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Ketchikan is ready to welcome back travelers after two years of a slowed down tourism season. This year, after a 2-year hiatus, cruise visitors will be welcomed back at the docks with the arrival of large cruise ships, including 10 new ships and three new cruise lines. Plus,  the Ketchikan International Airport ferry facility is currently being updated, and there are also new heritage tours and an updated hotel.

New Cultural Tours & Updates

Cape Fox Corporation, the Alaska Native corporation that represents the Tlingit tribe from Saxman and before that Cape Fox, has expanded its tour offerings and remodeled the mountainside tram.

At George Inlet Cannery, Cape Fox Corporation plans to expand its Taste of Alaska tour this year. The tour highlights the cultural significance of seafood, the impact seafood has on the community and includes a seafood tasting. This year, the tour will also include a beer tasting option, plus Cape Fox Corporation is working with several Alaska breweries to develop specialty beers exclusive to Cape Fox. In addition, in the George Inlet/White River area, a new adventure cart tour will be available from Ketchikan AdventureVue at scenic Mahoney Lake on land leased by Cape Fox Corporation.

In addition, Cape Fox Lodge, a sophisticated retreat in the heart of town, is replacing the tram that runs between the hotel’s lobby and historic Creek Street, connecting guests to downtown Ketchikan, which is scheduled to open on May 1.

For your clients heading to Ketchikan, let them know that the city is known as the “Totem Capital of the World,” and is home to more totems than anywhere else in the world, plus also houses the oldest totem known to be in existence. Sculpted by Ketchikan’s Indigenous people, totem poles were created to honor individuals, commemorate events and tell stories, myths and legends.

Ketchikan is known as the “Total Capital of the World.” (Photo courtesy of Visit Ketchikan.)

One of the best ways to see the totem poles is on a walking tour in Ketchikan. For guests who are interested in this walking tour, maps are available for free at the Ketchikan Visitor Centers. While downtown, visitors can stop at the Totem Heritage Center to view a collection of 19th century totem poles.

Guests can stroll through Totem Bight State Historical Park, located about 15 minutes north of downtown, which takes visitors on a scenic path through the Tongass Rainforest with restored and re-carved totem poles spread throughout the forest greenery. South of town, Saxman Native Village’s Totem Park is home to more than two dozen replicated or restored totem poles, and the park includes a tribal house, carving center and cultural hall for traditional Tlingit dance exhibitions.

Another updated property is the 25-room boutique hotel previously known as Edgewater Inn Restaurant & Marina, whichis being rebranded as The Ketch Inn and will feature updated guestrooms. Open seasonally from June – September and located along the Tongass Narrows just minutes from downtown, Ketchikan airport and cruise ship docks, The Ketch will offer fully-guided and self-guided fishing, as well as add-on excursions.

Traveling by Ferry

The Alaska Inter-Island Ferry. (Photo courtesy of Visit Ketchikan.)

Alaska’s Inter-Island Ferry Authority provides year-round passenger service between Hollis, located on Prince of Wales Island, and Ketchikan, the southernmost city in Southeast Alaska.

The ferry offers a more affordable option for traveling than by small plane. For guests who rent a car while in Ketchikan, they can travel with their vehicle on board the ferry. The ferry is equipped with an observation lounge, reading room, cafe, children’s play area and solarium.

For more information, visit

Don’t miss, the Alaska Railroad adds midweek winter service, and these new tours in Alaska.