Things to Do in Sitka, Alaska During a Cruise
Sitka is a small port town located in southeast Alaska on an outer island just slightly southwest of Alaska’s capital city of Juneau. Sitka is known for its beauty – thick spruce forests line the perimeter of the coast and the water of the calm Sitka Sound glimmers under the vast Alaskan sky.
For animal lovers, Sitka is an especially exceptional port of call since it provides many opportunities to get up close to a variety of animals.
Sitka has an interesting historical aspect as well. It was controlled by Russia until the mid-1800s and you’ll see Russian influence in the architecture of the city center and through performances by local dancers and artists that pay homage to Russian culture. Long before Russia and America ever made its mark in Sitka, though, the land served as the home for the Tlingit clan. You can still find an incredible array of Tlingit culture in Sitka today, including hand-carved totem poles and traditional clan houses.
Top Sitka Things to Do: Easy to Do via Shore Excursions
Here are some ideas on what you can do during a day in port in Sitka with Celebrity Cruises.
This excursion gets you out onto the water in a thrilling way. You’ll start your day with a boat ride to a base camp and during the boat ride, you may even see whales and other sea creatures.
Once at the base camp, you’ll get situated in a two-person kayak and paddle off to explore a protected cove located near Sitka. Breathe in the fresh air and take in the scenery while you keep your eyes peeled for wildlife both under and above the sea.
See one of Alaska’s most coveted residents, the bald eagle, and learn about the cultural background of Sitka on this in-depth excursion.
You’ll first take a motor coach ride along a scenic roadway during which you can take in the rugged scenery before arriving at the Alaska Raptor Center, a sanctuary that is home to a number of bald eagles. You’ll tour the facility and learn about the rescue and rehabilitation side of the sanctuary, plus have time to tour the flight center and outside deck habitat area. After learning much more about these amazing birds, you’ll head onto the Sitka National Historical Park.
Sitka National Historical Park is on the land where the 1804 “Battle of Sitka” was fought between Russian settlers and the Tlingit clan. Today, you can see many historical and cultural sights in the park, including totem poles and carving rooms along with other cultural exhibits.
Next you’ll head to a folk dance and song performance before ending your day in downtown Sitka at St. Michael’s Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church which is home to impressive Icon Artwork from the 16th century.
This tour also takes you to the Alaska Raptor Center, but eagles aren’t the only native Alaska wildlife you’ll see during your day in Sitka if you opt for the Sea Otters, Raptors, and Bears Oh My shore excursion. You’ll also get the fun adventure of boarding a catamaran cruise and taking it around Sitka Sound, where you’ll likely see sea otters frolicking in the water. You also may see whales, seals, porpoises, and sea lions. During the cruise you’ll also learn about Alaska’s water ecosystem from a naturalist guide.
Back on land, you’ll be introduced to the Alaskan brown bear at the Fortress of the Bear rescue center. You’ll learn interesting facts about the Alaskan brown bear while viewing orphaned bears from the observation deck.
Sitka Sound is home to a large number of salmon and sportfishing is a fun pastime to do while in port. You’ll take off in a sportfish cruiser to a prime fishing spot where you can try and reel in a fish. You can either catch and release the fish, or opt to have it professionally processed and shipped back to your home to enjoy eating after your trip.
To book your Alaska cruise to Sitka, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.