I am interested in kayaking but also very interested in native culture. I currently have reserved the Saxman tour for Ketchikan and plan on spending some Anchorage time (2 full days in Anchorage total) at the Native Heritage Center (after a Denali visit...no Seward this time). I'm trying to figure out how to work kayaking into the schedule. My other ports are pretty well booked (hiking, glacier trek-helicopter, wildlife viewing). My time in Ketchikan is limited (6:30-2:30 I believe) and I also want to explore town.
The options seem to be (1) giving up on Saxman in favor of Ketchikan kayaking and then rely on the Native Heritage Center for the cultural side of things, (2) following the original plan and spend part or all of 1 Anchorage day driving to and kayaking from Whittier or (3) vicariously enjoy the kayaking experience by reading about other people doing it.
Is the second option overly complicated/stressful? This concept of timing for a tunnel that is apparently only open for 15 minutes/hour is instinctively unappealing?
How is kayaking from Whittier (scenery, wildlife, ect.)? I'd probably be talking about 2-3 hours worth of kayaking. And how does it compare to kayaking in Ketchikan?
Can the Native Heritage Center compensate for the loss on the Saxman side?
Thoughts? Other solutions?
[Note: "Visit Alaska again" is a valid but more distant solution.]
Perhaps I should mention that my calculations are based off of ship-excursions that put Saxman from 10:30-1. The only compatible ship-based kayaking in ketchikan would run 7-10:15, which is too close. At any rate, it seems difficult to manage kayaking, exploring town and 2 1/2 hours for Saxman.