It was what locals call a bluebird day, a beautiful, sunny day in Ketchikan—one of the rainiest cities in the world with an average yearly downpour of about 14 feet. According to a local, it was the best day in more than two weeks, the sun shining gloriously and the temperature hovering around 70 as passengers disembarked spiffy Regent Seven Seas Mariner. Like Richard and I most of the 700 passengers were taking one of the line’s complimentary shore excursions offered on this all-inclusive seven-day Alaska cruise from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, BC. The voyage lived up to or exceeded expectations.
Following the two-hour walk we strolled around Ketchikan, which is Alaska’s fourth largest city, despite its small population of about 14,000, and stopped for lunch at a local spot called Annabelle’s. This is a city of water, where even the airport must be reached by ferry and with no land connection to the outside—the only highway ends 10 miles in either direction beyond the center of town. What it is best known for, besides salmon and rain, is the size of its floatplane fleet, the largest in the world. Every day around 1,000 takeoffs and landings occur in the same tight sea lanes used by ships much larger than Mariner and were as easily seen as the curious juvenile bald eagle that flew within feet of the anchored ship.
Annabelle’s was a bit of a disappointment. The salmon was over-cooked, the olive oil had a strange taste but the bread and salad was good. We popped for wine and a beer (which is proffered free on Mariner, but hey one isn’t in a Ketchikan restaurant every day). The typical Alaska eatery was filled with what looked like locals but also passengers from Marina, Holland America’s Voledam and the Coral Princess which were also docked there. After lunch it was back on a launch that took passengers back to the anchored Mariner for a night and one more day at sea before arrival in Vancouver.
Once back in our deluxe veranda suite 805 we sat on the veranda and watch while the captain sailed out of Ketchikan to the final stop in Vancouver B.C. I love this ship so much that I can’t wait to do another cruise on her, perhaps in Caribbean or Med next time. But Regent Seven Seas is well-known for getting things right and everything about this seven day journey was ideal. Remember RSSC fare are truly ALL INCLUSIVE with everything covered from tips to shore excursions, drinks, alternative dining venues Prime7 (that serves kick ass steaks) and Signatures which offers continental cuisine in a romantic setting (most ships charge extra for meals outside the dining room, except this one and Seabourn.Above is a buffet served on the Mariner during arrival in Ketchikan.