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hawkeye65

What to Do in Ketchikan?

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We're booked on an Oosterdam Alaska cruise. The Ketchikan stop is only 5 or 6 hrs long. We're debating whether to bk an excursion or just spend our time walking around. The excursion would be a lumberjack show. Sounds very touristy, but--hey!--we thoroughly enjoyed a Liberace show once. Tacky and touristy doesn't necessarily mean bad. Any opinions?

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Hawkeye65, we did the lumberjack show in Ketchikan back in 2008 and it was great, but like CruiseBruce says, there are other options available. I liked that Alaskan Amber beer there.

 

Rick 

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Check out the oyster and keep farm tour. We took it last month and found it interesting and educational. 

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When we were in Ketchikan, we walked along the port area (the shops) and visited Creek Street and the Southeast Alaska Discovery Centre. While we haven't seen a lumberjack show, it sounds like a great way to spend part of your day!

 

Ketchikan is very walkable. I don't think you need to take an excursion, but it wouldn't hurt to make a plan for the day instead of just wandering (though that can be fun too!)

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We have always (three times so far) gone to see totems in Ketchikan. Ship tours: once to Totem Bight, once to Saxman Village. Private tour to Saxman Village and that one was in August so also included a jaunt out of town to see bears feasting on salmon... only the salmon run was very sparse and we saw no bears (although the people right after us did see one from afar).

 

With all of these tours we also had plenty of time to walk Creek Street (it's not very long), shop, and get something to eat. We always try to ride the funicular but it is never operating DNK if it ever does. Having tried three different places to eat, we will go back to the last one, the Alaskan Fish House, which is not far from the Lumberjack Show. Both an easy walk from the ship. (Creek Street itself is up a hill, but I think all of our totem tours left us off at one end of the street, so the steps are down not up.)

 

We will go back to Totem Bight next year. We're nothing if not consistent.

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The lumberjack show is within walking distance. No need to pay excursion prices to go see it.

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Hi, We have taken the local public  bus to Totem Blight State Park.  The bus stop is across the street from where you get off at the port, there is a tourist information centre on the port side they can point you in the direction of the bus stop.  The bus was $2.00.  Print off the description of the totem poles below to bring with you.  I don’t know how long you are in port, give yourself about three hours for Totem Blight Park. For us we still had time after this to walk around creek street.  

 

http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/totembgh.htm

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We have done the Saxman Village and Totem among other things.

 

Walked Creek Street.

 

There is a lot to do in Ketchikan.

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We booked a Totem and Eagles tour that ends up with the lumberjack show. We have our 10 year old grandson with us and thought he would enjoy the  show.

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We were on the Oosterdam in early June and visited ketchikan.  We walked off the ship and just a short walk was the entrance to the Lumberjack show.  We bought our tickets at the show and as I recall the ship's excursion price was about the same.  It was a little corny but entertaining.  Afterwards we just walked around the town for an hour or so.  Typical shops.

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We really enjoyed the Duck tour. Our guide was a young local teacher, very knowledgable and personable, and the driver was excellent as well. After the tour there was plenty of time to explore the town on our own.

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Go to the port visitor center and book an independent tour.  It is next to where the ships tie up.  Everything imaginable can be booked for very reasonable prices.   Tours depart continuously.  

We’ve been there quite a few times and never get tired of touring this beautiful area.  For that reason we’ve never done the Lumberjack show.  

The last time we were there we booked a narrated minibus town tour.  It was a two hour tour for about $25.  We only waited ten or fifteen minutes before the tour left.  We drove past landmarks and eagle nests  on the way to an area where wildlife may be seen.   The tour stopped at Saxman totem pole park.  At the end there was an optional drop off at Creek street and most everyone ended the tour there to explore on their own.  The tour included free tickets to Dolly’s house and other creek street attractions. Then it is an easy walk downhill to get back to the ships.  

 

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We'll be there again in August (with our kids and their kids, so there will be 10 of us) and we're taking everyone to the Lumberjack show. As mentioned above, it's silly fun - I think our grandkids will enjoy it.

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The lumberjack show is corny but fun. I enjoyed it. It isn't very long so after we walked around the town and did some shopping. I am thinking about kayaking this time when I go in May 2020. Either that or the jeep a canoe trip I saw advertised. 

