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Ketchikan Saxman Native Village Excursion Reviews

Ketchikan Saxman Native Village cruise excursion
Overall Rating
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.
Member Image NWLACruiser
1 review
Jun 2014

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.

Read NWLACruiser's full Norwegian Jewel cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Coco Chanel 1
1 review
Aug 2013

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.

Read Coco Chanel 1's full Celebrity Millennium cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image cmlk14
1 review
Aug 2013

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.

Read cmlk14's full Volendam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image ski2pla
1 review
Aug 2013

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!

Read ski2pla's full Sapphire Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image Normsie
1 review
Aug 2013

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

Read Normsie's full Star Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image NancyBarn
1 review
Jul 2013

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

Read NancyBarn's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image SoCal Cruise Critic User
2 reviews
Jul 2013

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.

Read SoCal Cruise Critic User's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image sailingfinn
2 reviews
Jul 2013

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.

Read sailingfinn's full Oosterdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image Ggmck
1 review
Jun 2013

Overpriced

Read Ggmck's full Golden Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image dforge715
1 review
May 2013

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

Read dforge715's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Parasols
1 review
Sep 2012
$40 gets you a city tour, and Saxman Village where they make totem poles.
Read Parasols's full Golden Princess cruise review
Provider: ? - Outside on Dock
Member Image DesertWindTX
1 review
Sep 2012
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.
Read DesertWindTX's full Star Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image Bradmajors
1 review
Sep 2012
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.
Read Bradmajors's full Oosterdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image Kodiaktexas
1 review
Sep 2012
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.
Read Kodiaktexas's full Rhapsody of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image Begavalley
2 reviews
Sep 2012
Very interesting history of totem poles.
Read Begavalley's full Oosterdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image baruchgershom
5 reviews
Aug 2012
If you want to learn about totem polls and native American culture, this is where you need to be.
Read baruchgershom's full Norwegian Pearl cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image ISLABONITA
2 reviews
Aug 2012
Took a public bus to the village and toured on our own.
Read ISLABONITA's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image maganini
6 reviews
Not Rated
Aug 2012
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.
Read maganini's full Radiance of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image garvey818
3 reviews
Jul 2012
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!
Read garvey818's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image Bramcruiser
1 review
Jun 2012
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.
Read Bramcruiser's full Celebrity Millennium cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image newcruiserATL
1 review
Jun 2012
Saxman village was interesting, especially seeing the totems being carved.
Read newcruiserATL's full Radiance of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image Geraldmacboingboing
2 reviews
Jun 2012
A very interesting cultural learning experience.
Read Geraldmacboingboing's full Carnival Spirit cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines
Member Image Youbetterbelizeit
2 reviews
Jun 2012

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!

Read Youbetterbelizeit's full Celebrity Millennium cruise review
Provider: sourdough tours
Member Image eastmountain
6 reviews
May 2012
Learned so very much.
Read eastmountain's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image beechbum530
1 review
May 2012
Buy on dock- fraction of ship cost. Interesting tour. City has great restautants and shopping. Lots to see and do
Read beechbum530's full Radiance of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image memjan
1 review
May 2012
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.
Read memjan's full Golden Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image mas360
1 review
Not Rated
May 2012
This is mediocre at best.
Read mas360's full Statendam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image cruzin_ga_gal
10 reviews
May 2012
Combination of Saxman Village and Lumberjack Show. The tour operator was boring and not loud enough for all to hear.
Read cruzin_ga_gal's full Radiance of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International

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