Saxman Native Village Totem Tour

Experience Artistic Magic, Culture & Craftsmanship

On this brief but fascinating private Ketchikan day tour, you’ll learn all about the culture and history of Alaskan totems with your native Tlingit guide. While you explore Saxman Native Village together, your friendly and knowledgeable guide will share with you the deep relationship between Tlingit culture and Alaskan totem treasures. You’ll first visit an actual carving shed where totems are created and also restored.  Afterwards, you’ll be invited into the Tribal Clan House where you’ll receive a private viewing of the festivals and dances that once took place there.

Your cruise excursion adventure begins here...

Day 1

Today enjoy the unique opportunity to meet a local guide and Tlingit elder, Mr. Joe Williams. Mr. Williams is the former Borough Mayor of Ketchikan and the present Mayor of the Saxman Village. Through his stories, learn about the Tlingit people and their traditions. Mr. William’s commitment to keeping his culture alive not only for visitors, but for his own people is inspiring. With his cultural dress and inspiring personality, people of all ages are drawn to him and his wealth of knowledge.

You will be met dockside to begin your intimate visit to Saxman Native Village, located 3-miles outside of Ketchikan. Your guide will narrate on the bus ride to this Tlingit Village, telling you about the history of Saxman, what it is today, and what you will see and do during your visit. Your guide will show you around the village, including Totem Row (where your guide will relate the legends behind the poles), the carving shed (where you will be able to see the carvers in action), and the Tribal Clan House (where festivals and dances are held). Saxman’s carvers are world-famous, including Nathan Jackson, whose totems grace the entrances of Bundestag in Germany, and the Field Museum in Chicago. Enter the Tribal Clan House and see how the way of living was 100 years ago, and come to understand the importance of that style of living.

Amenities, nearby adventures and more...

  • Meet and greet at the cruise terminal
  • Private roundtrip transportation from cruise terminal to Saxman Village
  • Private walking tour with Tlingit guide

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  • (11 and under)


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