CLIA Alaska President John Binkley, right, and local dignitaries welcomed Candy Borda and family, center, as this year’s one millionth cruise ship visitor to Ketchikan on September 25.

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On Sept. 25, for the very first time, Ketchikan welcomed its one millionth cruise ship visitor in a single summer season, as Alaska's cruise ship season continues to soar in terms of capacity growth. 

Candy Borda and family from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, arrived on Norwegian Cruise Line's Jewel, which docked this morning in Ketchikan. Borda and her husband, Fernando, were celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary on an Alaska cruise, alongside their children Hunter and Brooke.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Alaska President John Binkley was joined by local officials and residents of Ketchikan who surprised Borda and her family as they disembarked for the day.

“It is an honor for me to welcome you as our one millionth cruise ship passenger for the first time ever to Alaska’s First City,” said Binkley. “Ketchikan is a great partner and we are pleased to be a part of history here.”

New Path Dancers greeted Borda, who received a special gift basket filled with Alaska-themed gifts and souvenirs from the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau and local gift shops.

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough and City of Ketchikan both issued proclamations for the occasion.

“Ketchikan has welcomed visitors traveling to Alaska by ship for over 100 years and we are excited to break a record today. One million passengers this summer is a milestone for our city,” said City of Ketchikan Mayor Lew Williams III. “Ketchikan is proud of its reputation for friendliness and hospitality and looks forward to each and every visitor who steps off of a cruise ship.”

Vice Mayor Stephen Bradford presented the Borough’s proclamation. “The visitor industry plays a vital role in the economic wellbeing of the community of Ketchikan. We have invested millions of dollars in infrastructure, safety, and enhancements for our visitors and welcome our one millionth visitor with great enthusiasm. It’s a very exciting time for Ketchikan.”