Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Blog

Alaska Travel

Why Kayaking Should be on Your Alaska Bucket List

Sea kayaking is one of the best ways to explore Southeast Alaska’s vast roadless wilderness. If you’re reading this blog post you’re probably dreaming of or planning a trip to Alaska. What drew you to Alaska? There are people who come to fish for salmon, hunt big game, climb the mountains, or see the Northern Lights but if you’re coming to Alaska to experience one of the last great wild places left on the planet then sea kayaking has got to be on our list of things to do. Here’s why a kayak tour is a great way to explore Alaska’s incredible wilderness. A kayaker’s view of Ketchikan . Immerse Yourself in Wild Alaska Kayaking is a way to immerse yourself in a place. In our kayaks we are right at water level with no motors to disturb the tranquility…

What to Wear on Your Alaskan Cruise

We’re not super stylish, but we’ve been sharing the fun and beauty of kayaking in Ketchikan with visitors for over 20 years. Here’s our local’s guide to how to dress for outdoor adventures in Southeast Alaska. Southeast Alaska is home to the world’s largest temperate rainforest which means there’s a good chance that it will rain at some point on your Inside Passage Cruise. Here in Ketchikan we average 160 inches (or approximately 13.5 feet) of rain a year. As you might imagine, locals never let the weather get them down – we just dress for it. There are quite a few Alaska vacation packing lists available, but most of them include outfits that are way more stylish than we could put together and many seemed geared more towards the arctic than rainy, temperate Southeast Alaska. So, while you’re on your…

Snow Day in Ketchikan, Alaska

  Snow and ice are the first things many people think of when they hear the word “Alaska,” but snow is a rare treat in Ketchikan because we are located in Southeast Alaska’s temperate rainforest. It’s been a long time since the kids of Ketchikan got a real snow day, but when 4 inches of snow fell on the first day of winter break, we had to get out and capture the moment before the rain washed it all away. Ketchikan’s red bridge and the brightly colored houses of the former red light district.  It’s quiet in downtown Ketchikan after the cruise season but local businesses like Soho Coho, The Hive and Parnassus Books remain open through the winter months.  The Ketchikan Creek runs through the heart of downtown Whale Park on Mission Street. According to locals, Whale Park is so…

3 Reasons You Need Travel Insurance for an Alaska Cruise

  3 Reasons You Need Travel Insurance for Your Alaska Cruise Disclosure number one: I live here in Ketchikan, so I have never been on an Alaska cruise. Disclosure number two:   have purchased travel insurance for every trip our family has ever taken and I’ve never (knock on wood) had to use it. While I have not personally had to use my travel insurance, I have worked in the travel industry my entire adult life and I have seen hundreds of cases of cancellations, delays, losses and illnesses that cause people tremendous grief but are completely covered by travel insurance for the lucky few who knew it was a good idea to purchase it. Depending on the policy, travel insurance can cover you for all kinds of travel problems from your wallet being stolen or luggage lost to being evacuated…

5 Reasons to Take an Alaska Cruise

  Why Cruise to Alaska? So Alaska is one of your dream destinations but you are not really the cruising type. Maybe your travel style is more backpacks and hiking boots than black tie and high heels? Don’t worry, you are not alone! The great value and convenience of Alaska cruises attract both veteran cruisers and first timers. Here are some of the reasons to consider taking a cruise: The Celebrity Solstice at the dock in Ketchikan, Alaska 1. Alaska Cruises are a Great Deal Alaska cruises are the least expensive way to see a lot of Alaska in a short amount of time. Right now, a 9 day Norwegian Sawyer Glacier Cruise with 1 night hotel in Seattle runs $999 per person in June. Compare that with the ferry ticket for 1 person at $500 per person round trip…

Twelve Years of Orcas Cove Sea Kayaking

Happy Birthday Orcas Cove! This week we celebrate the 12th birthday of the Orcas Cove Sea Kayaking tour. We love all the kayaking tours and local programs here at Southeast Sea Kayaks but, of all the things we do, Orcas Cove is the tour that we are most proud of. It’s a one of a kind tour that showcases everything we love about living and kayaking in Alaska. The Inspiration for the Orcas Cove Kayaking Tour The Orcas Cove tour was Greg’s baby and possibly an excuse for him to buy more boats. Because what’s better than messing about in boats? Preferably lots of boats: big boats, little boats, medium sized boats and occasionally: floatplanes (technically a boat when on the water but please don’t tell the pilots that!). The tour was based on a simple premise: let’s take visitors…

Alaska Cruise Planning: Where to Find the Highlights

The internet has made vacation planning so much easier, hasn’t it? Well yes, in some ways… but sometimes the sheer volume of information available is overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to even begin to narrow down the choices. Between the excursions sold on board cruise ships and local companies like ours, there are literally hundreds of choices in shore excursions for Alaska cruises. Where do you begin? Start here: our list of the Alaska cruise port highlights is based on our own local knowledge and what our guests have shared about their own cruise experiences. Ketchikan is a great port for kayaking. If kayaking and a floatplane trip to the Misty Fjords are on your bucket list, check out the Orcas Cove/Misty Fjords Flight combination . Photo: Dan Kiely Ketchikan Ketchikan is the first or last stop on…

Alaska Cruise Planning: When to Visit

When is the best time to visit Alaska on a cruise? Spring is an exciting time at Southeast Sea Kayaks. The phone starts to ring and the email in-box fills up: people are planning their Alaska cruises and adventures. Greg and I have a lot of fun talking with folks who are planning their trips. While we are definitely Ketchikan specialists, we have gathered tons of great information from our guests and neighbors in other Alaskan towns over the years. Here is the first of a series of blog posts that might be helpful to anyone planning a cruise to Alaska. Cruise ship at the dock in Ketchikan. When is the best time to visit? The scenery and wildlife change with season. Before you pick up that exceptional cruise deal think about what you really want to see and do…

Living the Seasonal Life in Ketchikan

Beach bonfires and 10pm sunsets are some of the best parts of summers in Ketchikan. What is it really like to move to Ketchikan and work a summer in Alaska? Our 2014 office manager and seasonal adventurer, Brittany, shares her experience in this guest post. Seasonal (noun): ˈsēzənəl 1. A person who travels to a location for a set period of time (typically coinciding with the winter or summer season) whose primary objectives usually include the following:  obtain wages, seek thrills, or just do something a little different. 2. A soul, tethered only to a body, that heeds the call of adventure and experience wherever and with whomever that may be. It is difficult to really understand what you’re signing up for when you say yes to a seasonal job in a new place. For the most part, you’re…

All About Alaska Shore Excursions

So you booked your dream cruise to Alaska. Now it’s time to plan some shore excursions but after a little internet research your dream is turning into a nightmare. There are so many options and there is so much conflicting information online, what is the truth about shore excursions in Alaska and how do you find ones that will work for you? Should you book through the cruise ship, though a travel agent, or search online for local tour operators? The cruise lines want you to book everything on board; travel agents who specialize in Alaska have a lot to offer; and of course, being a local tour operator ourselves, we highly recommend taking the time to look for local companies in each port. Fortunately, there are amazing Alaskan adventures to be found whichever way you choose to book. In…

Skip to toolbar