More than 800 thousand people visit the Port of Ketchikan each year on cruise ships, although most spend only a few hours in town. Other visitors arrive by air, highway, or private vessel. The Port of Ketchikan is in the coastal rainforest of Southeast Alaska, and it is one of North America's rainiest cities. Rain is lighter during the summer and sporadic, although anyone planning to be outdoors should carry proper raingear. Average temperatures in the summer are around 20 ºC (the high 60s F), and winter is a season of cold, heavy, wind-driven rain and temperatures around 4 ºC (the high 30s F).
For visitors planning to stay a while, the Port of Ketchikan is about 35 kilometers (22 miles) by air west of the Misty Fjords National Monument. The national monument covers almost 600 million hectares of land, including almost 555 thousand hectares of wilderness. The Misty Fjords is accessible by boat and floatplane. The area contains long deep fjords and tall sea cliffs carved by glaciers some 10 thousand years ago. The area's main waterway, Behm Canal, is over 160 kilometers long.
The Tongass Historical Museum contains exhibits telling the story of the Port of Ketchikan and southeast Alaska. Artifacts from the indigenous people, who make up 16% of the city's population, can be found at the Ketchikan Totem Heritage Center which also houses several 19th Century totem poles.
The Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary south of town blends a walk through the forest with a stroll along the shoreline. Hikers also get a review of the timber operations in the early Port of Ketchikan. The sanctuary borders the Tongass National Forest, the nation's largest, where trails offer magnificent experiences of the rainforest ecology.
Travelers who want to enjoy an Alaska cruise and a visit to the Port of Ketchikan can find a long list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.