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Sitka Small Ship Cruises

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Sitka Small Ship Cruises

Adventure Cruises in Sitka

Sitka Cruises takes visitors on an enchanting and enthralling Alaskan adventure. Sitka cruise packages generally contain a good mixture of natural sightseeing and wildlife spotting, with photo opportunities aplenty, a range of optional activities, including shore excursions, and enough downtime to feel relaxed and refreshed. The spectacular scenery of Sitka is the stuff that postcards and glossy pages in travel magazines thrive on. Located on Baranof Island, Sitka was previously inhabited by the Tlingit people before becoming a Russian settlement. Russia sold Alaska to the USA in the 1860s, and the transfer celebrations were held in Sitka. These celebrations took place on the 18th of November, which is why Alaska Day is held on this date each year.

Things to do & see in Sitka

A Sitka cruise allows you to discover this part of Alaska with ease. Moving from one exciting place to another, small ship cruises allow you to get to know the area and explore many fascinating places. While Sitka is mainly a start and endpoint for Alaska cruises to the Northern Passages, there are still plenty of great things to enjoy in and around the city, some of which are included in several cruise itineraries. Some top things to enjoy in Sitka include:

Sitka National Historical Park - Sitka National Historical Park is a terrific place to visit if you want to know more about the area’s past and the people that have inhabited it throughout its history. With an interesting assortment of exhibits and displays detailing the Tlingit native group and the former Russian community from when Alaska was Russian territory, some of the most intriguing items include ornate and symbolic totem poles and the restored Russian Bishop’s House. The park sits on a former battle site, where Russian invaders defeated the Tlingit group following a week-long bloody battle.

Alaska Raptor Center - The Alaska Raptor Center is a prime attraction for bird lovers and keen conservationists. Not only does a trip allow you to see a variety of large feathered creatures and learn about the center's work, but your trip also helps support the valuable work of protecting wildlife. A favorite for many on a Sitka cruise or tour of Sitka, the Alaska Raptor Center takes in and treats sick and injured birds from all over the state. It treats between 100 and 200 winged creatures, such as eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls each year, nursing the birds back to health and providing rehabilitation before releasing them back into the wild. Those who cannot return to independent life are kept at the center.

Sheldon Jackson Museum - Another local attraction to enjoy while on an Alaska cruise, specifically a Sitka cruise, is the interesting Sheldon Jackson Museum. Housing a fascinating collection of ethnographic items and artifacts allows you to step back into the past and explore Alaska through the ages. It is named after the collector of many of the museum’s exhibits, a man who gathered more than 5,000 pieces on his extensive travels around the state. Traditional garments, wooden kayaks, household items, masks, and totems are among the items on display. Despite the extensive collections, the museum is relatively compact, allowing for easy exploration and admiration.

Nature Spotting Active Adventures - The waters surrounding Baronof Island, and thus within easy reach of Sitka, are home to whales and sea lions. As well as being able to view these magical creatures from your cruise ship, you can get even closer and have a thrilling wildlife experience combined with active adventures in a kayak or a skiff (small boat).

The best time to cruise Sitka

Summer is the most popular time for cruising from Sitka, with warmer daytime temperatures and sunnier days. Mid-May to mid-September sees the most visitors, with the shoulder season (early May and late September) often yielding some of the most affordable prices with smaller crowds. The peak tourist period is from June to August. Although still beautiful in the winter, the colder temperatures are often a deal-breaker for visitors; summertime is the best time to visit Sitka.

Spring and summer are the optimal seasons to see wildlife around Sitka. Watch various water creatures and birds, including eagles, returning after the winter migration. November in Sitka is, however, when the area holds its annual WhaleFest celebrations.

What cruises depart from Sitka?

Several Alaska cruises depart from Sitka, including those to Ketchikan and Juneau. Have a memorable vacation exploring Alaska's Islands and the Northern Passages, visiting some of these world-class destinations:

Baranof Island - Although Sitka is located on Baranof Island, and you may have spent a few days exploring the city before joining your cruise, many more delights are waiting for you along the island’s coast. Discover hidden coves and small unspoiled islands only populated by wildlife, take scenic hikes along the coast and through the interior, and spot a wide array of flora and fauna in the Tongass National Forest.

Chichagof Island - Get your camera ready to sail through the deep glacial fjords near Chichagof Island; it’s incredibly photogenic and picturesque. Hiking, kayaking, and sailing are often available from a Sitka cruise.

Glacier Bay - A spectacular destination that is, unsurprisingly, home to many glaciers, make sure you visit Glacier Bay National Park before the now-retreating landscapes have significantly altered. A marvelous sight, the bright glaciers often calve, sending gigantic blocks of ice plummeting into the shimmering waters below. Many wildlife live in the area, making your experience even more magical.

Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm - Two neighboring fjords sail through Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm for an awe-inspiring experience. Towering mountains and glaciers can be seen all around, as well as sparkling waterfalls and plenty of native creatures on the land, in the air, and in the waters. Take your binoculars for close-up views of the birdlife.

How to get to Sitka

Sitka can only be reached by air or by sea. Direct flights operate from Seattle on the US mainland and several airports around Alaska, including Ketchikan and Juneau. You can reach more state-wide and outer-state places if you change aircraft—many flights from around the US mainland land in Anchorage. The local airport is Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (SIT). Situated around 2 miles (3.2 km) from the city's heart, regular shuttle buses connect the airport with downtown.


Sitka Reviews

  • Rating 9.5 out of 10
  • 9.5 Exceptional
  • Rating 7.6 out of 10
  • 7.6 Good
  • Edward M
  • Flag of United StatesUnited States

Hatchery tour was really good….cool to catch black beer feeding in stream. Sweet little town.

Cruising Sitka in September on the Alaskan Dream
  • Rating 9.2 out of 10
  • 9.2 Superb
  • William G
  • Flag of United StatesUnited States

Sitka is a true throwback in time. The excursions, museums, and the opportunities to encounter the indigenous culture is a worthy trip in and of itself. It is a great jumping off point into the true Alaska!

Cruising Sitka in August on the Alaskan Dream
  • Rating 9.2 out of 10
  • 9.2 Superb
  • Janet L
  • Flag of United StatesUnited States

Informative and got a nice feel for the town and its history

Cruising Sitka in August on the Alaskan Dream
  • Rating 10.0 out of 10
  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Carol M
  • Flag of United StatesUnited States

Very good. Speakers were very informative.

Cruising Sitka in August on the Alaskan Dream

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