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Cruises to Ketchikan

Ketchikan, Alaska (Photo: Brian Lasenby/Shutterstock)
Ketchikan, Alaska (Photo: Brian Lasenby/Shutterstock)

About Ketchikan

Misty Ketchikan, the rainiest town in Southeast Alaska, is known as the "Salmon Capital of the World." The town offers the perfect blend of activities: kayak in Misty Fjords or hike up Deer Mountain in the morning, then poke in and out of fantastic galleries and shops in the afternoon.

You're bound to visit Creek Street, a row of wooden buildings perched over the water on pilings. Brightly painted boutiques once catered to gentlemen seeking the company of "sporting women." The museum at Dolly's House gives you a glimpse into the bawdy ways of frontier life, though Ketchikan's red light district wasn't shut down until 1953.

Legends of a different sort are recorded on totem poles. Boasting the world's largest collection of Northwest totems, Ketchikan offers plenty of places to see these fascinating works of art.

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DAY 1: Seattle

5 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Victoria ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Vancouver

7 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Seattle

9 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Sitka, Icy Strait ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Seward

7 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seward
Visiting:
Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Endicott Arm ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Juneau, Skagway ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Juneau, Glacier Bay ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Icy Strait, Glacier Bay ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Icy Strait, Hubbard Glacier ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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120 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
San Francisco
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Juneau, Skagway ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Sitka, Icy Strait ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
San Francisco
Visiting:
Astoria, Oregon, Sitka ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Inside Passage, Sitka ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Juneau, Skagway ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Juneau, Glacier Bay ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Juneau, Skagway ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Icy Strait ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Inside Passage, Icy Strait ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Icy Strait, Hubbard Glacier ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Seattle, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Sitka, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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8 Night
Cruise to Ketchikan

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Endicott Arm, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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Why go to Ketchikan?

Pros:

Opportunities for cultural exploration abound in this town with a rugged vibe.

Cons:

There are plenty of shopping and dining gems, but they might require wading through tacky big-box storefronts first.

Bottom Line:

Lumberjacks and locals mix with tourist-frequented haunts and shopping strips.

Ketchikan Cruise Port Facilities?

Ships dock in the center of town at one of four berths, so there is a lack of the traditional cruise terminal facilities you might see at many larger ports. On crowded days, ships might be required to anchor and tender passengers into Ketchikan. Small ships sometimes dock a mile south of town.

Everything -- information kiosks, cafes, shops, museums, tour operators and restaurants -- is a short walk from the cruise ships. The visitors/tour center is located at Berth II (131 Front Street). A tunnel divides "Old Town" Ketchikan (where the majority of the attractions are) to "New Town," where several additional restaurants and bars can be found.

Good to Know?

No-see-ums. As the name suggests, you won't see these tiny bugs that reside in wet, wooded areas, but you will notice their bites later (and they aren't pleasant). Use bug spray if you plan to hike or explore in the woods.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Shoppers and gallery-hoppers will be able to easily navigate Creek Street on foot. This popular tourist area is only about a block from the cruise ship dock. To go a little further afield, say to Totem Bight State Park (10 miles away), you will probably take a taxi, motorcoach tour through the cruise line or public bus.

By Car: You might not have enough time in port to make renting a car worthwhile, but visitors who want their own wheels can head for Alaska Car Rental (2828 Tongass Avenue), located about a mile and a half from the dock. Ketchikan is home to three taxi companies with taxi stands near the cruise ship docks, and taxis are readily available throughout the downtown area.

By Bus: A free shuttle bus operates a loop around downtown, and connections can be made at various stops to the public bus system, which extends to other outposts and the airport. The silver bus line runs once an hour with pickup locations right in front of the cruise ships at Front Street and Dock Street. Bus fares are $1; allow ample time when using public transportation.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The U.S. dollar is the currency, but some shops will also accept Canadian dollars. Numerous banks with ATMs are located close to the cruise ship dock, including Wells Fargo (409 Dock Street) and First Bank (311 Dock Street).

Language?

English is spoken in Ketchikan.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2018 Top-Rated Alaska Destinations
  • 2016 Top-Rated Alaska Destinations
  • 2015 Top-Rated Alaska Destinations

Ketchikan Cruise Reviews

patrout38
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Salmon Capital of the World! Ketchikan was the best port for shopping. We bought some nice Christmas ornaments here, and a new watch for me :)... Read More
Norwegian Bliss
eharris727
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Cannot rate Ketchikan because we were not able to go their because of the wind and weather.... Read More
Island Princess
Mr HKM
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Not enough time to due excursions and see town. We chose town and it was great. Our cruise was trashed due to a blown engine but at least we got to see Ketchikan and might return one day on an Alaska ferry instead.... Read More
Norwegian Bliss
djbbaj
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Interesting place; we enjoyed walking around and exploring Ketchikan.... Read More
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