As busy and crowded as most of the world seems these days, there are still some places that inspire awe and spark the imagination with their wide open spaces and magnificent landscapes. Fortunately, Alaska is still one of those places, and the Port of Ketchikan is waiting for your arrival during your cruise vacation.
Sprawling with glacier-carved mountain passes, lush wilderness teaming with wildlife, and regional culture to spare, you’ll find Ketchikan attractions as abundant as salmon in the local waters and eagles in the skies overhead. Whether you’re on a family cruise or couple’s getaway to the Last Frontier, your Alaska cruise will never lack things to do in Ketchikan. Here are a few of the many exciting excursions to jumpstart that wanderlust.
1. Canopy Adventure & Wildlife Expedition
As beautiful as Alaska is from ground level, just imagine what it looks like as you cross through the lush tree canopy over seven zip lines and three towering suspended bridges. For the adventure-minded, the Canopy Adventure & Wildlife Expedition is an unforgettable experience during your cruise to Ketchikan.
If there’s enough time after a couple of pulse-racing hours of flight, you’ll also tour a garden of totem poles and watch a true artisan at work crafting a new one. Between immersing yourself in equal parts adventure and local culture, the Canopy Adventure & Wildlife Expedition is bound to be the focal point of many stories once you arrive back home.
2. Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour
You’ve watched them on TV, had more than a few daydreams about living their life of adventure, and now it’s time to take a closer look at what it’s like to be a crab fisherman on the Bering Sea. During the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour, you’ll thankfully avoid the dramatic waters from TV and stick to calm, protected waters aboard a boat featured on the TV show.
You’ll enjoy your front row seat as you watch the deckhands both set and retrieve enormous crab pots, hopefully overflowing with king crab as they try to hit their catch quota. Along the way, you’ll hear some fascinating, harrowing tales of life on the sea as you interact with the crew and take a hands-on approach in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
3. Adventure Kart Expedition
For our land-loving adventurers, the Adventure Kart Expedition is an ideal opportunity to take the wheel of an offroad kart to explore Alaska’s amazing backcountry. You’ll wind through twisting mountain trails and pace yourself through dense forest, even traverse a custom-made obstacle course to test your offroading skills.
Your path will eventually lead you to an overview high atop the land and treat you to breathtaking views of Tongass National Forest and Alaska’s famous Inside Passage. Of course, such adventures can really work up an appetite so you’ll be given snacks and beverages along the way.
4. Tracy Arm Fjord & Glacier Explorer
If exploration is more your style, then the seasonal Tracy Arm Fjord & Glacier Explorer excursion might be perfect for you. From aboard a luxury catamaran, you’ll cruise alongside the famous fjord while a naturalist explains how unique the massive Sawyer Glaciers and eco-system are, and what was involved in carving out the inspiring terrain over millions of years. With a little bit of luck, you’ll even get to experience the booming “white thunder” as massive spires of ice fall from the glaciers and into the waiting sea below.
5. Exclusive Flightseeing & Crab Feed
A place as open and sprawling as Alaska has plenty of room for secluded hideaways nestled deep in the backcountry. During the exclusive Flightseeing & Crab Feed excursion, you’ll have the rare opportunity to visit such a place — a picturesque cabin seated on the banks of a remote inlet — and feast on the finest of Alaskan cuisine.
A thirty-minute flight aboard one of Alaska’s famous float planes leaves you at the secluded cabin where you’ll dine on Dungeness Crab pulled straight from the local waters, all while entertained with vivid stories of Alaskan life and the region’s rich history. Afterward, a narrated coach ride back to port captivates you with wildlife and even more tales from the Land of the Midnight Sun.
6. Neet’s Bay Bear Watch Expedition
Take a moment to think about what embodies Alaska to you, and we’re sure wildlife will be towards the top of your list. More precisely, the regal and majestic black bears of the region are sure to conjure images of wild, untamed frontiers, ruggedness of the terrain, and the creative and inspiring hand of Mother Nature herself.
Neet’s Bay Bear Watch Expedition is an ideal way to gain a far greater appreciation for these massive and beautiful animals. A naturalist guide leads the way after a short float plane ride and hike to the secure viewing point. From there, you’ll learn about the habits of the black bear, how vital they are to the eco-system, and even see some deer, eagles, and seals while you’re at it.
7. Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
Of course, just because you’re surrounded by some of the most stunning landscapes in the world doesn’t mean there’s no room for some pure entertainment. If you find yourself wanting to spend an afternoon with a never-ending smile on your face while choosing what to do in Ketchikan, the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show is tough to beat.
You’ll be transported back to the early 20th century as real-life lumberjacks sing songs, tell stories, and put their incredible skills on full display as you sit in wonder over what can be accomplished with an ax and saw. With seats close enough to smell the sawdust in the air and unique souvenirs to be found, we guarantee the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show is another excursion bound to be the center of many stories for years to come.
As majestic as the pictures of Alaska make it seem, they’re still a mere shadow of what it’s like to zip through the canopy, watch black bears in their natural habitat, or explore the Alaskan wilderness in person. Thankfully for you, there’s no time like the present to travel to Ketchikan aboard a cruise to Alaska and start turning those dreams into reality. The Last Frontier awaits.
Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.