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We have been to Ketchikan several times - once on a Celebrity ship that had mechanical problems and stayed in Ketchikan for several days!!  So the last time we were there, we booked a crab feast.  They picked us up on the pier.  https://catchcrabs.com/portfolio-item/world-famous-crab-feast-at-george-inlet-lodge/

 

Another tour that we thoroughly enjoyed was the Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour.  We booked it direct, rather than through the ship.  We saved a few dollars, but more importantly we just walked over to the boat and were able to get front row seats before the ship tour arrived.  http://www.alaskacrabtour.com/

 

We have also taken the local bus to Totem Bight State Park as mentioned previously.  Right next door to Totem Bight is Potlatch Park for more totems and a great gift shop.  In additional to totems, Potlatch also had an antique car museum.

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When we visited last summer, we took a tour on the dock that took us out to Rotary Beach and to a wildlife preserve where we saw many eagles, seals and a mother bear & cubs. Then they took us on a tour of Ketchikan and Creek St area.  We later walked up to the Totem Heritage museum which was excellent and educational.   This summer we are going back..taking the city bus to Totem Bight park and then out to Saxman Village for more totems. Lots of places to eat in town. 

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The thing (I forgot to mention) about Totem Bight is the trail takes you through the woods, and it is VERY ALASKA, with bald eagles just about everywhere like crows or something. Thanks @Lido deck main for the tip on the local bus. If all of the five of us are up to it physically, come a year from now, that sounds doable!

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19 hours ago, Lido deck main said:

Hi, We have taken the local public  bus to Totem Blight State Park.  The bus stop is across the street from where you get off at the port, there is a tourist information centre on the port side they can point you in the direction of the bus stop.  The bus was $2.00.  Print off the description of the totem poles below to bring with you.  I don’t know how long you are in port, give yourself about three hours for Totem Blight Park. For us we still had time after this to walk around creek street.  

 

http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/totembgh.htm

Literally was looking this up this morning for our stop in Ketchikan next month and plan to get the local bus 

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Posted (edited)

I believe HAL has a price match guarantee if you find the Lumberjack Show tickets cheaper elsewhere.  If you book through HAL, that will go towards your Mariner Society Cruise Day Credits.

 

We have been to Ketchikan twice, but never to the Lumberjack show.  It was a backup for me in case of weather last year.  The Shore Excursions rep told me I could find them landside and still purchase show tickets from HAL at the last minute if there was availability.  ymmv.

 

Enjoy Ketchikan!

Edited by syesmar

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On 6/28/2019 at 3:54 AM, Lido deck main said:

Hi, We have taken the local public  bus to Totem Blight State Park.  The bus stop is across the street from where you get off at the port, there is a tourist information centre on the port side they can point you in the direction of the bus stop.  The bus was $2.00.  Print off the description of the totem poles below to bring with you.  I don’t know how long you are in port, give yourself about three hours for Totem Blight Park. For us we still had time after this to walk around creek street.  

 

http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/totembgh.htm

Thanks for the information.  We may do this in Sept, depending on the weather.  We planned this on one previous trip, but decided against it due to the rain.  Thats one big issue (IMO) about Ketchikan planning - the common rainy days.

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On 6/28/2019 at 6:57 AM, terrydtx said:

We booked a Totem and Eagles tour that ends up with the lumberjack show. We have our 10 year old grandson with us and thought he would enjoy the  show.

 

 

All eight of our grandchildren LOVED the show.  For adults it's all a bit hokey but for children it was one of the trip highlights.  They happened to be the only children in attendance and so in contests they were awarded the sawed off pieces of the timber BUT were quite disappointed that they couldn't be packed for the return voyage.

 

You've made a perfect choice for your grandson.

 

Ruth

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Thanks so much for all the information. I love this forum. We printed the maps linked above and are planning on taking the local buses and visiting Totem Blight State Park and Saxman. Plan on picking up information on the self walking tour from the Ketchikan historical society and time permitting taking the 2.6 mile long Rainbird trail walk. Guess we will see how the weather is and how much energy we have 🙂 . So nice to have so many wonderful options. Should be a fun day.

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