Alaska Cruise 2012: Ketchikan

(Back to Part Six…)

Our last port-of-call brought us to Ketchikan, home of the picturesque postcard staple Creek Street in the heart of downtown.

Picturesque Creek Street in downtown Ketchikan.

From a tourist standpoint, the calling cards of Ketchikan are the numerous native totem poles located in and around the city. However, totem poles were not on our list of things-to-do. No, our plans called for something a bit more interactive. Our plans called for…

…scuba diving. Yes, scuba diving. In Alaska. But really, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. In fact, it wasn’t bad at all—it was fantastic. For starters, we were suited up in thick 6-mil drysuits. The suits themselves kept you toasty warm (in fact, almost too warm—we were most grateful for the trickle of water that would inevitably seep its way down your back occasionally… sure it was cold at first, but it quickly warmed to a pleasant coolness via your own body heat). The suits also were ridiculously buoyant—I don’t think you could have drowned if you tried. And as a bonus, they actually carried prescription scuba goggles, so even without our glasses, we were able to see everything clearly! A very nice touch, and one that completely remedied our initial worry of “how are we going to be able to see anything?”. Sea urchins, starfish, tiny jellyfish… all of them were in our playground for a couple of hours. Honestly, this excursion was one of the highlights of the entire trip.

(Side note: If you ever want to enjoy your own scuba experience in Alaska, I can’t recommend the outfit at Snorkel Alaska highly enough! Thorough, friendly, experienced dive instructors, and a fabulous setting.)

Billy, Kristi, and Kurt, our most excellent Snorkel Alaska dive instructors.

Upon being returned to the dock, we had about an hour or so before the ship set sail. Yes, it was a little sad having to leave behind such a great excursion experience. But it was also a little sad knowing that with this, our next stop would be our last one: Vancouver, and the end of the cruise.

Saying goodbye to downtown Ketchikan as we pull out of port…

The view from the ship, on our way to Vancouver.