The third day of our cruise, Sunday (May 24th), we had a port stop in Ketchikan, Alaska. We were scheduled to arrive in Ketchikan at around 9am, so we got to see some awesome scenery as we pulled into town. (All pictures from this day are available on picasaweb.)
The first picture is what was outside of our window when I woke up. Again, I was an early riser, so I headed up to the gym (I didn’t even bother with the track, although it was probably better as we were in protected waters). After my workout, I went back to the room to wake up Cortny. We did the buffet for breakfast (or maybe this was one of our AquaSpa breakfast days). Either way, we ate and then went outside on deck 4 (the promenade deck) to watch the ship pull into town.
The town of Ketchikan is actually rather small. It probably isn’t hard for the population to double when there are a lot of ships in port.
It was a beautiful day in Ketchikan. It was bright and sunny, and in the low 60s all day. Luck for us, Cortny is always prepared with sunscreen.
The shops near the pier look like the set from a western, and most of the close shops are all jewelry stores. I am amazed at how many people go on vacation to show for jewelry, oh well, that is not what we were there.
As we got closer to Ketchikan, I captured a video of the occasion.
Since we were well prepared (and early), we were off the ship pretty quickly, about 5 minutes after 9. Our excursion was to meet at 9:15 on the pier, so we needed to be ready. There was some confusion at the port, so we didn’t end up getting on our bus until about 9:35.
For this port, we had picked the “Rainforest Canopy Expedition.” What this really means is that we went on zip lines in the rainforest (although it didn’t rain on us).
Our tour was run by Alaska Canopy Adventures. The rainforest was about a 15 minute bus ride south of the cruise pier. I think there were 15 – 20 people on our tour. After arriving in at the base, we boarded a Unimog for our trip up the hill. Given the size of this vehicle, I was expecting a lengthy ride, but it was less than 2 minutes to arrive at our destination.
At the top of the zipline, we received a safety briefing and put on all the gear. There is a seated harness (similar to a rock climbing harness), and then an over the shoulder harness that attaches. Then there are two safety lines and the trolley that actually runs on the ziplines themselves. The safety gear is rounded out with a helmet and gloves. The gloves are important because you apply pressure on the line with your hand to stop.
After gearing up, there is a practice zipline. It is maybe 50 feet long and only 12 feet off the ground. Here is Cortny taking on the practice line.
The course itself involved 7 more ziplines (3 of them were over 600 feet in length) and 3 suspension bridges. Here is a video of one of those suspension bridge crossings.
And of course, I had to record a video of actually being on a zipline. This video is from the last zipline on the course. It was the third longest, but it wasn’t running very fast that day, so it was hard to make it to the end. It doesn’t quite capture it, but here is the video anyway.
After our zipline adventure, we wandered around Ketchikan for a little while. Lots of shopping, Cortny got some Alaskan Jade. After we did our touring, we just headed back to the ship. We enjoyed some more spa time (in the Persian Gardens) before dinner and had another great dinner (I realize now that I should have recorded what we ate each night).