Ketchikan is the southernmost town in southeast Alaska, and like Juneau and Skagway, is filled with large cruise ships on most summer days. We did a walking tour of the town, wandering through some of the numerous shops in the harbor area and on Creek Street. We found a good place for a light lunch, and watched the salmon swim upstream in Ketchikan Creek. Since Ketchikan is one of the rainiest cities in Alaska, we felt lucky to have a sunny day for traveling. One interesting tidbit about the Ketchikan Airport is that you have to take a ferry across the channel to the airport, which is on an island.
As we flew away from Alaska, we remembered all the good times on our small ship, and how we felt like we had seen and experienced much more of the "real" Alaska of our dreams.
Author's Note: Although Cruise West is no longer operating, other small ships that cruise Alaska's Inside Passage in Southeast Alaska offer similar itineraries and cruise experiences.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.