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Sitka - or - Ketchikan?

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Sitka - or - Ketchikan?

We have never been to Alaska and we are going to do one of the "Dream Cruises".

These cruises depart from either Sitka or Ketchikan and then they end up in the opposite city to fly home. At the end of the trip - we are going to fly directly home. However, before our cruise starts, we would like to come up 2 or 3 days early and are wondering which city you would suggest to spend our extra time in? In looking at pictures of both (on the web) it looks like Sitka might be prettier and maybe less commercialized? (but I have no clue).

Things we would like to do are 1) Exploring the city 2) Kayaking the harbor 3) Great restaurants 4) Fishing charter 5) ??


Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour
Boat Tours, Fishing Charters & Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Photography Tours
Island Wings Air Service
Fishing Charters & Tours, Hiking & Camping Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Air Tours
Rum Runner Charters
Dolphin & Whale Watching, Fishing Charters & Tours
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1. Re: Sitka - or - Ketchikan?

I like Sitka for the main reason that you stated - less commercialized. If you go there first, I suggest doing a marine wildlife tour with someone like Sitka Sound Tours (Capt Jim). You can also certainly go kayaking. Sitka is a nice city with a lot to offer.

The main "drawback" of Sitka is that to get from there back to the lower 48, the flight stops in Ketchikan. Not a huge issue but it adds a bit to the total flight time (same when coming from Seattle to Sitka).

New South Wales...
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2. Re: Sitka - or - Ketchikan?

Hi jayhawk - we are doing an ADC out of Sitka next year. We are flying direct from SEA to Sitka the day before the cruise as ADC include a full day of activities in Sitka on the first official day of the cruise so just a little time to explore ourselves beforehand.

Alaska Airlines may have changed their schedules for next year as they show Sitka as a direct route on their destination guide. Some flights do still go via Ketchikan so perhaps it depends on the day/time - direct flight may be limited as we did have the option to book via KTN also.

We chose Sitka as we have previously visited Ketchikan on a large ship cruise and the main "attraction" besides the town itself (which can easily be toured in a day) is Misty Fjords which we will be exploring up close on the cruise. The boat docks in the morning of the final day and we have chosen not to leave until 4pm which will still give us full day in Ketchikan. As we are travelling with our 8yo son we may do something corny like the lumberjack show or maybe even the Bering Sea crab tour. Just depends what we encounter along the way....... Might just go fishin'!

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3. Re: Sitka - or - Ketchikan?

Don't know when you are going, but every year in June, Sitka holds its classical music festival. Prices are very reasonable for some of the best artists in the world.

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4. Re: Sitka - or - Ketchikan?

I live in Ketchikan and I gotta say Sitka. Ketchikan is fun and has a wide variety of activities, but it is so darn BUSY in the summer that the charm can be hard to find but it is abundant on ever corner in Sitka. Do not miss the Sheldon Jackson Museum, the Russian Bishops house and reservations for dinner at Ludvigs or pie at the Back Door Cafe.

5. Re: Sitka - or - Ketchikan?

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