I’ll admit that I was disappointed in the NCL excursions (and non-NCL excursions) in this port. DH and I chose the Nature Walk, Totems, & Eagle Center excursion in the hopes of possibly seeing bears. The bus took us to the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary where we did a guided walk through the Tongass National Forest, the second largest rainforest in the world. We saw a TON of eagles there, but no other wildlife. It was a very pretty area though and we learned alot from our guide, Chris. Then we saw totem pole making, although this was very underwhelming because the native gentleman was just getting started on one, so he was only measuring at the time. Then we walked into the raptor center, where they rehabilitate eagles. After this, we had time in the gift shop, and then it was back to the port. We ate “breakfast” at Crab Cracker in Ketchikan, which consisted of fish (halibut) & chips and Alaskan beer. Then we walked around and shopped for a couple hours before getting back onboard.
Great day in Ketchikan... we arrived just in time to enjoy their 4th of July parade down Main St. Had a guided tour of the Rainforest Sanctuary & Raptor Center, then visited the Totem Heritage Center. An excellent docent explained the work at the center and history of various totems. Then headed to Creek Street, where we could wander on our own.
We hiked in the afternoon. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the forest and the history of the area. She pointed out many interesting plants and trees. We didn't see any wildlife in the forest, but I did see a black-tailed deer on the drive out. I also heard many birds, but saw few. I did see banana slugs of several colors. It's my understanding that there are five different species in the forest, and we were able to see three - black, white, and a spotted slug. It was a great hike!
not really worth it, poor value for money. The wildlife walk was about an hours walk along a path with little to see in the way of wildlife. The guide tried her best pointing out trees and slugs, but that was about it. The wildlife bird sanctuary had one eagle and that was it. Saw a guy making a totem pole but he wasn't in a communicative mood and said nothing other than "yes" twice. All in all not worth the expense.
We did the walk through the rain forest, just four of us with two guides. It was very interesting, not that far to walk, maybe about a mile, but very wet in the rain. main disappointment was not seeing any bears. It was also a bit on the expensive side .
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