Welcome to the Ketchikan cruise port guide. Ketchikan is the salmon capital of the world and the 4th wettest place on earth, famous for its working girls, totem poles and Misty Fjords. Originally Ketchikan was founded in 1885 when canning salmon would become their main industry. The remains from that time can still be found at Creek Street, which is perhaps the most picturesque street in southeast Alaska. When visiting Ketchikan you’d better not wait for the rain to stop. It rains 300 days a year in Ketchikan. All together it enjoys a rainfall of over 200 inches each year. The locals in this 4th wettest place on earth describe this as the liquid sunshine! Ketchikan is the port of call in Alaska that offers the best information on totem poles and the Tongass National Forest. But this is not where it stops for this town. You have the option to go hiking, kayaking, see the salmon spawn in the creek and so much more. Find out underneath what there is to do in beautiful Ketchikan.
The famous and fun street in the centre of Ketchikan is Creek Street. This area used to be Ketchikan’s red light district. 30 stilt houses lined up the Ketchikan creek that is nowadays filled with lovely souvenir shops and museum. Make sure not to miss this picture perfect street in Ketchikan. Creek street is only a couple of blocks walk from your ship.
Ketchikan is the 4th wettest place on earth. Ketchikan lies in the largest temperate rain forest in the world. It receives over 200 inches of rain each year. Be prepared when visiting this town and don’t let rain spoil the fun. Enjoy what the locals call: liquid sunshine. They even honour rain with their liquid sunshine gauge on the pier!
In Alaska you can find all five species of Alaska’s Pacific Salmon. They are King, Sockeye, Coho, Pink and Chum. Every year from August to October you will find the salmon find the very stream they were born to spawn and die. It is a phenomenal event that you cannot miss if your cruise is arriving in August or September.
This museum in the heart of town discusses many different aspects of the Tongass like the locals way of life, ecosystems, wildlife and industry. It is a must for anybody wanting to learn more about this part of the world. Find the Discovery centre right in town, see map for its exact location. $5 entree.
This museum in town displays all kinds of ancient tools or the native people. Find the museum at Creek Street, just a couple of blocks walk from the ship.
This historical site houses original and unrestored totem poles created by Tlingit and Haida villages in the 19th century. This museum is a 15 minute walk from town or you can take the free shuttle bus to it.
Just north of Ketchikan you will find the Totem Pole Bight Park. They house a special collection of restored totem poles and give you all kind of information about the meaning of totem poles. At the Totem Pole Bight Park you will also find Potlatch Park. At the museum you will find a replica of a Native Village and collection of classic cars and rare firearms. Visit the park by shore excursion or take the Silver Line bus to it. Free entree.
When shopping in Haines make sure to buy the products with this logo. This indicated the products has actually been made in Alaska.
About 2,5 mile / 4 km southeast of Ketchikan you will find the Saxman Native Village. It is a carving centre where they create contemporary totem poles. Learn about this great skill of carving these poles and visit the show. Visit the Saxman Native Village by shore excursion or take the public Silver Line bus to it (see description above). $5 entree fee for unguided tours.
On Creek street you will find a Dolly’s House. Dolly Arthur was Ketchikan’s most famous Madam of negotiable affection. She would finally retire at the age of 72. Her house is preserved as she left it and is nowadays a museum. Dolly’s house is only a couple of blocks walk from your ship.
Ketchikan offers 4 cruise dock which are all located in front of the center of town. From here you simply cross the street and you are in the historical part of town. Read our full Ketchikan cruise port guide for all the information about this cruise destination.
The candy shop of Ketchikan is the KetchiCandy. Visit the store for the love of chocolate and take some home as a souvenir. Special tip: Oreo cookies covered in chocolate. Visit the shop in town. Find exact location on the map above.
Close to Ketchikan you can find the Misty Fjord National Monument. This sight is completely untouched by humans. You will find incredible scenery here. Inlets carved by glaciers thousands of years ago and wildlife in abundance. Visit this fjord by boat of floatplane shore excursion.
The visitors centre of Ketchikan offers a walking tour map so you can guide yourself around the town of Ketchikan, see all the mayor sights and learn about its history. The total walk is about 2 mile.
Join this fun 1 hour show of the battle of the Lumberjacks. Find the show in town, see map above for its exact location. $37 dollar entree
Ketchikan is considered the Salmon Capitol because of its canning history. Find this welcome arch right in front of the dock. It has been put here by the Chamber of Commerce in the 1950’s.