Trip report: m/v Taku between Ketchikan and Juneau

In Adventure, Alaska Travelgram, Cruises by scott

We took another trip on Alaska’s Marine Highway this week, back from Ketchikan to Juneau on the mighty m/v Taku. I took this shot off the stern as we were coming into Wrangell at about 9:00pm: 

In Ketchikan, we stayed at the Best Western Landing hotel because it’s got free wireless, a good breakfast spot– and it’s right across the street from the ferry terminal. In fact, here’s a shot of the hotel that I took from the deck of the Taku. That’s the ferry terminal on the left. The hotel has the green roofs. Squint and you can see the “Best Western” logo on the building on the right. And although they have a free shuttle, you don’t really need it.

We rented a car from my friend Rob Skinner at Budget, located at Skinner Sales and Service. 

While we were there, we had lunch at the Cape Fox Hotel, where I snapped this photo of the downtown area. The hotel, even tho’ it has NO FREE WIRELESS, has a neat tram that goes down to the Creek Street Historical district. Visit Soho Coho, Ray Troll’s art gallery:

In Ketchikan, be sure and go on a  kayak trip with Southeast Sea Kayaks. Take a flightseeing trip of Misty Fjords National Monument with Seawind Aviation. Don’t miss the information center on the Tongass National Forest. It’s right downtown, next to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show (another must-see for the whole family!). 

On the ferry, we opted for a cabin on the route. For two people, on the outside, with full bath facilities, the total was $107. Passage for each adult was an additional $106 each way. This is a very affordable way to cruise Alaska’s Inside Passage. Here’s a shot of the Taku:

Before we boarded the craft in Ketchikan, we stopped by Safeway to pick up some snacks. That’s another great thing about the ferry: you can bring all your own grub if you wish. That didn’t stop us from getting some great food on board–but it kept us busy between meals!

I recommend you bring some good binoculars. I did. That way, you can zoom in on the whales, the birds, the other big boats and the various goings-on as you sail by the varied shorelines of the route. 

The ferries are being upgraded–one by one–to include more modern comforts. Right now, the Malaspina has free wireless internet. On the Taku, there is a self-service espresso machine! 

Once in Juneau, we biked out to the Mendenhall Glacier with our friends Jack and Mary Manning. Jack is active in the Territorial Sportsmen, a Juneau-based group that helps build and maintain public-use cabins in the Tongass National Forest. 

Hope to see you on board Alaska’s Marine Highway soon!

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