Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “First City” because it’s the first major community travellers come to as they journey north. This charming waterfront town showcases its maritime history and offers picturesque scenery, quaint architecture and an abundance of cultural delights.
It’s hard to believe that not all that long ago, the entire area was covered in ice. Massive glacier action carved out the present landscape – long saltwater fjords hemmed in by cliffs that soar as high as 3,000 feet into the air.
Nowhere is this feat of nature more beautifully realized than just east of Ketchikan at the magnificent Misty Fjords National Monument. Named for the weather conditions that are normal for the area, we encountered a perfect day again.
The main source of income is from salmon fishing. There are five different species of wild Pacific salmon found in the Alaskan waters surrounding the area. And you can even view the salmon, in the town creek; complete their exhausting journey to the spawning ground.
Ketchikan’s second most important income source is the tourist. Yesterday, there were four large cruise boats in port. As we sailed up the waterway towards the port, we sailed past the local airport and a 737 was taking off just as a seaplane was landing beside our ship. Rather uncanny when you are there.
We took a 90 minutes walk around the town before boarding the Misty Fjords National Monument tour in a Jet-Cat catamaran. The water was smooth and the sky was mainly clear of clouds. Speeding around the waterways in a 30 mph Jet Boat made it so much quicker to view some of the great geological forms made by glaciers over the years.
Lyn was standing outside up the back on the top deck and noticed a well-known face that comes into our agency regularly. Our travel insurance rep was on board. We were aware that she was taking a group on a trip but hadn’t discussed dates or details of her itinerary with her. Leonie had only made a booking for the excursion we were on just the day before so the meet-up certainly was a coincidence. She was travelling on the Vollendam berthed just in front of the Coral Princess for the day. They had also been in Skagway on the same day as us.
At present, Tuesday, we are sailing towards Vancouver. Disembarkation is quite a feat as accounts need to be corrected and packing done with bags out by 11:00pm. Our disembarkation group meets at 8:55am in the morning. From there, we are on our way in a campervan for two weeks around Western Canada.