We strive to share with our guests an authentic Alaskan experience showcasing Ketchikan’s history, culture, environment, and wildlife, while also providing them with the warm hospitality for which Alaskans are best known.
We pride ourselves on providing visitors with a view of Ketchikan through the eyes of locals! We are passionate about our home and we want to share it with you. Our tour provides a scenic, narrated wildlife excursion through the protected waters of our nearshore route of the Inside Passage, the Tongass Narrows.
What we'll do
Join our Alaskan captain and their crew at our dock in Ward Cove – which was once home to North America’s largest operating pulp mill and a working salmon cannery – to board either the Lighthouse Endeavor or Totem Princess. Once aboard, you’ll get to settle into the inside heated main cabin or a seat on the outside observation deck, as you leave the dock for your cruise.
Sip a hot chocolate or freshly-brewed coffee and keep your eye out for plentiful American bald eagle sightings. Your captain will navigate the vessel along our developed shoreline while our crew helps you spot the many eagle’s nests along our route. You’ll arrive in front of Totem Bight State Park, home to an Alaskan native clan house and 14 towering Tlingit and Haida hand-carved cedar totem poles, where you will learn about Ketchikan’s vibrant Alaska Native culture as well as the history of the park. We’ll provide you with beautiful, panoramic views of the entire park from the water, and an opportunity to get your photo taken with this stunning site.
About halfway through the trip, you’ll leave the developed shoreline to head out to Guard Island Lighthouse, perched on its own island near the opening to Clarence Strait. (This fascinating landmark was established in 1904 and is still in operation today!) While here, take a minute to breathe in the fresh sea air and keep your eye out for the possibility of some of our favorite marine mammals – seals, sea lions, and, in May and September, sometimes even humpback and orca whales! You also may get a chance to see any number of seabirds, such as great blue heron, pigeon guillemots, or gulls.
On your way back to Ward Cove, your captain will bring your tour vessel along the neighboring island of Gravina, showcasing beautiful views of the old growth Tongass National Forest, our world’s largest temperate rainforest, and give you the opportunity to possibly spot some land-based wildlife, such as Sitka Blacktail deer or – if you’re really lucky! – a black bear.
Throughout the tour you’ll also get the chance to learn about the unique lifestyle of living on a remote Alaskan island directly from the locals who make this place our home!
What to expect / what's provided
*Plentiful wildlife, with guaranteed sightings of American bald eagles
*Up to 5 eagle nests
*Totem Bight State Park
*Guard Island Lighthouse
*Alaskan homes and mansions (some on their own island)
*Remnants of the Ketchikan Pulp Mill Company
We provide on board:
*Complimentary beverages, including hot chocolate, coffee, water, assorted hot tea, and soft drinks
*Complimentary tasting of local Alaskan delicacies, including our favorite smoked salmon & salmon spread, crackers, bull kelp pickles, and artisan chocolate
*Fog-proof, waterproof Bushnell binoculars are also provided for your use while on the tour vessel
What to Bring:
*Please dress in layers to accommodate all weather conditions. We are in a rainforest, so we always recommend bringing a rain jacket or poncho!
Photo credit: Rich Rijinders Photography, Alabastro Photography, and Kyle Bailey