Alaska Excursions: The Misty Fjords of Ketchikan


Originally uploaded by kaiyen

Perhaps more so than on a cruise to, say, the Caribbean or around Europe, an Alaskan cruise really requires booking a few excursions. Most of the ports of call are tiny cities – Ketchikan does not even have roads leading to it – so getting away from the city to see the surrounding areas is a good idea. In comparison, walking around a city in Europe or lying on the beach in the Caribbean does not require special bookings.

The first excursion that I did on my trip to Alaska was in our first port of call – Ketchikan. As alluded to above, one cannot get to this city by road. Plane or boat only. That tells you that it’s pretty remote, though it’s also a big, big fishing city. So interesting place.

We decided to go on an excursion that took us by floatplane to a ‘dock’ then on a boat through the ‘Misty Fjords.’ Photos can be found throughout our Alaska flickr set , and this one and this one are among my favorites so far (we took a lot of photos’).

This is a short review, but click on ‘more’ to read the rest.

We docked in Ketchikan promptly at 7:30, and were on our way by bus to the float plane company by 9AM. The trip was mostly uneventful, which is good, because we got to just enjoy the views, the scenery, and the experience.

The Misty Fjords are kind of interesting unto themselves. Unlike the fjords of Scandinavia, which are like ravines, these are fairly broad areas cut into the land. By definition (as the pilot of the floatplane was specific to say), they are fjords – canyons cut out by glaciers. But they are fairly big and there are almost never any tower, vertical walls of rock or earth along the sides (with a few exceptions). The re are more than enough places that are flat enough for wildlife to walk around, such as the black bear that we kind of saw looking for fish. I got a good picture of the bear’s butt (he walked from one tree to the next so I never had a full shot at him). I’ll post that later.

Wildlife is pretty prevalent in the Fjords. We saw a Bald Eagle the minute we landed from the floatplane, and a few more as we cruised through. We also saw a gigantic eagle’s nest. There was the black bear and lots of other birds.

We were extremely lucky in having a clear, beautiful, actually-sunny day, which is a rarity in Ketchikan. The float plane ride, which took about 30 minutes, gave us a splendid albeit-dirty window’ed view at the Fjords and the area (and I even got to sit in the co-pilot’s seat!). We then landed at a dock – really a couple pieces of large floating wood platforms – and swapped places with those on the boat. We spent about 2 hours cruising back to Ketchikan on the boat, stopping by waterfalls, to look at the black bear butt, etc.
water, ripples, and reflections

More photos to come, but I really recommend this excursion. Unless the weather is horrible it’s worth it no matter what.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *