Free Things to do in Ketchikan Alaska from Cruise Ship

Ketchikan alaska

Welcome to Ketchikan, Alaska! you'll find yourself surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage. 

While there are plenty of paid excursions available, you don't have to break the bank to have a memorable experience in Ketchikan. 

Exploring Ketchikan, Alaska: Unforgettable Free Activities from Your Cruise Ship

In this article, we'll unveil a treasure trove of free activities that you can enjoy right from your cruise ship. 

Ketchikan offers an array of remarkable experiences that won't cost you a dime. Let's dive in!

  1. Discovering the Charm of Historic Creek Street 

Explore the historic Creek Street, a boardwalk lined with colorful buildings that once housed bustling brothels and shops. Today, it offers a glimpse into Ketchikan's past with its quaint boutiques and galleries.

  •  Observing Salmon at the Creek Street Bridge
    Observing Salmon at the Creek Street Bridge

Stand on the Creek Street Bridge during the salmon spawning season (July to September) and witness the incredible sight of salmon swimming upstream to their spawning grounds.

  1. Unveiling the Rich Cultural Legacy at Totem Heritage Center

    Rich Cultural Legacy at Totem Heritage Center

Visit the Totem Heritage Center to see an impressive collection of totem poles and learn about the art and traditions of the Native Alaskan tribes. The center preserves and showcases beautifully carved totems.

  • Admiring Masterpieces of Native Carving and Artistry

    Admiring Masterpieces of Native Carving and Artistry

Marvel at the intricate details and craftsmanship of the totem poles on display, each telling a unique story and representing the heritage and beliefs of the indigenous peoples.

  1.  Exploring Saxman Native Village: 

A Window into Indigenous Life Step into Saxman Native Village, a living community that offers insights into the traditional customs and practices of the Tlingit people. Explore the village's totem park, carving shed, and clean house.

  • Witnessing Traditional Native Dance Performances 

Be captivated by the vibrant performances of Native Alaskan dancers, who share their cultural dances and stories, providing an immersive experience of the Tlingit heritage.

      4.    Guided or Self-Guided

Guided or Self-Guided

Take a guided tour or explore the city on your own, wandering through the streets lined with charming shops, art galleries, and historic landmarks, including the City Park and the Chief Kyan Totem Pole.

  • Highlights of the City Tour:

Discover the history and charm of Ketchikan as you visit popular attractions such as Creek Street, the Tongass Historical Museum, the salmon ladder, and the City Park.

  1. Delving into Ketchikan's History at Tongass

    Ketchikan's History at Tongass

Involve yourself in Ketchikan's fascinating history at the Tongass Historical Museum, which showcases artifacts, exhibits, and photographs that depict the city's maritime heritage and early pioneer life.

  • Uncovering the City's Maritime Heritage

 Learn about the thriving fishing industry, the Native Alaskan culture, and the impact of the Gold Rush era through the museum's extensive collection of artifacts, including fishing gear, canneries, and historic photographs.


Ketchikan, Alaska, offers a multitude of free activities that allow you to make the most of your visit without spending a fortune. 

Don't miss the chance to witness the natural marvel of salmon spawning at Ketchikan Creek or embark on a scenic cruise through Misty Fjords National Monument.

FAQs Can you walk around Ketchikan Alaska from cruise ship? Yes, you can easily walk around Ketchikan, Alaska, from the cruise ship. The main attractions, including Creek Street, the Totem Heritage Center, and the Tongass Historical Museum, are within walking distance of the cruise ship dock.

How do you spend a day in Ketchikan Alaska? 

In Ketchikan, Alaska, you can spend a day exploring historic Creek Street, immersing yourself in Native Alaskan culture at Saxman Native Village, and enjoying scenic walks along the waterfront. How can I explore Ketchikan on my own?

You can explore Ketchikan on your own by taking a self-guided walking tour through the city, visiting attractions like Creek Street and the Totem Heritage Center, and immersing yourself in the local culture at Saxman Native Village.