Ketchikan, known alternately as Alaska’s First City, the salmon capital of the world, or less complimentary, The Rain Capital of Alaska, will be our last port of call. Only a few miles from the Canadian border, Ketchikan historically, and today, is one of Alaska’s more fascinating communities.
This is a great time to explore Ketchikan before visiting the Saxman Village. As a Science at Sea participant you have full access to the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center at no charge. This is a National Forest Service operated facility that has wonderful displays that highlight the rainforest ecology, fishing, and native culture in Alaska. Located one block from the cruise dock at 50 Main Street.
Ketchikan enjoys a Native Tlingit culture dating back thousands of years and today is a cultural center for Tlingit, Tsimshian, and Haida Natives. Ketchikan proudly claims the largest collection of totem poles, an iconic symbol of the Pacific Northwest Coast and the native tribes, in the world. We meet on the dock and board a motor coach where we will be introduced to the rich and colorful culture of the Pacific Northwest Coast people during a journey to the renowned Saxman Village Totem Park. Once in Saxman Village, we will learn about some of the symbolism and meaning of the totems and their figures and also be delighted by Native youngsters who will entertain with traditional Native songs and dances in full regalia in a traditional clan house.
Here’s what happens in Ketchikan…
- Board a motorcoach for Saxman Village, a Native Tlingit settlement just south of Ketchikan
- Enjoy a colorful dance presentation by local Native young people demonstrating ancient song and dance rituals
- Saxman Village hosts one of the largest collections of Tlingit and Haida totem poles in the Pacific Northwest – we enjoy free time to stroll in the totem park or join a guide for a detailed explanation of the totem poles in the park
- Saxman Village Carving Shed is home to the most famous of all Tlingit carvers, Nathan Jackson. It serves as a teaching institute offering apprentice carvers the opportunity to learn under master carvers. We have an opportunity to visit the carving shed and visit with the carvers.