Must-Have Tips for Touring Ketchikan on a Budget

With snow-capped mountains and majestic fjords, Ketchikan is surrounded by endless expanses of coastal rainforest. At 17 million acres, nearby Tongass National Forest is larger than the entire state of West Virginia. This American treasure is teeming with wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, and bald eagles, plus seals and humpback whales in surrounding waters.

But natural wonders aren’t Ketchikan’s only draw. Dotted with pubs, totem pole parks and cultural attractions, this 20th-century boomtown is a prime destination for curious travelers. Despite its rich gold-mining history, you won’t need to plunk down any gold bars to explore this quaint town. If you’re eager to explore Ketchikan on a budget, try these strategies to get the most bang for your buck on your next cruise:

  • Choose bargain-basement excursions. If you’re a seasoned cruiser, you’re hip to the game. To pad their bottom line, cruise lines charges exorbitant prices for shore tours and excursions. Why should you line their pockets? Instead, choose a reputable, independent operator who can help you score a sweet deal.
  • Take a “highlight” tour. When you’re cruising, it can be impossible to see all the amazing sights at your port of call. Highlight tours let you explore several attractions in a single, affordable outing.
  • Build your OWN tour. Creating your own itinerary is the ultimate way to curate your Ketchikan experience. Local tour guides help you choose from a menu of attractions, then build a schedule to fit it all in.
  • Get discounted prices on bucket list tours. From soaring over fjords in a helicopter to mushing your own dog sled team, some excursions will fall at the higher end of the price scale. To maximize your budget, look for attractive discounts on big-ticket tours.

Ready to Start your Alaskan Adventure?

Check out these soul-stirring excursions and squeeze the most from your Alaskan cruise budget:

Saxman Native Village and Ketchikan City Tour — Enjoy a budget-friendly tour of Ketchikan aboard a deluxe motor coach or passenger van. Travel past the rustic waterfront and boat harbors on your way to watch salmon swimming upstream. Next, you’re off to the Saxman Native Village to marvel at world’s largest collection of standing totem poles. On the tour, you’ll hear legends of ancient totems and learn why they were made. Finally, you’ll enjoy some free time at the Village Store and Artists Co-op, where authentic crafts are made by Saxman Natives.

Ketchikan Duck Tour — Experience Ketchikan by land and water in a Coast Guard-inspected amphibious vehicle. You’ll prowl the rustic streets and salty waters of Ketchikan as your licensed captain regales you with colorful, historic tales. Cruise by a salmon ladder on Ketchikan Creek and the flower-filled sanctuary of Whale Park. Next, leave the land behind and make a splash as you literally ride into the harbor at Tongass Narrows! Survey local fishing fleets, fishing canneries, seaplane docks and much more along Ketchikan’s waterfront community.

Hiking The Tongass National Rainforest — Hike with an expert guide through one of Ketchikan’s most notable attractions. Surrounded by beautiful Alaskan wilderness, you ‘ll cover about 4 miles of lush forest. Your guide will take you across meadows, through groves and past waterfalls in search of bears, deer and salmon. It’s a photographer’s dream. If you’ve never been to America’s largest national forest, you’re in for a treat.

Highlights of Ketchikan — Your thrilling trip starts with a short city tour, including the area’s many salmon canneries. Next, make your way to the Eagle Point Education Center to see eagles in their natural setting and a native carver working on a totem pole. Venturing onward, you’ll discover Saxman Native Village and visit scenic Rotary Beach for a chance to spot whales migrating through Nicolas Passage. Then, you’re off to Herring Cove for an excellent chance to view bald eagles, seals, heron, bears and thousands of salmon returning upstream! Finally, you’ll visit a gorgeous, cascading waterfall for picture opportunities before your return the pier.

Private Half Day Ketchikan Highlights — Ketchikan is known for its wildlife, totems, history, hiking trails, sightseeing, whale watching and salmon. But these are just a few of the options you can add to your personalized itinerary. On this excursion, you’ll work with a local guide to customize your day and visit the places that interest you most. There’s truly something for everyone in Ketchikan. And choosing your own adventure? It’s the ultimate way to experience Alaska!

Misty Fjords Flightseeing — The Misty Fjords National Monument has been carved to perfection by millions of years of glacial activity. On this flightseeing tour, you’ll view 2.3 million acres of wilderness that must be viewed by floatplane to appreciate: soaring cliffs, sky-blue lakes, endless waterfalls, icy fjords, saw-tooth ridges blanketed in mist, and miles of glacier-carved gorges. Scanning the scenery below, you may see brown bears, mountain goats, harbor seals and even humpback whales. Then land on a mountain lake for eye-popping photo ops and reflection. The Spectacular Misty Fjords Tour in Ketchikan is a must-see flightseeing experience that will provide a lifetime of memories.

Discover Wallet-Friendly Tours
from Shore Excursions Group.

Shore Excursions Group is the world’s largest independent tour operator. Their hand-selected excursions offer richly authentic experiences you’ll find nowhere else. With discount prices up to 40% below the cruise lines, you won’t find a better deal, period. And that’s not just hot air. The company’s ironclad price match guarantee ensures that you’ll pocket valuable savings. Ready to see Ketchikan on a budget? Book a discount tour today.

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