8/22/11 Fun! Toured the town and then did Bear-Creek Zip Line.
My favorite Port on this itinerary. We arrived on time and got off the ship at 7 a.m. The sleepy town had several shops open for our arrival, although not as many as we would have liked. We walked to the Totem Heritage Center. It was a longer walk then we thought and mostly uphill... I'd suggest a bus or taxi. The Totem center was interesting, but not that much in there. I thought it was pricey for what it had to offer since we were in there for a short time (20-30 minutes) to see everything. We opted out of the extra money to see the Eagle center and Fish Hatchery. Behind the center is a bridge and a path along creek that leads back to roads that lead back to Creek Street... research ahead of time and you can find city walking tour map... on the way back we saw very nice views of TONS of salmon in the river. We ended up at Married Man's Trail, which is a short easy trail to Creek Street shops. Great Photo Ops there. We explored Creek Street and had great fun touring "Dolly's House" which is a preserved brothel. Some of the information was kind of gross and definitely PG-13.. but my family thought it was fun and interesting. I would have liked more time to explore the city.
From there we met up at dock for our Bear Creek Zip Line excursion. Be aware ahead of time that the ship will ask you meet up with the tour sooner than the tour times on their online site, this left us less time see Ketchikan than we thought we would have. (Repeated for ALL of our tours.)
A bus took us to "Alaskan Rainforest Sanctuary" and then a hill-climbing vehicle took us up a dirt road to the Zip. We were suited up and given lots of instruction before the zip. I was concerned that I'm a bit out-of-shape and this would be beyond my level of fitness. IT WAS NOT. The walk to Totem Center was harder than the stairs up to the Zip Lines. WE HAD A BLAST! It was raining lightly and it didn't stop us from having a blast at all. The zip course is amazing and beautiful and I wanted to do the whole thing over again when we were done. That being said, there were quite a few lines, and a neat suspension bridge. The staff was excellent and fun, but VERY careful and I felt very safe. This was the most fun of any excursion on this trip and I'd do it again for sure. At the end of the zip lines you repel on a rope to get down from a platform, they set you up and it's simple. Then down a super slide. Back to the big truck. They drop you at a gift store that has free coffee/hot chocolate and other food is available for purchase. The gift store is decent with lots of clothes and other stuff, OK prices.
We only had about an hour until we needed to be back on-board but the bus driver agreed to drop us in town (about 15 minute walk to ship, at most). We wanted to go to a thrift store we saw... yep, a good ole' Salvation Army. We LOVE a good deal and wondered if we could find something "authentic" there. There wasn't any local art or anything when we were there, but my husband bought a brand-new belt buckle (made in Alaska that said Alaska) for $7 and a brand new Alaska T-shirt for $5. What a deal! We saw the same buckle at another store for $27. We had no more time so we went back to the ship.