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Ketchikan Saxman Native Village Excursion Reviews

Home > Member Reviews > Ketchikan Shore Excursions > Saxman Native Village

Visit Ketchikan's own Saxman Native Village, home to an authentic clan house and the world's largest collection of standing totem poles. If you book a tour through your cruise ship you can even see a native dancing show.

NWLACruiser

1 review

Following a short bus ride from the pier, we arrived at the Saxman Native Village for our tour. The main attraction for this stop is the totem poles and our guide provided interesting background and history on several of them.

Upon arrival to the village, you enter a small auditorium and watch a 15 minute presentation regarding the history of the Indian tribe and the development of the village. Following the presentation, there is a short walk to the heart of the village. For those unable to walk or those in wheel chairs, carts are available for transportation.

At the heart of the village, guests are treated to a brief introduction of the songs and dances of the tribe and then escorted to the building where totem poles are undergoing restoration. Afterwards, there is a small gift shop which you can visit.

This is not a large village but it has some interesting history.

Because of time constraints there it felt we were being pushed quickly from area to area to make room for the next group. If you plan to do any shopping in the gift shop, you will feel rushed. We were allowed about 20 minutes to browse, shop and purchase before our bus departed for the cruise port.


Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line

Coco Chanel 1

1 review

Beware of the off boat tour. we stood in parking lot to view the creek and salmon hatchery. found out the cruise line owns the land with the walkway.


Provider: Independent Operator

cmlk14

1 review

We wanted to see and learn about the totems. This site was too far to walk and the tour gave access to the "Native Village." The totems were great and our tour guide did a nice job explaining the customs and native stories. We saw 2 carvers who spoke with us, also good. The rest was pretty much a rip off. There is no native village, just one empty clan house. No displays or demonstrators or other buildings. In this clan house you will see a native dance, maybe 10 minutes presentation. You will also see a poorly done documentary movie of about 15 minutes. This trip should have been $10 or $15. There seem to better much better things to do in Ketchikan, I would not bother with this.


Provider: Holland America Line

ski2pla

1 review

This excursion was very informative and interesting as well as being accessible for someone who is handicapped. The village has transportation available for those whose walking is limited. Seeing the young people being taught the dances, songs, language and culture of their native tribes was encouraging to see. Their dancing exhibition was beautifully done; learning about totem pole making was really interesting; and seeing a totem carver at work brought it all to life. Highly recommend this excursion!


Provider: Princess Cruises

Normsie

1 review

Enjoyed the native culture and the dancing. enjoyed learning about the totem poles and the carving of them.


Provider: Princess Cruises

NancyBarn

1 review

Tour guide was knowledgeable but this tour was the beginning of a series of tours that ended in shopping and pleas to purchase more tours


Provider: Princess Cruises

SoCal Cruise Critic User

1 review

There were no "must see" places according to the tour books I read. Saxman Village turned out to be a worthwhile visit with good introduction to the native people and the best selection of totem poles - not too expensive either. Difficult to do much in Ketchikan in 4 hours, so this tour provided some insight into native cultures and also gave us some time to walk around town. We did the Saxman village tour first to avoid any possible crowding in town when the ships unloaded. The flight to Misty Fjords is highly recommended but it was cloudy, rather pricey and my spouse is not a small plane person.


Provider: Princess Cruises

sailingfinn

2 reviews

Tour was blah. Dull and uninspired.

The dock in Ketchikan is Cozumel in a plaid shirt and rain gear. Yet, a lot of ships stop there. Columbian emeralds and Tanzanite in Alaska? Best bet is to get out of town....way out of town in a seaplane or helicopter. Thats the opinion of shipmates who took to the air in Ketchikan.


Provider: Independent Operator

Ggmck

1 review

Overpriced


Provider: Princess Cruises

dforge715

1 review

The Totem Village was intriguing, got to visit with native carvers, very interestin


Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line

Parasols

1 review

$40 gets you a city tour, and Saxman Village where they make totem poles.

