Welcome to Southern Panhandle
Residents like to call this region of Alaska ‘rainforest islands': lush, green, watery, remote and road-less to the outside world. This is the heart of Southeast Alaska’s fishing industry, and the region’s best wilderness fishing lodges are scattered in the small coves of these islands. Cruise ships pass through but they only inundate Ketchikan; the other communities receive few if any vessels. Two ferry systems,... Read More
Top experiences in Southern Panhandle
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Southern Panhandle activities
Ketchikan Shore Excursion: Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour
When you get off your cruise ship in Ketchikan, you’ll already be at the departure point for your fishing expedition! Just meet the members of the fishing crew on the cruise ship dock, and follow them to the Aleutian Ballad, the 107-foot (33-meter) commercial fishing vessel that will take you through the protected waterways of the Inside Passage. Your shore excursion starts as you board the boat and take a seat in the heated and sheltered amphitheater on the lower deck. Or, brave the weather and take advantage of the views from the open-air upper deck. Your crew will then ‘tie loose’ and head out into the Inside Passage. As you make your way to the fishing grounds, stay warm with a cup of provided coffee, tea or hot chocolate, and learn about the Aleutian Ballad’s history as a commercial fishing boat, including how it became famous on season two of Deadliest Catch, when it was hit by a 60-foot (18-meter) rogue wave and survived! When the boat pulls up to the fishing station, watch the crew go to work baiting the fishing gear with salmon and squid and throwing the long-line barrel pots overboard. Then stare in wonder as marine creatures of all kinds are hauled up from the water and onto the deck of the boat: Dungeness crab, box crab, gray cod, ratfish, rockfish, wolf eel, octopus, prawns and more. Bering Sea king crab will also be collected in 700-pound (320-kg) crab pots. The crew expertly sorts through the catch on board and then places the fish and other marine life in a tank on the deck for your observation. Take photos and even touch some of them before they are all returned to the water. In addition to what comes up on board, other local marine life may also be in the area, so keep a lookout for whales, porpoises, sea lions and eagles. Once the crew has stowed all the fishing equipment, feel free to ask any questions while you head back to Ketchikan — the crew loves to share stories about life on a boat!Worry-free Shore Excursion: We will ensure your excursion ends with ample time for you to return to the Ketchikan port for your ship’s departure. In the extremely unlikely event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Ketchikan Shore Excursion: Rainforest Canopy Ropes and Zipline Park
Spend your time in the port of Ketchikan on the adventure of a lifetime! On this shore excursion to the the Alaskan rainforest, you'll be introduced to the eight canopy ropes and seven ziplines you'll use to travel through the treetops. You'll also get amazing photos opportunities while high above the ground. Before you start, your guides will provide the necessary safety instruction and equipment. The zipline park is perfect for thrill-seekers of all levels. The less adventurous will have fun on gentler elements like suspended logs, rope bridges and swinging steps, while the more adventurous will enjoy the 50-foot (15-meter) climbing tower and circular staircase, allowing for great action shots of fellow companions. Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return back to the ship in Ketchikan for this activity. If your ship is delayed and you are unable attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Ketchikan Duck Tour
Travel by state-of-the-art amphibian vehicle through the downtown streets of Ketchikan. Your entertaining narrator will dazzle you with stories and show you all of the hot-spots in downtown during the bus portion of the tour. These sights include the salmon ladder, the salmon spawning grounds, City Park, Creek Street, Dolly's House, many totem poles and the famous tunnel.Next, travel to the Bar Harbor marina, where your captain will drive the bus right into the water and become a boat! Your expert guides will discuss the different types of boats used by the local fishing fleet and the different types of seafood caught in the area. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as eagles, sea lions and whales. Then, exit the marina and cruise through the calm, protected waters of the Tongass Narrows for up-close views of the local fish processing plants, the floatplane docks and Ketchikan's waterfront. Photo opportunities are abundant as you view the spectacular scenery of Southeast Alaska's temperate rainforest and view the neighboring islands and wildlife. This is a fun-filled adventure showing you all the best that Ketchikan has to offer!
