Our last port in Alaska was Ketchikan, aka: "The Salmon Capital of the World." In addition to all of that salmon, Ketchikan is known for being the first city in Alaska. And also known for: Lumberjacks.
Our stop in Ketchikan was short and we arrived very early in the morning. We had one excursion booked; The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. Dan and I did not do the lumberjack show on our previous trip to Ketchikan, but after hearing how much everyone enjoyed the show, it was on our must-do list for this trip.
The show is located across town, about a fifteen minute walk from where the Ruby Princess was docked. Here are the pictures that we took as we walked through the town.
The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show lasts about an hour and is held in an open-air arena, with first come-first serve seating.
The show centers around competitions between two pairs of lumberjacks, one pair from America and the other from Canada. It is similar to Medieval Times, in that depending on where you sit, you are either rooting for the Canadians or the Americans. All of the lumberjacks play a different character to give it a bit of a storyline. For example the "bad boy" lumberjack was on the Canadian side and he was a sore loser which ramped up the rivalry. The American side had a slightly goofy, bad-boy character too. With regard to the actual events, It was hard to tell how much was predetermined and how much was actual competition.
That said, it is a fun, high-energy show and clearly, the lumberjacks are all very talented. They did log-rolling, wood carving, axe throwing, sawing, and the final competition, where one lumberjack from each side had to climb up a tall tree. These are all skilled athletes, no matter how much of it may have been staged.
We rooted for the home team, but I can't remember which side actually won. It was a close competition throughout. The excitement wasn't so much in who won, but in the actual competitions themselves. If you're heading to Ketchikan, The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show is a perfect pick for the entire family. This is also a very short port stop, so this excursion will leave enough time for you to enjoy the town.
The kids got a picture with a lumberjack. This guy was one of the "nice" characters.
Dan wasn't feeling well, so he headed back to the ship and I took the kids around the town. Ketchikan has a small indoor mall with an outlet store, where we stocked up on Alaska souvenirs and had a sugary treat.
Like the other ports, a lot of the stores in Ketchikan are tourist traps. I'm not sure what it is about cruise ports but they seem to be the place where people go to get jewelry. There are so many jewelers in Ketchikan and all of them had some kind of free trinket to entice buyers to enter their shops. We navigated around these stores, but we were lured in by a store selling items that change color in the light. I bought Zoe color changing nail-polish and Felix a tee-shirt, both were big hits.
Our morning in Ketchikan was a blur and before we knew it, we were back on the ship and enjoying an afternoon of swimming as the Ruby Princess headed to its final port, Victoria Island in Canada.