Ketchikan, Alaska Cruise Port Guide - what to do, what to eat, what to see, and where to shop when cruising to Ketchikan Alaska with Princess cruises!
This post was sponsored by Princess Cruises. All opinions are my own.
Cruising can be safe, incredibly clean, and just as relaxing and adventurous as ever. There is no better way to relax with friends and family, see gorgeous locations, eat amazing food - without the hassle and worry of many trips... so you can get right into vacation mode.
With upgraded HEPA filters and HVAC systems, increased cleaning protocols, and additional hand washing and sanitation stations for passengers - as well as mask, testing, and vaccination requirements - Princess Cruises has made a commitment to safety for their guests, and I can say I honestly felt safer on ship than in hotels, restaurants, and the few airports I have been in post pandemic - by far. I have cruised with Princess 9 times now, and can honestly say I have never been on a cruise where it wasn't absolutely spotless - but the Majestic somehow felt even cleaner!
Disclaimer: Per CDC rules, my husband and I had to be fully vaccinated more than 14 days prior to embarkation and tested for coronavirus before boarding the ship, and my husband and I were negative 35 hours before boarding.
For my own curiosity for this review, we both tested, using lateral flow tests and PCR tests, to confirm we remained COVID free 14 days after sailing.
We were invited to sail with Princess Cruises for their relaunch back to Alaska as one of their very first cruises back in 2021 after over 500 days without sailing. This was my 9th Princess cruise - and the first time sailing on the Majestic Princess, a ship designed for the Asian market which will be sailing in the Western US (Mexico riviera from Los Angeles and Alaska routes) and Australia for the near future.
For more on why we felt 100% safe on the Majestic Princess, visit my post about What It's Really Like To Cruise After The Pandemic.
To see some of the ports we visited, please visit the following:
Why Cruising With OceanMedallion Makes Visiting Ports Easy
I've been on a number of cruises with Princess Cruises - both before and after they implemented their new industry-leading MedallionClass technology that brings more potential to your vacation than ever before.
MedallionClass is known for it's fabulous features on-ship - including being able to order food and drinks anywhere to yourself around the ship, not having to carry a room key anymore, being able to find friends and family with OceanNow, and a host of other awesome features - but it also makes it super-simple to embark and disembark on port days.
Long gone are the days of never-ending slow-moving lines - simply tap your OceanMedallion on the scanners, and your information is all there for ship staff! No more rooting around in your bag for the cruise card (or having your card de-magnetize), just tap the medallion, and go!
Learn more about What It's Really Like To Cruise After The Pandemic here.
Creek Street might be the most picturesque part of town, even in the rain! It was pouring rain while we walked and visited Creek Street, but just as we had finished taking a million pictures, the sun came out! At least the rain kept most of the other tourists away.
Creek Street is the old red-light district of Ketchikan. Built over Ketchikan Creek, the only think spawn these days are the salmon. The street is now an arts district that has some wonderful shops that sell locally made arts and crafts. We found some wonderful native christmas ornaments and carved whale bone gifts.
Also on Creek Street is Dolly’s House Museum a shrine to the street’s original claim to fame. Their red-light district video and displays are humors, though perhaps more than you’re prepared to explain to your kids.
When we visited Creek Street we were fortunate enough to see a pair of seals leisurely fishing for salmon in Ketchikan Creek.
Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show is an absolute MUST see activity in Ketchikan. We signed up for the VIP pre-show event, so my husband I got a special pre-show lesson in axe throwing from one of the performers, an actual professional lumberjack competitor in Alaska.
He made the axe throwing look easy, but it wasn’t all the easy. My husband and I had a blast trying our hand at it.
The lumberjack show itself is a showcase of the tests of skill that take place at a lumberjack competition. Think of it like a rodeo for lumberjacks. Instead of horses and ropes, they have logs, axes and chainsaws. American and Canadian Teams compete for the “trophy” and the adulation of the audience. The hilarious interactions and commentary is great family entertainment, while teaching a little about the history of lumberjacking and the Ketchikan area.
