Alaska Planning

It’s almost cruise time. The long-awaited Alaska Cruise and Denali Landtour is only about 6 weeks away. Yes, I’m still going. After all, it was paid for before I knew I was about to be laid off. The money is gone. It won’t solve anything by not going. And since it’s a cruise most of the meals are all paid  for as well. Our day-to-day out-of-pocket should be minimal unless we go crazy for souvenirs and since mine are usually the ones I take with my camera I’m not too worried.

We’re booked on the Island Princess. The web site describes her this way:

Island Princess was built to Panamax size – this means she was built to the maximum size a cruise ship can be to sail through the Panama Canal. A high percentage of balcony staterooms give passengers the chance to view this feat of engineering up-close, or take in stunning views of spectacular glaciers during cruises to Alaska. Featured on just one other Princess ship, the Bayou Café and SteakhouseSM is a unique dining venue on board in which to enjoy authentic New Orleans cuisine accompanied by live jazz.


The only thing left is to decide what excursions we want to do while in port.

Our First Port of call is Ketchikan, the First City on the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska.

With an estimated population of 14,070 in 2010, it is the fifth most populous city in the state.

Ketchikan  has the world’s largest collection of standing totem poles, located at three major locations: Saxman Village, Totem Bight, and the Totem Heritage Center. So of course we want to see those. Combining a visit to Saxman Native Village and the Totem poles seems like a perfect way to soak up some of the Native Alaska-American Culture.


Visit Saxman Native Village and experience the rich living culture of southeast Alaska’s Native Americans. Get an exclusive look at the fascinating culture of SE Alaska’s original inhabitants. The Tlingits welcome guests in the traditional style that defines the culture of Southeast Alaska. A short video program introduces you to the culture and history of Saxman. You will then enter the Beaver Clan House where you are welcomed by song and dance by the Cape Fox Dance group. Visitors are encouraged to participate in the final dance, before moving on to the Saxman Totem Park, one of the largest gatherings of totems in the world. Your guide will help unravel the mysteries of these towering, majestic poles. At the Village Carving Center craftsmen pass on their skill to eager apprentices. Learn how modern day carvers differ from their ancestors and learn of their current projects around the world. Fine Alaska Native art and small mementos are for sale at the Native Faces store.

Now I just have to see if my travel companion , this time my sister not Joe, agrees. 🙂

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