Sitka is a wonderful port call located in the coastal Rain Forest. It is a clean town and the one least effected by the influence of the cruise lines that we visited. There are beautiful trails and totems in the Sitka National Historical Park V.C. and Totem Park. See the salmon spawning in the Indian River while on your walk (late Aug. or Sept). Also observe local native craftsman in working demonstrations. Walk up Castle Hill for a beautiful view and to visit historical spot where transfer of Alaska from Russia to U.S. took place. In the middle of downtown on Lincoln St. see St. Michaels Russian Church ($5 donation required). There wasn't enough time for us to see the Sheldon Jackson Museum or the Raptor Rehabilitation Center.
We needed more than a half-day port call in Victoria, B.C. The B.C. Museum, legislative building, harbor and vendors, Totem Park, The Empress Hotel, and many shopping opportunities are located downtown. There is a visitor's center across the street from the Empress. Town is full of gorgeous flowers---hanging baskets and in gardens. We arranged our own bus tour to get out of town to the Butchard Gardens, which is a place nobody should miss!
Sitka is the port least effected by the cruise lines that we visited. It is clean and beautiful, set in the Rain Forest. Go to the Bishop's House, Castle Hill (great view, scene of transfer of AK from Russia to U.S.), St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Church ($5 donation required), Sitka National Historical Park and Totem Trail (native artisans demonstrate their work, beautiful walking trail and totems, bridge with spawning salmon in Sept.). Many shopping opportunities downtown.