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Ketchikan (Photo:Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock)
2017 Top-Rated Alaska Destinations
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Amber Nolan
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of 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.

About Ketchikan


Pro

Opportunities for cultural exploration abound in this town with a gold-rush vibe

Con

There isn't as much to do or see as there is in other Alaska ports

Bottom Line

Visitors will get a less-commercialized glimpse of what life is like for locals


Find a Cruise to Alaska

Where You're Docked

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.

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.

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.

Shopping

A hand-carved mini-totem pole makes an excellent gift.


Ketchikan Awards

Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards

2017 Top-Rated Alaska Destinations
2016 Top-Rated Alaska Destinations