenaline as each pot emerges from the depths, revealing the catch of the day.
So, if you’re ready for a day of sea adventures, tales of the untamed waters, and seeing incredible sea creatures, the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour is calling your name. Get on board, set sail, and let the sea stories unravel right before your eyes – an experience that’ll have you hooked!
Backcountry Jeep and Canoe Safari: Thrills in the Heart of Nature
For this Ketchikan excursion, imagine hopping into a rugged Jeep, ready to navigate through off-road trails that wind through misty mountains and lush forests. This is an off-road adventure, where each turn reveals a new vista of Ketchikan’s untamed beauty. Feel the rush as you conquer the trails, surrounded by the natural symphony of the wilderness.
Next up is a canoe experience on Lake Harriet Hunt. You will be gliding across mirror-like waters, surrounded by the untouched beauty of the Alaskan wilderness. It’s like stepping into a nature painting, where every stroke is a paddle, and every view is a masterpiece.
But that’s not all – get ready for a short guided hike, where the trail takes you through an old growth forest. During this nature hike, you will get to stop by a campsite to take a break and enjoy some snacks.
So, if you’re up for a day that blends adventure and serenity, the Backcountry Jeep and Canoe Safari is calling your name. Gear up for a journey that unleashes the wild, where the wheels roll, the paddles dip, and every step takes you deeper into the heart of Ketchikan’s untamed paradise!
Gear up for an adventure like no other in Ketchikan, Alaska! Nestled near the Tongass National Forest, this city is a haven for thrill-seekers, especially those looking to experience the exhilaration of ziplining amidst breathtaking scenery. Get ready to soar through the treetops and dive headfirst into the wonders of nature!
We went for the ziplining adventure for our Ketchikan excursion, and boy, was it a fantastic choice! Seeing the forest from a whole new angle was mind-blowing, and flying through the trees was an absolute blast—even with a bit of drizzle in the air, we had a blast. Plus, we took the chance to check out the fascinating totem poles and the historic sawmill. While we were soaking in the nature vibes behind the sawmill, guess what? We lucked out and spotted a bear, some salmon, and even a couple of majestic bald eagles! Talk about an unforgettable day!
There are two zipline companies in Ketchikan:
Alaska Canopy Adventures
This company offers two zipline courses: the Eagle Creek Zipline and the Bear Creek Zipline. The Eagle Creek Zipline is more challenging and offers longer ziplines and higher speeds. The Bear Creek Zipline is a good option for first-time zipliners and families with younger children.
Southeast Exposure Outdoor Adventure Center
This company offers a variety of outdoor activities, including ziplining, aerial ropes courses, and rappelling. The zipline course at Southeast Exposure is located in the heart of the Tongass National Forest and offers stunning views of the surrounding forest and mountains.
Both companies offer round-trip transportation from downtown Ketchikan to their zipline courses. Tours typically last around 3-4 hours, and all necessary safety equipment is provided.
Things to Consider When Ziplining
- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that you can move around in easily.
- Bring a waterproof jacket, as it can be cool and rainy in the rainforest.
- Listen carefully to your guides’ instructions and follow their safety rules.
- Relax and have fun! Ziplining is a great way to experience the beauty of the Alaskan rainforest and get a thrill at the same time.
- Book your tour in advance, especially if you are visiting during the summer season.
- Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat.
- If you are pregnant or have any medical conditions, be sure to talk to your doctor before going ziplining.
Tips for visiting Ketchikan
- Ketchikan is a relatively small city, so it is easy to get around on foot. However, there is also a public bus system and a number of taxi companies.
- Ketchikan has a temperate climate, but it can be rainy year-round. Be sure to pack an umbrella and a raincoat.
- While exploring nature trails or engaging in outdoor activities, keep an eye out for bears, eagles, and other local fauna. Maintain a safe distance and follow local guidelines for wildlife encounters.
Ketchikan beckons with its undeniable beauty and vibrant charm, offering a little something for everyone. Dive into the captivating tales of history, immerse yourself in the richness of culture, connect with nature’s wonders, or embark on thrilling adventures – Ketchikan promises an experience that’s bound to stay with you. No matter which Ketchikan excursion you choose, get ready for an unforgettable journey in this incredible city!
Want to see how to best plan your Alaskan cruise or see how we can help you plan your next dream vacation? Check out some of our other posts to discover more.
There are so many Alaskan cruises to choose from it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Too many options to choose from with dozens of locations you’ve never been to? See how to plan an epic adventure to Alaska in 2024.
Putting together your dream vacation doesn’t need to be stressful or overwhelming. Let me handle the details and I will make sure that you can focus on making amazing memories. All at no additional cost to you!