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The Mill at Ward Cove Ketchikan Alaska

The Mill at Ward Cove is Alaska’s Newest Cruise Port

Cruising in Alaska is finally ready for a full season and cruisers could not be more excited about sailing to the wildest state in the country! There’s been a lot of upgrades to ports in Alaska over the past few years, but none more so than Ward Cove, just north of Ketchikan. 

The Mill at Ward Cove is a new development which offers safe, comfortable and convenient access to shore excursions and the town of Ketchikan. If you’re looking to book an Alaska cruise in the coming months, finding an itinerary with a call at Ward Cove can be a fun and convenient way to get closer to all the sights and sounds of beautiful Alaska!

The Mill at Ward Cove
Ships docked at Ward Cove | Photo: The Mill at Ward Cove

What is the Mill at Ward Cove?

Built on the remains of the historic Ketchikan Pulp Mill, which was a key economic driver for the town of Ketchikan when it opened in the 1950’s. Development of the site for cruise purposes started prior to the pandemic and the first ship called in port on August 4, 2021, making it Alaska’s newest cruise port and your gateway to the stunning Tongass National Forest. It’s just a seven mile ride into the downtown area where you can enjoy Ketchikan’s famous Creek Street and meet up with a tour or excursion group. 

No tendering needed as your cruise ship can dock at the pier, making things easier for cruisers to spend more time ashore Alaska. Once guests step off the ship and into the Welcome Center, they can take the complimentary shuttle into downtown Ketchikan or wait in comfort for their shore excursion or tour to begin. 

If you have some time or are looking for authentic Alaskan gifts for friends and family, the retail section of Ward Cove has plenty to explore like artisan gifts, outerwear and more. The complex also boasts a museum of the pier’s history, a theater which offers insights into what it’s like to live life in Alaska, sip and paint classes and even ax-throwing lessons. For some fresh and locally-caught seafood, the Whistle Stop Restaurant.

Kayaking excursion | Photo: The Mill at Ward Cove

What Cruise Lines Call at Ward Cove? 

The schedule of ship calls to The Mill at Ward Cove is robust this Alaska cruise season and some of your favorite ships across multiple lines will sail into port over the coming months. Ships from Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises  and American Queen Voyages will all make their way to Ward Cove this summer so if you’re interested in visiting, there are many cruise options to choose from. 

Now that Alaska is ready for cruisers once again, The Mill at Ward Cove is set to be one of the most popular places to visit in this beautiful land! 

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Evan Gove is the SEO & Content Manager for Porthole Cruise and Travel's digital department. He covers cruise industry news and writes ship reviews for porthole.com. You can also catch him as a guest on the YouTube series Cruise Control with Bill Panoff. Follow his tweets and posts about the cruise industry from Porthole Cruise and Travel's social media accounts.