We met up with our good friends from Houston, fellow authors Al and Lisa Fittipaldi, and boarded the Norwegian Sun in Vancouver, Canada, after a bus ride from Seattle. We’ve cruised with Al and Lisa several times over the years. They’re a fun couple. We even spent twenty-eight days with them as recently as October of last year on our cruise around the Pacific aboard the Crown Princess — but that’s a trip I’ll be blogging about at a later date.
After sailing up the Inside Passage our first destination was Ketchikan, into which we arrived on June 1 of this year. The Inside Passage makes an Alaskan cruise a great first-cruise option for those who worry about seasickness, as the ship is protected to the west by islands and to the east by the North American Continent for much of the journey. An added benefit to those who worry about being far out to sea is that the ship is never very far from land.
And Ketchikan is a great introduction to the Alaskan spirit. Ketchikan retains much of its charm for its early days as a rowdy frontier town. Indeed, the main attraction of this town of just over 8,000 on Revillagigedo Island is the infamous former red light district called Creek Street through which runs Ketchikan Creek. In June the creek is quite nice, but later in the cruise season, around September-October, the creek will be filled with dead and dying salmon following spawning season.
Below is a gallery of Creek Street and Ketchikan Creek:
Leaving Creek Street behind and heading toward the city center you’ll find a lot of touristy outlets selling everything from Alaskan souvenirs to high-end jewelry, but shop around on the latter and be prepared to negotiate prices. Better yet, let me tell you about a wonderful couple of jewelry stores you’ll encounter later in the voyage, in Juneau and Skagway. Here is a scene from the main streets of Ketchikan, next to the docks:
And here are some more Ketchikan shots taken by me on a previous visit:
Ketchikan is a great place to photograph some flowers, as well:
And then there are those magnificent de Havilland DHC-3 Otters and fishing boats buzzing around:
Next stop: Juneau, the sea-locked Capital of Alaska.