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If you’re planning to sail away on an Alaska cruise get ready to explore Ketchikan. Known for its nature and animal-themed activities plus charming downtown area, Ketchikan, Alaska may end up becoming a highlight of your cruise.

Ketchikan is located on the southern coast of Alaska and has a vibrant history. You’ll see remnants of the Native Alaskan tribes that used to reside in Ketchikan – and have descendants that still do. The totem poles you’ll see all over the town are one such example. You can learn more about the history and mythology of totem poles in Ketchikan at Potlach Park.

When the fishing and mining industries took off in Ketchikan in the early 1900s, a red light district also became prominent in the town. Today, all that’s left of the red light district is Dolly’s House, a museum that showcases this infamous time. Today when you amble along the picturesque boardwalk that takes you through the former red light district along Creek Street, you’ll find quaint little shops in wooden buildings propped up on pilings that stand tall right over Ketchikan Creek. The creek is home to salmon, otters, and seals during the summer months.

You’ll hear a lot about salmon while in Ketchikan as the town is known for its salmon farms and provides opportunities to fish for salmon yourself. So popular and prevalent is Ketchikan’s salmon that the town is nicknamed the “Salmon Capital of the World.” You can sign up for excursions that take you out on a boat to prime salmon fishing spots and let you ship home any salmon you catch.

If you’re looking for some nature excursions, Ketchikan has many options. Misty Fjords is nearby and you can boat to it or take a seaplane over the snowcapped mountains that have icy waterfalls trickling down their sides into the seawater below. Those who love to hike can head to Deer Mountain, a strenuous 3-mile hike from the Ketchikan, Alaska port. For those who want some wildlife with their scenic views, sign up for an excursion to nearby Tongass National Forest, where you’ll be enveloped by a thick forest within which you may discover a black bear or two.

Celebrity Cruises has many sailings that conveniently depart from Seattle, Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Seward, Alaska, making an Alaska cruise an ideal fit for both first-time and veteran cruisers.

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