Provider: Independent Operator

DesertWindTX

1 review

The totem poles were interesting, our guide was a local Native American who gave some great insight. I wish that there was a bit more development as a tourist area, as some of where we stopped was kind of dirty and nasty.

Provider: Princess Cruises

Bradmajors

1 review

This was ok. They did an decent job; but I think I just was not "that into it". Our bus driver did most of the tour; but he seemed knowledgeable and very familiar with the native stories. That being said we didnt have a lot of time in port; so after this we had maybe 2 hours. So if you book this and the Lumberjack show then you'll have no time to walk around; except for first thing in the morning.

Provider: Holland America Line

Kodiaktexas

1 review

We had booked a Kayak tour but it was cancelled due to the very bad weather in Ketchikan. This was a backup tour. We toured the city, attempted to see bears, were successful at finding salmon and seals. The Saxman Native Village was interesting as was learning about totems. I really had no prior interest in totems but really enjoyed the spiel.

Provider: Independent Operator

Begavalley

2 reviews

Very interesting history of totem poles.

Provider: Holland America Line

baruchgershom

4 reviews

If you want to learn about totem polls and native American culture, this is where you need to be.

Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line

ISLABONITA

2 reviews

Took a public bus to the village and toured on our own.

Provider: Independent Operator

maganini

6 reviews

Interesting drive through a part of Ketchikan to get to the Saxman Native Village where we saw wonderful totem poles, an artist's studio where he was working on a huge one and we were treated to a Native Dance. Then we had time to explore some of the shops later on in the afternoon.

Provider: Independent Operator

garvey818

3 reviews

Suppose to be a tour through Ketchikan and to the totem poles. Tour guide was obnoxious and you couldn't hear what he was saying while on the road. Then he drug the group around the totems and told stories. Awful!

Provider: Celebrity Cruises

Bramcruiser

1 review

I was actually expecting Saxman Native Village to be cheesy but the short visit was entertaining enough. One cannot help but be impressed with the modern native society working hard to preserve their heritage while living in our modern western society. The presentations were entertaining and educational. The welcomes we received sounded more sincere than at most tourist sights.

Provider: Celebrity Cruises

newcruiserATL

1 review

Saxman village was interesting, especially seeing the totems being carved.

Provider: Royal Caribbean International

Geraldmacboingboing

1 review

A very interesting cultural learning experience.

Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines

Youbetterbelizeit

2 reviews

Ketchikan- We did a sourdough trolley tour that was $50 for adults and $25 for kids not through the cruise line. We went to see the Saxman totem poles and stopped and got out varies places to look at nature and then to the Dolly house tour. The tour guide was ok but not amazing it was raining really hard and he left us at the Dolly house to walk back which I was unaware of when we signed up we assumed it would take us back to ship. It was raining and cold Dress in layers!


Provider: Independent Operator

eastmountain

6 reviews

Learned so very much.

Provider: Celebrity Cruises

beechbum530

1 review

Buy on dock- fraction of ship cost. Interesting tour. City has great restautants and shopping. Lots to see and do

Provider: Independent Operator

memjan

1 review

If you like anthropology and culture, this is a great excursion. The Tlingit guides were very gracious, highly informative, comfortable with their culture and traditions, and eager to share them with us and answer any questions. The tour guide that drove the bus, Alex, a college student who works there in the summer was very entertaining, but also had spent a lot of time learning about the Tlingits and you could tell he was self-motivated to share their culture with us. Ketchikan itself is a pleasant town to meander around, with a lot of history.

Provider: Princess Cruises

mas360

1 review

This is mediocre at best.

Provider: Holland America Line

cruzin_ga_gal

10 reviews

Combination of Saxman Village and Lumberjack Show. The tour operator was boring and not loud enough for all to hear.

Provider: Royal Caribbean International

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