Alaska is one of the few places you can feel comfortable buying ivory. The carved ivory there is made from legally harvested walrus or whale bones that have washed up onto shore after a storm. The last time we were in Alaska, over 20 years ago, I purchased a small hand carved ivory seal. I cherish it as it is signed by the artist. Only 4 inches long, back then it cost me a hefty $100.00!
Ketchican: If I new then what I know now, I would not have bothered to shop in Ketchikan. It was difficult to find any shops that sold authentic Alaskan goods and when we did, there was a much smaller amount to choose from.
On this trip, I took some money specifically to buy another piece of ivory for my collection. In Ketchican, I found this small 2" whale for $78.00.
We also found this unique young eagle carving..made from a buffalo horn. This piece, roughly about 8" tall was a very reasonable $60.00.
Our next stop was Icy Strait Point, but this is where we went Whale Watching and our ship left port earlier than other ports, so we did not shop much here.
Juneau was a shoppers paradise. It was here that I found a unique sweater shop that sold hand made Alpaca fur sweaters... Oh my they were so beautiful, but with a price tag of over $300.00 I settled for these unique fingerless long gloves. They are so Victorian and I love how they feel on! They cost about $40.00.
It was here in Juneau, where I also found the oldest Trading Post store that was in itself a tourist attraction. They had EVERYTHING Alaskan made, including hundreds of pieces of carved ivory! HUNDREDS! I chose this whale, on an ivory pedestal and over 3" long for $212.00. Ouch - I know .. a bit high..but I have no regrets.
You can compare the 2 pieces side by side.
By the time I reached Seward, I thought surely we were done shopping, but while we were looking for an Alaskan patch for Don, I found a shop where I was delighted to see unique Ulu knives made with Elk horn handles and stands. This one cost just $55.00, which was a steel compared to every other place where they were charging upwards of $200.00!
..this is NOT something you can put in your carry on luggage!I had not planned on buying so many souvenirs for myself... but I smile every single time I see them...for they trigger many wonderful memories!
So this wraps up my posts on our Alaskan cruise. I hope if you are thinking about taking a trip to Alaska, by ship or any other way, that this has helped you. It was hard to leave and come back to reality.. even though I did miss our family, friends and beloved pets!