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.
This Sourdough Tours was just okay. Ketchikan was filled with tourist trap shops and it was hard to find authenticity there. The guide didn't seem very knowledgeable about the Saxman Native Village and I heard much more about the meaning of the totem poles from a Native Alaskan guide conducting the tour behind us-- wish I'd gone with them instead! The tour ended back in Ketchikan at Dolly's House, a historic red light district tour which was an on-our-own option after we returned. Only a few of the folks in our tour group bothered to go, opting to grab some souvenirs and get back to the ship instead.
Our supposed tour did not actually include the longhouse or performance, merely a view of the totems. This we could have had for much less using city bus, but at least we had some narration by a tourguide who was also a carver.
Unfortunately we were there on a Sunday so we could not see the master totem carver but the rest of the tour was great. My daughter even got up and danced with the native dancers. She was so excited when they dressed her up and taught her a traditional dance. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and told us many of the stories that went along with the totem poles. My favorite was oyster boy.
We were supposed to go on coastal drive and then to Potlach Totem Park, but tour operator wasn't offering that even though we pre-booked. Unknown to us, they pointed us to a van, checked off our names, and instead we went on another tour.
The guide was so annoying, never shut up.
It was nice but slow moving. Took a long time to get everyone on the bus and out to the village. Combining two groups made it too many people in my opinion. They grouped the lumberjack group with us. Had we been seperate would could have toured some of the town too.
The bus driver to the village was entertaining and informative. The stories behind the totems were interesting. The most impressive thing about the Clan House was that it was built entirely with no nails! The dancing, etc., was pretty cheesy but okay. We did enjoy it overall.
Our tour guide was a retired high School Science teacher ( I think his name is Ray). He is amazing!! We saw a bear, 6 bald eagles. He told us all kinds of history about the climate, how the drought is affecting the salmon this year and the shellfish. He told a lot about the totem poles and the WPA projects in Ketchikan. Gave him a $20 tip. Just a great tour.
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