Ketchikan is the first or last stop in Alaska for cruise ships traveling the Inside Passage. Up to 5 cruise ships dock in Ketchikan each day of the summer which can mean that there are more than 10,000 visitors in our small town. A quick look at the Ketchikan cruise ship schedule will show you how busy it can get. Our kayak tours are not sold on board any cruise ships. We offer an alternative to the large group excursions sold through the cruise lines and the opportunity to escape the crowds and get out into Alaska with a small local company. For more information on booking your own tours in Alaska, check out our blog post All About Alaska Shore Excursions.
Here are answers to some of our cruise ship guests' most frequently asked question.
Do you provide transportation to and from the cruise ship dock?
No need! Our floating office and dock are conveniently located right in the heart of Ketchikan next to cruise ship berth 1. We meet at the 20 foot tall Rain Gauge, a central point on the cruise ship dock, then walk a few minutes to our dock together.
Will we have enough time to take one of your tours?
Yes! We have both Orcas Cove and Ketchikan Kayaking tours to fit into every cruise ship stop in Ketchikan. The shortest stops here are 7am - 1pm, for those ships we have our 8am or 9am Orcas Cove trips (depending on the day) and 8:15am Ketchikan Kayak trips. If you are traveling on one of these ships it is important to book early as we frequently sell out those tour times. When the schedule allows we also offer "on arrival" Orcas Cove trips to help accommodate the short port times.
How will we find you?
All of our tours meet at the 20 foot tall Liquid Sunshine Gauge at Cruise Ship Berth 2 here in Ketchikan. The meeting point is just a 1 - 2 minute walk from the ramps at cruise ship berths 1 and 2 and about a 5 - 10 minute walk from cruise ship berths 3 and 4. We recommend allowing at least 15 minutes to orient yourself and find the meeting point. Our guides will be holding a yellow kayak paddle and will phone the cell phone number on your booking if they are unable to find you by the tour departure time. From our meeting point we have just a 2 minute walk to our floating office where we outfit for tours.
How long should we allow for the trip?
Generally, we ask that you allow at least 15 minutes between your ship's scheduled arrival time and the time of your trip. We meet guests at the 20 foot tall Rain Gauge on the cruise ship dock. If you book the trip that begins 15 minutes after your arrival you should have no trouble meeting us if you are ready to get off the ship as soon as it arrives. The cruise ship's "all-aboard" time will be 30 minutes prior to the departure time listed on your sailing schedule. We require that guests have at least 30 minutes between their trip's return time and the "all-aboard time" for their ship.
Here is an example: If Diamond Princess will be in Ketchikan from 10am - 6pm then the all aboard time for the ship is 5:30pm. Guests traveling on this ship could book the 11am, 12noon, 1pm or 2pm Orcas Cove tours or they could book Ketchikan Kayaking at 11:15am, or 2:15pm.
Should we book ahead?
Our kayaking tours frequently sell out well in advance because our groups are small. You can always check availability and book online right up to 3 hours before the trip's departure time. However, if you arrive in Ketchikan and want to go kayaking, don't hesitate to call us at 1-800-287-1607, or go to the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau and use our direct dial phone.
How long will it take us to get back to the ship after the tour?
One of the best things about Southeast Sea Kayaks' downtown location is that when you finish kayaking you are right in the heart of historic Ketchikan close to great places to eat, shopping and the beautiful Creek Street area. Most people head out to explore the town before returning to their ship. It takes just a couple of minutes to walk from our dock back to the ships at berth 1 and 2, about 7 minutes to walk to berth 3 and up to 15 minutes to walk to berth 4.