Ketchikan Ketchikan On Our Own Excursion Reviews
In Ketchikan, we continuously saw salmon leaping from the water. An ex-commercial fisherman told us that it was female salmon, breaking up her egg skeins in preparation for spawning.
We took a very affordable private tour with Sourdough Tours (aka Ketchikan Taxi Cab Tours), and saw some bald eagles and ravens. We also explored the shore and found moon jellies, and thousands of crabs along the shore. Just lift a rock and you'd find baby Dungeness crabs and other mini crabs scamper about.
We also trekked through the woods and picked wild huckleberries (like tart red blueberries), thimbleberries, and salmon berries (like blackberries, but past season so a little bitter).
We visited the foamy rushing waterfalls on Creek Street and saw salmon try to climb up the waterfalls. They were hard to see but caught a few leaping with my Nikon (1/2500 shutter speed). We headed a few blocks away to Salmon Row and Herring Way (great street names!), where from the bridge we saw hundreds and hundreds of salmon resting in the river after they had made it up the waterfall at Creek Street. The calmer waters here allowed us to see the full shape of the fish.
If we had more time, we would have gone to see the native culture like Saxman Village or Potlatch Park, but we had to catch our next tour.
Great service. Owners were awesome.
In Ketchican, you can rent a fishing pole right off the ship for $10 and fish right there. Make sure you get the local coupon book, and look through it...there are some serious bargains in there. Price swings can be huge from store to store. Oh...and if you are buying salmon to bring or send home...look where it is packaged. Most of it is from Washington, not Alaska. There are only a couple that sell actual "Alaskan Salmon". Not an exciting stop...primarily shopping.
.used map to do a self guided walk. interesting
took a walking tour to the Totem Pole Museum. Easy walk
In Ketchikan, we chose to walk and shop - based on CC reviewers naming it as the best souvenir shopping port. The ship docks right in the heart of the tourist area, lots of shops and saloons, and we walked the Waterfront Promenade around to the beautiful Creek Street shops neighborhood. We were lucky to see a huge bald eagle perched on a tree branch over Creek Street and dozens of large salmon swimming in the creek. After everyone in our party had their fill of shopping, we enjoyed our traditional adult beverage and hubs t-shirt purchase at Fish Pirates Saloon on the waterfront. Alas, I do not wear souvenir t-shirts, so the hubs insisted I buy an icy blue Glacier pendant and chain to balance out of his souvenir t-shirt purchases!
This was our third time to Ketchikan so opted to take the free shuttle to the Totem Heritage Center which we enjoyed. We walked back to the port via the fish ladders but the town was so crowded with 4 ships in port that we did not want to deal with the crowds.
Again, an all too brief stop. We walked around the town, saw salmon swimming upstream and went to totem pole museum. Interesting and only $10. Had to try Alaskan salmon. Had a very nice salmon chowder and salmon sandwich at take out restaurant by the dock.