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ketchikan alaska cruises PORTS OF CALL

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  • Attractions
    Creek Street
    Creek Street, with its small houses built on stilts over the creek, was formerly Ketchikan's infamous red-light district. Since 1954, when prostitution became illegal, most of the houses have been converted to trendy little shops. The most famous brothel, known as Dolly's House, has been preserved as a museum right down to the original furnishings and a short history of Ketchikan's most famous madam. The board walk starts at 203 Steadman Street, just upstream from the Thomas Basin boat harbor. During the season, salmon can be viewed from the boardwalk.
    Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery and Eagle Center
    The hatchery is adjacent to the Totem Heritage center and within walking distance of downtown. Here tens of thousands of coho and king salmon smolts (two-year-olds) are released each year. There are observation platforms and educational displays concerning the salmon's life cycle.
    Southeast Alaska Visitor Center
    Three large totem poles greet you as you enter the lobby. Here you will find exhibits and audiovisual programs on native culture, Alaska's ecosystems and the local industries. Located one block from the cruise ship dock, in downtown Ketchikan. There is also a smaller visitor's center right at the dock.
    Tongass Historical Museum
    The museum features a small collection of local and indigenous artifacts, many related to Ketchikan's fishing past. The Raven Stealing the Sun totem pole stands at the front of the museum. The city of Ketchikan commissioned the totem to honor the Tlingit people.
    Totem Heritage Center
    The Totem Heritage Center has an extensive display of weathered, original totem carvings some more than a century old. It may well be the world's largest collection. These totem poles were salvaged from deserted Tlingit communities and restored. At the center you will find a central gallery with indigenous art and a model of a traditional native fishing camp. And if you have still have not had your fill of totem poles more can be found at the Saxman Native Village, 2.5 miles south of Ketchikan. Here you can take a tour of a tribal house and catch performances of traditional Native Alaskan dances and rituals.
  • Shopping
    Saxman Arts Co-op
    If you are looking for locally made souvenirs and crafts then head to the Saxman Arts Co-op. Here you will find baskets, moccasins, wood carvings and jewelry. They also have the traditional wool blankets, which are usually bright red, with ivory colored buttons sewn in intricate patterns into the fabric. These blankets are known as button blankets.
    Alaska Eagle Arts sells fine arts and crafts and is located along the infamous Creek Street. Soho Coho is the headquarters for Ray Troll, who is Alaska's famed producer of all things weird and fishy.
    If you are a fish lover, you can pick up some canned, smoked or frozen salmon and other Alaskan seafood at this store located at 322 Mission St. They will be happy to ship your purchases directly to your home for you. 
  • Activities
    Blueberry Festival
    This event takes place mid-August and includes an arts & crafts show, singers and musicians. The highlight is several food stands that serve up blueberries in a wide variety of dishes.
    Hiking Trails
    Check out the visitor's bureau for trail maps and advice. If you want a challenging hike try the hike from downtown to the top of 3,300-ft. Deer Mountain. You will be awarded with a spectacular view of Ketchikan and the pristine wilderness surrounding the town.
    4th of July Celebrations
    This special event includes a parade, contests, a logging show and a lively fireworks display over the channel.
    Ketchikan Walking Tour
    The best way to see Ketchikan is by foot, with a three-hour, 2 mile walk around the town. You can pick up a free walking tour map at the visitor bureau, a brown building on the city dock. The map includes 25 points of interest within easy walking distance of downtown area.
    Kayaking and Canoeing
    You may rent kayaks and canoes for a self-propelled spin up the creek or book a tour. Instruction is available for the novice or rusty kayaker. Southeast Exposure ( 507 Stedman St. 907 225-8829) and Southeast Sea Kayaks (907-225-1258 or 800-287-1607) will be happy to look after your needs. 
  • Wildlife

    Wildlife sightings are common , everyday occurrences. Throughout the region, black bears are very common as are the grizzly or brown bears in mainland areas. Bald eagles are also in abundance and if you don't see one, then chances are, you aren't really trying! These majestic birds are easy to spot, perched as they are in shoreline trees, near salmon spawning streams and in their nesting areas. Don't be surprised if, upon seeing a Sitka black-tailed deer on the beach and along roadsides and trails, they actually seem to be posing for the camera. Other wildlife you may encounter are mountain goats, wolves and moose. You will probably also see humpback whales, sea lions, sea otters, porpoises and a large variety of sea birds. 

  • History
    History of Ketchikan
    Back in 1883, a man named Snow built a salmon saltery in the Ketchikan area. Two years later Mike Martin was hired by a business man from Oregon to investigate the feasibility of building a salmon cannery on the banks of Ketchikan creek. A partnership was set up between Martin and the cannery's manager, George Clark and a saltery and general store was opened. By 1900 the population of Ketchikan was 800 and the town was officially incorporated. Mining activitiy then began and Ketchikan became an important trading community. The mining industry began to decline but the fishing industry continued to grow and timber operations flourished with the establishment of the Ketchikan Spruce Mills early in the century.

    The Ketchikan Pulp Mill was completed in 1954 at nearby Ward Cove providing jobs in town and the surrounding area as well. The logging industry today is nearly nonexistent and Ketchikan is focusing on tourism as its major industry.
  • More Information
    Browse through more information at the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau's Web site.
    View 360-degree virtual tours of Ketchikan's famous attractions.