The US Coast Guard is the biggest employer of Ketchikan. The town, like every community we stopped, is heavily reliant on cruise ships visiting. Regatta was anchored in a small harbor. Free shuttle buses made trips back and forth to downtown including Newtown and West End. The bus driver mentioned that at busy times Ketchikan welcomes as many as 8 vessels a day giving a much-needed boost to the economy.
Norwegian Cruise Line leased the bay for 50 years. As Oceania is a member of the Norwegian group, J.J. thinks that Regatta’s current site is costing less than if we were in the downtown harbor area.
Every person who has relocated to Alaska has stories to tell. Our bus driver found his job with a company who owns an old cruise ship visible from Regatta. His home is one of the 70 plus rooms in this old cruise ship. The bus driver said that jobs are plentiful. Anyone can find job if they are willing to wash dishes, wait tables. His cost to live on the ship is free. He eats dinner on the ship paying $12 per meal which he claims is very cheap compared to what a comparable meal would cost in town.
The state of Alaska will sell you land if you are willing to homestead. Some districts get their water from the country while others collect rainwater. Heating might be kerosine fireplaces or wood burning stoves. Alaska is the last frontier of the United States and old and new settlers face daily challenges.
Aloha -- Cathi