Ketchikan Saxman Village or Totem Bight Historical Park
We are considering either of these trips for our Ketchikan stop. Can someone recommend one over the other. Also is it possible to book either of these directly and not use the cruise tours. If so, please provide the sites.
Also is there public transportation to these sites
We are considering either of these trips for our Ketchikan stop. Can someone recommend one over the other.
AFAIK, the bight totem park is just that -- a park whose main attraction is a collection of totems. Saxman Village has plenty of totems, too, and even a working exhibit where they carve totems and explain how they go about it to tourists. Also, Saxman Village has a clan house where they showcase Tlingit dances. The show is really worthwhile.
That said, there's no need to choose between them because you will have enough time to do both.
Also is it possible to book either of these directly and not use the cruise tours. If so, please provide the sites.
I think that the totem park is in town, within walking distance of the pier, so it's pretty easy to do that on your own.
Saxman village is a short drive out of town, and the ship's tour includes both transportation and admission so that's the most seemless approach.
Sourdough tours in the past has offered a combo tour that included both. They are different. Totem Bight is more self guided in a beautiful wooded area. Also has a clan house. Saxman Village is 2 miles south of downtown. A guided tour is best since you get very little out of just looking at the totems- you can do that right downtown, if that is the only interest. The commentary is significant.
The dancer's are available with ship booked tours. Getting into the carving shed last year was usually only available to ship contracted tours. But you could look in the windows. So key is to inquire specifically on points of your priority. That being said, you can easily pick up Saxman Village tours from the dock in the $25 range.
We did the tour through Sourdough Tours that included both of them. It ended up being a wonderful excursion -- our family of 4, and 2 other ladies from our ship. The driver was excellent and gave us a very good tour of Ketchikan -- taking the time to point out a couple of different spots where we could see Bald Eagles and actually drove us through a residential neighborhood to show us some beautiful flowers in front of his house. The tour also included a trip to "Dolly's House" and then we had time to shop our way back to the ship.
If I had to pick a favorite between the two locations, it would have been Totem Bight. It's located right on the water and the scenery was gorgeous. If you go on the ship's tour to Saxman Village, it includes admission to the native dancers and a tour of the carving shed, but the independent tours don't.