Day Seven – Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchican-oneAfter an awesome whale-watching day in Juneau, we cruised through the evening and night and ended up docking in Ketchikan, Alaska around 11:00 am on Friday, June 28. Established in 1887 when a salmon cannery was built at the mouth of Ketchican-stained glassKetchikan Creek, this city is by far the most charming of the three ports.  A zigzagging boardwalk leads you to the downtown area that is full of shops and restaurants. The stained-glass decorations along the lamp posts were so cool; I wanted to take one home with me! In terms of the city’s past, you can take a stroll in the Creek Street Historic District, Alaska’s most notorious red-light district from 1902 to 1954.  Ketchikan supported at least 30 “sporting houses” during this time. Today, the old houses have been converted into small shops and business.  Madam Dolly Copeland Arther’s home (aka “Dolly’s House”) is now a museum. Outside of the city limits you may find the Misty Fjords National Monument, a protected wilderness area that houses the largest national forest in the United States, the Tongass National Forest.

ketchican-assylumThe afternoon was spent grabbing lunch at a local restaurant where the crab cakes and the halibut fillet basket was perfect! From there, we all walked around from shop to shop until we reached the ultimate destination in The Asylum, a fun bar located near our ship. Carlos, the owner, was so friendly and funny.  ketchickan-leavingThe service was great.  The weather was perfect. The bar is located right next door to Burger Queen and the smell of grilling hamburgers was simply to die for! They deliver too!  Too bad we already had lunch because I am sure those burgers are very delicious. After a warm, sunny day in Ketchikan, it was back to the ship for the last couple of days of sailing in Alaska. The route from Ketchikan to Vancouver was very pretty; the evening was calm and quiet and the perfect ending to what has been a pretty much perfect vacation.

Ketchkan-goodnight

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My Alaska Adventure

Alaska-Railroad-WebThis Saturday, I will be flying to Anchorage, Alaska to begin yet another chapter of A.U.’s Adventures thanks to my friend David Hoffman and the usual suspects in Kirk and Deb McCullen, and Beth McDonald.  These guys vacation together at least once a year and I was invited to join in on the fun! My Alaska Adventure will officially start Sunday, June 23 as I take a train from Anchorage to Seward via the scenic Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic route. Upon arriving to Seward, I will board Holland America’s ship The Statendam that evening for a 7-day southbound Glacier Discovery Cruise.

SONY DSCThe Alaskan cruise itinerary includes a scheduled visit to beautiful Glacier Bay for about half a day on Tuesday.  From there, the boat will dock in Haines for a full day followed by Juneau where an excursion has been booked for Whale Watching and Wildlife Quest. I guess hanging out with the elephants in Sri Lanka have turned me into a much braver nature/animal soul (although I am sure I will scream like a girl when I see Moby Dick).

Malaspina, traveling north from Auke Bay to HainesAfter hanging out with the whales, the next day will be spent in the city of  Ketchikan. Prior to arriving to the final destination of Vancouver, B.C., the ship will cruise through the Inside Passage all day on Saturday, June 29. Should be amazing. On Sunday, June 30 it will be time to catch a plane from Vancouver to St. Louis where the arrival time is at Zero Dark Thirty.  Hope to have my sea legs back by Monday! Bon Voyage and stay tuned for my updates!