If you opt to explore Alaska’s Inside Passage via a big ship cruise, Ketchikan is likely to make the list of ports of call. This morning, we arrived to Ketchikan just after 6 am and we didn’t have to be back until 3:30 pm.

When traveling as part of a group, you never know if everyone is going to agree on what to do. We knew there would be some shopping involved, but that was the extent of our planning. We wanted to see where the day would take us. Creek Street offered an array of locally-owned shops with everything from t-shirts with Ray Troll art to coffee roasted in town to hand-crafted ulu knives. Buy local, if possible. More of the money you spend stays within the community.

After strolling Creek Street, we hired a cab for two hours at $70/ hour. We visited Saxman Native Village and Totem Pole Park ($5/ person entrance fee) and Totem Bight State Historical Park (no entrance fee).

As a side note, when we walked off the ship, there were tour vendors in the parking lot offering quite a few of the tours in the cruise line’s brochures. I was most interested in the Misty Fjords flight-seeing tour. On board, the tour cost $269/ person for adults. It was offered for $209 just off the ship and we inquired about it again at the Visitor Center in town. There, we could’ve booked it for $200/ person. Unless it’s a tour you think is likely to sell out and you have your heart set on it, it’s worth waiting to book on arrival.

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