Ketchikan, AK

view of Ketchikan, AK

Early this morning we docked in Ketchikan, the most southeastern city in Alaska. It calls itself the first city in Alaska (incorporated on August 25, 1900). Named after Ketchikan Creek, the area was a fishing camp for the native Tlingit people before the town was established in 1885. Located on the shore of Tongass Narrows, Ketchikan features the Tongass Historical Museum and the headquarters of the Tongass National Forest.

A statue entitled The Rock, by Dave Rubin, greeted us in the plaza where we got off the ship. Unveiled on July 4, 2010, this statue portrays the people who have contributed to the region’s history.

Statue: The Rock
The Rock

Ketchikan promotes itself as the salmon capital of the world:

Salmon Capital of the World

In addition to commercial fishing, tourism is a big part of the local economy. We did what most people do when visiting Ketchikan: We shopped.

Shops line the streets of Ketchikan

All the shopkeepers pointed out that Lady Luck was with us, as we arrived in Ketchikan on one of its few sunny days. The area receives an average annual rainfall of 153 inches (3,900 mm), mostly in the autumn and winter.

Rain gauge

We were also lucky in that we arrived near the end of the cruise season. After our cruise the Statendam will make one more two-week cruise, and then the season will be over. One salesperson told us that he will then leave for the Caribbean to work in a store down there for the winter. This timing meant that every store was having a sale. We took advantage of the opportunity to get quite a few holiday gifts. I’ll be ready, provided that I can remember where I put them.

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