It doesn't take a whole week to visit Alaska. With convenient weekly sailings out of Bellingham, Washington, you can ferry one-way and fly the other for a long-weekend getaway to the Last Frontier. The first part of your adventure will be traveling to Bellingham, Washington. If you live in the Pacific Northwest a short drive will get you there. If you live farther away, there are bus, train, air, and shuttle options that can transfer you to the Bellingham Terminal.
Ferry from Bellingham to Ketchikan (+)
Ferry from Bellingham to Ketchikan (-)
During the thirty-eight-hour cruise from Bellingham to Ketchikan relax and enjoy the scenery. Bond with your travel companions and meet some new ones along the way. Reserve a passenger cabin if you would prefer some privacy, or unwind in the recliner lounge or observation lounge. For the more adventurous, set up your own tent on the back deck. Step outside for some fresh air, the covered solarium is heated and provides spectacular views of the passing landscape. Food and beverage service is available, including hot and cold options.
Ketchikan — Salmon Capital of the World (+)
Ketchikan — Salmon Capital of the World (-)
Arrive in Ketchikan in the morning. Pick up the official Ketchikan walking tour map at the Visitors Bureau conveniently located downtown. Routes can be walked in as little as 60 minutes, but plan extra time to appreciate the sights and for visiting attractions. If you've not brought your own, you can rent a bicycle to explore the area. Be sure to fly and/or cruise to Misty Fjords National Monument. After mid-July, tour one of the many bear viewing areas. Go salmon fishing with an experienced charter boat captain to see why Ketchikan is called the "Salmon Capitol of the World." Visit Saxman Native Village or Totem Bight State Park to learn about the Native culture of the area. You can also go hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, or ziplining. From Ketchikan, fly back to Seattle and home again. It's only a 90-minute flight between Ketchikan and Seattle; with multiple flight options per day you can stay a little bit longer in the Last Frontier. If you have more time to explore Alaska, taking the ferry north and include some more communities along the Inside Passage as part of a longer vacation. Or, consider returning to Bellingham by ferry.