Sitka, Alaska, Kayaking
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Kayaking in Sitka Sound iStock.com / mbarrettimages
Sitka, Alaska, Bald Eagle
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Bald Eagle Fishing the Sound iStock.com / ShobeStudios
Sitka, Alaska, St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral
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St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral iStock.com / JPrescott
Sitka, Alaska, Totem pole
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Tlingit Totem Pole iStock.com / ShobeStudios
Sitka, Alaska, Lighthouse
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Rockwell Lighthouse iStock.com / BigRedCurlyGuy
Sitka, Alaska, Humpback whales
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Humpback Whales at Mount Edgecumbe iStock.com / ShobeStudios

Sitka, Alaska

Sitka, Alaska, Canterbury Bells Canterbury Bells iStock.com / christiannafzger

Cruisers disembark right in downtown Sitka, where they are immediately immersed in the rich history and culture for which this seaside community is known. Top attractions are located just a few blocks from the heart of downtown, so it’s easy to access everything by foot or bicycle (there are also shuttles, public buses, and taxis).

What We Love

Alaska Raptor Center: Alaska’s native birds soar from trees, plunge into streams for salmon, and perform flight conditioning for release back into the wild at this rehabilitation facility.

New Archangel Dancers: When cruise ships are in port, this troupe performs authentic Russian and Ukrainian dances in traditional costumes. You can buy tickets half an hour before performances at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

Best Known For

St. Michael’s: Discover traces of Russian heritage throughout the town, most strikingly in the onion-shaped domes of St. Michael’s Cathedral. Get a healthy dose of history with a walking tour to the Russian Bishop’s House.

Sitka National Historical Park: This park was established on the site of an 1804 battle between Russian traders and the area’s indigenous people. Don't miss the Tlingit and Haida totem poles along the park’s coastal trail.

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Who It's Best For

Nature Lovers: Learn about Alaska’s native bird species at the Alaska Raptor Center or spot whales from the boardwalk at Whale Park.

History Buffs: Sitka was first inhabited by the Tlingit people before Russian traders arrived. The city now features many museums and historical sites and has 22 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Reservations Required: Ludvig’s Bistro is everyone's favorite restaurant for a cozy meal — and it fills up fast. Make a reservation ahead of time and don’t forget to try the legendary chowder.

Overwhelming Options: You can hike numerous trails winding through the lush Tongass National Forest, explore Russian history, and spot whales and birds. You’ll need more than one day to experience them all.

Matt Villano

Matt Villano is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for The Wall Street Journal.

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