The show was a highlight of our visit to Ketchikan and definitely worth a visit. They also have a very well stocked, family-oriented gift shop that’s got something special for the whole family
There is A LOT of shopping to be done in Ketchikan. Outside of the local crafts of Creek Street, there are lots of bookstores, specialty shops, outdoor outfitters, and other tourist shops all along the main streets of Ketchikan.
Our favorite stops included:
Parnassus Book Store
105 Steadman Street, Ketchikan
221 Main Street, Ketchikan, AL
Tongas Trading Company
Multiple locations, 201 Dock Street
What to Eat
The Alaska Fish House -- The Alaska Fish House is one of the most recommended restaurants in Ketchikan. It’s a must visit, and is conveniently located right next to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, so it’s a great place to feed your lumberjack-sized hunger after the show. If the weather is nice, besure to eat outside.
Of course their fresh fish and chips options include halibut, but since Ketchikan is the “salmon capital of the world” you should consider giving the locally caught silver salmon a try for different flavor with your chips! For something lighter, they also sell locally caught fish tacos and fish sandwiches.
Their smoked salmon chowder is also an amazing choice for that local salmon specialty.
3 Salmon Way, Ketchikan, AK
Marketcafe Ketchikan/Alaska Coffee -- In Alaska in the summer you need to be ready for all weather. We got caught in a down pour on our way to Creek Street and snuck into the Marketcafe for something warm to hold off the rain.
I was excited to find that not only could I get an Americano coffee, but they sold hot pelmeni Russian dumplings! We got two orders, one traditional with butter and sour cream and the other with curry and Sriracha sauce. It was a deliciously unexpected stop in Ketchikan.
401 Mission Street, Ketchikan, AK https://www.facebook.com/marketcafeketchikan/
Other Places to eat and drink:
- Bawden Street Brewery
- Alaska Crepe Company
- Annabelle’s Famous Keg and Chowder House
Back On Ship
Don't let your Alaskan themed meals end when you're back on ship - Princess offers lots of fresh local options in the buffet and main dining room, as well as some of the specialty restaurants!
My husband and I had Alaskan halibut fish tacos and fish and chips, Alaskan oysters, Alaskan salmon, as well as lots of local Alaskan beers while back on ship!
While at sea in Alaska, we were able to catch world-class programming in our room, in the theater, or around the ship in one of their numerous venues - Princess has so much going on at all times, your adventure doesn't end when you get back on ship.
From Movies Under the Stars to amazing food and drinks (try a cruise ship bar crawl!), there's always something to do on ship with Princess.
Sweet C's + Princess Cruises
For more on our trips with Princess Cruises, please check out some of our favorite trip recaps and recipes inspired by our favorite cruises below:
- Why to Book an Alaska Cruise
- What To Eat On The Majestic Princess
- Skagway, Alaska Cruise Port Guide
- Juneau Alaska Port Guide
- What It's Really Like To Cruise After The Pandemic
- Top 11 Things To Do On The Sky Princess Cruise Ship
- Easy Greek Tzatziki Recipe
- Danish Dream Cake - Easy Coconut Caramel Cake
- The Ultimate Sky Princess Bar Crawl
- The Top 13 Ways To Make A Cruise Romantic
- Top 10 Reasons to Book an OceanMedallion Cruise
- Cruising With Celiac - Caribbean Princess
- Ocean Medallion on Caribbean Princess
- The Best Easy Pina Colada Recipe
- 4 Citrus Margaritas (& "no"garitas)
- Best Easy Irish Brown Soda Bread
Book Your Own Real Vacation
Ready take a real vacation, and let the last years sail away?
Check out some of the offers below:Take advantage of up to $200 onboard spending money per stateroom. Available on all cruises and cruisetours. BOOK A CRUISE TODAY!
Princess is back — on the California Coast! Guests and crew together again starting October 6 aboard Majestic Princess! We will operate these cruises consistent with CDC guidelines for a vaccinated cruise. Book now!
Check Out Princess Cruises - Alaska 7-Day Voyage of the Glaciers (Northbound) - Interior from $899* per person. BOOK TODAY, TO SAIL LATER!
Princess is committed to meeting and often exceeding CDC guidance for safe cruising, so you can truly relax and enjoy. If you haven't considered cruising in the past, it is time to reconsider!