The town is very walkable. I took my scooter out and it was fun to scooter around town, but more able people can easily walk
One particularly nice thing was - instead of traffic lights there were traffic wardens to stop traffic
I saw lots of taxi cabs in Ketchikan, although I did not take any. I was particularly fascinated by the outline of Alaska on the roof of some of them - I could see this from the Lido deck while we ate lunch.
Taxis meet airport ferry and state ferry arrivals. Rates are $3.70 Drop, $3.50 per mile.
And there is a water taxi to and from the airport
When ordering water taxi services, please indicate which days you need the services for. Water taxi services are charged by the hour. Upon pick-up, customers are charged for the time it takes for the captain to get to your location.
Lady Vagabond: 1 Hour @ $125.00
True North II: 1 Hour @ $150.00
You can also rent a car, or take a taxi tour.
There is a regular airport on the island across from town - you take a ferry to get there. But there are also float planes.
Float planes are a normal kind of transportation in Alaska, and Ketchikan is no exception. From the cruise ships you can take Float Plane tours such as the
Misty Fjords Floatplane Tour duration: 2 hours $229.00
Approximate flightseeing time: 75 minutes, including a water landing
Dates of floatplane tour operation: May 1 through September
There are also regularly scheduled flights that go to and from Ketchikan
Destination Town One Way Fare Round Trip Fare
CGA Craig $130.00 $260.00
KTB Thorne Bay $105.00 $210.00
HYL Hollis $105.00 $210.00
MTM Metlakatla $49.00 $98.00
Excess Baggage: Each Passenger is Allowed 40 lbs of luggage. Additional luggage, coolers & fish boxes are charged extra.
Many many people come to Ketchikan on cruise ships. That's how we got there. Each day you can see from one to five ships tied up at the docks. This year (2011) there were over 700 cruise ship visits of which 200 were by Holland American.
Holland American is a line that I prefer, but other possibilities were Carnival, Celebrity, Crystal, Disney, Norwegian, Oceana, Princess, Regent, Royal Caribbean, Silversea.
The high end expensive lines are Regent, Oceana and Silver Sea and they can cost more than twice as much as the mass market lines.
Royal Caribbean is not allowed to go to Glacier Bay which would eliminate them as far as I am concerned
You can go to the Tourist Information building on the dock and get the schedule and route for the local buses which are a really good way to get around.
We could have taken a bus out to WalMart if we wanted. Fortunately the Business center in town had what we wanted and Bob could walk to it.
There are three bus routes; the Blue Line for the northern route, the Green Line which services the residential areas in town, and the Red Line for the southern route. Fare is $1.00 or 50 cents for a senior or student. Transfers to the next bus going the same direction are free.
Most tourist destinations are on the Green Line. I took photos of the bus from the Lido - it had a flaming fish on top
Here is the view from over 30,000 feet as you fly over Ketchikan. I told the lady on the plane next to me that I'd lived in Ketchikan, and she said, "Oh, so you're Canadian?" No - British Columbia is within eyesight though.
Ah... the purple got goopy... that white dot along the coast beneath "Ketchikan" is a cruiseship. There was only one in town that day in August 2004.
If you fly into Kethikan, the International Airport is on Gravina, and you will take a small ferry ride across the Tongass Narrows to Ketchikan. In this picture, you can faintly see the light line that deliniates the Tongass Narrows. Ketchikan is on Revillagigedo Island. I have only circumnavigateg Gravina Island once by boat, there is some good fishing at Volner Point which is on the left side of Gravina, close to Tongass Narrows.
Annette Island is the only Indian Reservation in Alaska. If you are visiting Ketchikan, make sure to take a short float plane or ferry ride and visit Metlakatla.
Ketchikan is a town where people use boats for more than recreation, they are transportation and people's homes as well.
Here is a sailboat in the Tongass Narrows. The island behind the sailboat is Pennock Island. Behind Pennock Island is downtown Ketchikan, and towering above is Deer Mountain.
Sailboats have the right of way, by the way.
You'd be surprised at how much of Ketchikan isn't on solid ground. There are roads, parking lots, buildings built on docks. There are "bridges" hanging from the sides cliffs. There isn't all that much flat land around here.
The best way to get to Ketchikan, and many other ports in Southeast Alaska is via the Alaska Marine Highway system. It if probably more affordable than the cruiseships and offers the opportunity to bring your car with you so that you can get off and drive around at different ports of call. I say probably less expensive because, it isn't really all that inexpensive! Gee. But, if you want to see more than a few hours in each town this is the way to travel through Alaska.
Incidentally, the MV Bartlett is no longer part of the AMHS fleet. The State of Alaska sold this ferry on E-Bay in October 2003 for a couple hundred thousand dollars. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall at the staff meeting that prompted a department within the State of Alaska to sign up for E-Bay. But, I guess, whatever works...
Somewhere around 500 cruise ships dock at Ketchikan, Alaska each summer, and you too could be on one of them. I won't recommend any of the cruise lines because I lived there, I didn't travel there. I'm sure they each have pros and cons.
This image shows how huge the cruise ships are; 8-9 stories above the waterline. They dwarf downtown Ketchikan. The cruise ship shown is from the Holland-American line, but I couldn't remember the name.
Rather than pay for a tourist shuttle or a cab, catch the bus instead. You can get a schedule at the Tourist Information building on Front St. It's very easy to understand.
Buy a multi-day pass. It gives you "on-off" privledges and goes to all the tourist places in town.
There are 2 lines. I would suggest riding each one at least one time thru, to get a feel for the service AND for the city.
Tho there is a sign saying "Don't talk to bus driver" I found many wanted to talk to me! Had a great time visiting and learinng about the town thru their eyes.
The best way to move around is WALKING! The town isn't big at all and it's so beautiful that you'll be delighted while walking through its little streets and bridges. No need to take cabs or buses in here, just walk, look around you and enjoy!
You can get to Ketchikan by plane (they have a small airport, or at least such is my understanding) or by ship, as I did. In fact this town is a port of call for most of the cruise ships that visit Alaska, and this is how most of us get to know it. Here's a magnificent view of one of the cruise ships where I travelled to Alaska.
Getting there... take the Alaska Marine Highway ferry! This is the way I highly reccommend. You could spend some time here and then pick up another ship days later and go farther north, or back south. However, if you are pressed for time as we were, they have an airport (accesible by a small ferry that takes you to another small island). They have flights to Seattle and Anchorage, and probably a number of other places, but only serviced by Alaska Airlines.
They do have taxis (which are comparable in price to everywhere else in the U.S.). And i bet you could rent a car too. But I'd suggest either walking it or biking it. I think biking would be a lot of fun, but we decided against it. :(
Ketchikan is on an island so you can take a plane or ship to get here.
A city bus route and taxi cabs work well. Some hotels in town have shuttle services. But the town is small enough to walk from one end to the other in about a half hour to forty-five minutes. A bike will get you around town fine on the main road. But, watch out for all the hills and stairs.