Day 11 of the Cruise
We arrived in Ketchikan about 7 AM, making our first stop at the Ketchikan Airport. The airport is on an island across from the city and is accessible only by ferry. About a third of our passengers have early flights home so the Captain will dock at the airport so that they can catch their flights. For those of us staying over, the cruise company provides free ferry passes.
Ketchikan is by far the most touristy port we have visited. During our two day layover six different huge cruise ships will be in port, disgorging at least 20,000 shopping crazed passengers. We've booked ourselves into the Cape Fox Lodge which sits on a hill above the port area. It's very nice and is accessed from town via a funicular.
Along the way up the coast we encountered an active seiner fishing. It was very interesting to see the whole process from initial deployment of the net to reeling in the catch.
After the cannery tour we boarded a large tour bus for the ride back to Ketchikan during which we got a taste of what the large cruise ship passengers experience. The boat ride to the cannery was conducted by Alan Marine, the parent company of Alaskan Dream Cruises, and was just as interesting and enjoyable as the rest of our cruise had been. The tour bus was contracted by the large cruise lines. The narration was vapid, the information sketchy, and the focus almost entirely on shopping opportunities. The cannery tour was so good, and the bus ride was so ordinary that we appreciated even more how friendly, knowledgeable, personal, and professional the Alaskan Dream staff is.
Alaskan Dream gave us tickets for a tour of an old, now defunct, cannery. It was interesting and educational. We boarded a small cruise boat for the long ride up the coast from Ketchikan.
Once at the cannery we were guided through the whole process, from the arrival of the fish to the final sealed cans. The cannery's equipment is being restored so that all the machinery will function just as it did in its heyday.
The experience reinforced that the big ships are not for us.
We did stop on the way back at a totem display which was pretty interesting.
Well, this is the end of the trip. We boarded a plane for the flight back to Anchorage, passing over the wilderness that makes up most of southeast Alaska. We got a couple of photos from the plane's window which gave us a different perspective of the area through which we had cruised.
Mike & Jan