Misty Fjords Seaplane Tour from Ketchikan
Spanning 2.3 million acres (930,000 hectares), Misty Fjords National Monument is best experienced from the air. Your Alaskan adventure starts at the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau across from the port. After meeting your experienced pilot and boarding your six-passenger floatplane, take off from the Tongass Narrows, the Y-shaped body of water between Ketchikan and Gravina Island.Rising up in the air, gaze down on Ketchikan from your window seat, and marvel at the views of Tongass National Forest and the surrounding mountains as you fly over Revillagigedo Island to Misty Fjords National Monument, about 40 miles (64 km) east of town. During the ride, you’ll hear your pilot loud and clear via your headset, which also provides a musical soundtrack to your journey.Soar over Rudyard Bay to see New Eddystone Rock, a basalt remnant of the area’s early volcanic activity. Continue your flight to admire waterfalls, lakes, fjords, cliffs through the low-hanging mist that gives the area its name. Your pilot will also help you look for wildlife such as bears, deer, wolves, mountain goats and eagles that live within the forest of cedar, spruce and hemlock trees.The aerial views aren't the only thing that will take your breath away. A dramatic water landing on one of the fjords or lakes, depending on weather conditions, puts you right in the middle of a tranquil forest. Hop out on one of the plane’s pontoons with your pilot to take in the incredible scenery before returning to Ketchikan, where your tour ends.
Ketchikan Shore Excursion: Zodiac Boat Wilderness Adventure
When your cruise ship docks at the Ketchikan port, you'll be picked up and taken to the launch site for a safety orientation session from your experienced guide. When you and your group of up to four are ready, hop in your 14-foot (4-meter) Zodiac boat and follow your guide on an Alaskan wilderness adventure.You’ll spend 1.5 hours cruising along secluded bays, past lush islands, and deep into inlets. During your exhilarating ride, keep an eye out for wildlife including whales, seals, eagles, sea lions and bears along the shore. Your boat is fully equipped with console steering, and can reach speeds of up to 29 mph (47 kph)!Make your way to a beach for a rest break. Soak in views of the beautiful landscape as you enjoy hot cocoa, tea and cookies. On your return ride, hand the helm over to your fellow boatman and sit back, relax and enjoy the views. Passing rocky islands, watch for humpback whales and orca, who frequently surface here, and venture deep into bays and inlets where salmon-filled streams attract black bears on shore. You’ll receive an Alaskan boatman certificate to commemorate this amazing wilderness experience. At the end of your tour, you'll be taken back to the port. Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Ketchikan port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Ketchikan Shore Excursion: Off-Road Jeep and Canoe Safari
While you’re in port, embrace Ketchikan’s natural beauty on this quintessential Alaskan tour on Revillagigedo Island (the same island on which Ketchikan is located). This combo tour allows you to enjoy the great outdoors in both a Jeep and canoe! The driving portion of your adventure starts as you are grouped with three fellow travelers for your tour of the mountainous terrain of Tongass National Forest. Follow the route through the lush rainforest and up mountain roads to admire the spectacular scenery. Through the two-way radios, your group leader and guide will offer interesting and informative commentary as you drive. Be fascinated by the area’s natural history as you pass through old-growth and new-growth forests and pull-over for some fantastic. Along the way, stop to change drivers so that anyone who wants to get behind the wheel will have the opportunity.Your Jeep adventure ends at Lake Harriet Hunt, where you’ll leave the Jeep behind for a quieter form of transport – a 37-foot (11-meter), 20-person canoe! Experience this unique Alaskan ecosystem as you paddle the large, Native American-style canoe across the lake with your guide. When you reach the other side of the lake, your expert guide will lead you on a nature hike through an old-growth forest. During your nature walk, take a break, relax and enjoy your Alaskan snack at a remote camp in Tongass National Forest! Refuel with smoked salmon, clam chowder, fresh bread rolls with local wild-berry jam, hot chocolate, coffee and more. The tour ends with a short narrated transfer back to the cruise port.Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Ketchikan port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.