• Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Cruises to Sitka

305 Reviews
4 Awards
Sitka (Photo:Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock)

About Sitka

Over the centuries, Sitka -- one of Alaska's most exotic ports -- has reinvented itself over and over again. It's been home to the Tlingit Native Americans, an outpost of the Russian empire and the one-time capital of Alaska. The region is still a center for commercial fishing. Through it all, its residents have always figured out a way to get the best out of their resources. Today, the roughly 8,900 locals still rely on their natural surroundings, but with an eye toward the burgeoning tourism market.

From the moment you arrive, you'll notice that Sitka is different from the rest of Alaska. It's not just the Russian influence that makes the town unique. In addition to the usual commercial fishing and tourism, Sitka's economic livelihood also relies on drinking-water exportation, healthcare and education, including the Alaska State Trooper Academy.

Sitka is located on the west side of Baranof Island -- a 100-mile-long island in the state's panhandle -- and is only accessible by air and sea. The vast Tongass National Forest covers the area outside of town, which only has a roadway along the Pacific coast about 7 miles in either direction. Watching over Sitka from across the sound is Mount Edgecumbe, a dormant volcano and Mount Fuji lookalike.

Although the port's more than 210,000 cruise passengers provide economic stimulus each summer, Sitka is primarily known for the quality and quantity of seafood harvested from its waters and processed in its plants.

Sitka's historic attractions are located within walking distance of downtown. Lincoln Street is approximately 1 mile long, starting at the city's southeast corner (featuring the lookout at Castle Hill) and ending at the Sitka National Historical Park visitor center to the north. The street passes by the historic onion-shaped domed architecture of St. Michael's Cathedral and the Russian Bishop's House as it follows the Sitka Sound waterfront and Crescent Harbor (the multi-slip marina).

The other main street is Katlian Street, a road that follows the waterfront of the Sitka Channel, featuring colorful fishing boats, weathered houses and the essence of a working harbor town.

  • More about Sitka

  • Why go to Sitka?

  • Sitka Cruise Port Facilities?

Loading...

We found you 240 cruises

Loading...
Loading...
Silver Muse
Silver Muse

17 Night
Transoceanic CruiseDetails

238 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
Sep 7, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Crown Princess
Crown Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

10 Night
Alaska CruiseDetails

2,177 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
May 23, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Cruise Critic Favorite
Viking Orion
Viking Orion (Photo: Cruise Critic)

10 Night
Alaska & The Inside PassageDetails

515 Reviews
Leaving:Seward
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Norwegian Sun
Norwegian Sun

10 Night
Alaska - SeattleDetails

2,099 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Sep 22, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Sponsored

Azamara Cruises Best Offer Yet

  • Save 40% and receive a $300 Onboard Credit
  • Access to hard-to-reach ports larger ships can’t
  • Enriching cultural programs and local events
  • Relaxed itineraries with more late nights and overnights

Azamara Club Cruises

10 Night
Alaska - SeattleDetails

2,099 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

11 Night
Alaska - SeattleDetails

2,099 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
May 22, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

7 Night
7 Nt Alaska Glacier ExperienceDetails

1,526 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

7 Night
Alaska CruiseDetails

234 Reviews
Leaving:Seward
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

7 Night
Alaska CruiseDetails

387 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

7 Night
Alaskan ExplorerDetails

1,077 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

7 Night
7 Nt Alaska Glacier ExperienceDetails

1,526 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
May 28, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Cruise Critic Favorite

10 Night
Alaska & The Inside PassageDetails

515 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

11 Night
Alaska CruiseDetails

988 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Apr 29, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

11 Night
Alaska CruiseDetails

387 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Jul 21, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Alaska Hubbard Glacier CruiseDetails

1,883 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

More about Sitka

Why go to Sitka?

Pros:

A rich heritage is celebrated in Sitka with a totem pole park, cultural center and traditional dancers.

Cons:

The port is only accessible on certain cruise itineraries.

Bottom Line:

Blending native Tlingit with Russian roots, Sitka is an illuminating window into a remote part of Alaska.

Sitka Cruise Port Facilities?

If your ship doesn't dock about 6 miles outside of town at the Old Dock at Halibut Point, it will anchor and tender you to one of two docks in town: Crescent Harbor, steps from the Harrigan Centennial Hall, which has free Wi-Fi, restrooms and a tourist information desk; or Castle Hill (where Lincoln Street and Harbor Way meet).

If you tender, you'll end up right in town. If you're docked, you'll find a small terminal with several shops (souvenirs, jewelry and fur apparel) and a tent housing the Halibut Point Crab & Brews restaurant. The ship terminal also has restrooms and free Wi-Fi. A free shuttle service runs every 15 minutes and will drop you in town at Centennial Hall.

Good to Know?

Frequent rain is a fact of life in Alaska, and Sitka is no exception, with an average of 100 annual inches. An umbrella, water-resistant coat and shoes are a must. It's also a good idea to dress in layers.

Opening hours -- particularly at St. Michael's Cathedral -- can be capricious, despite the posted times.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Once you're dropped off, Sitka is extremely walkable. Pick up maps, brochures and advice from the information desk located in Harrigan Centennial Hall near Crescent Harbor. You can easily walk to shops, restaurants, St. Michael's Church, the Russian Bishop's House and other attractions.

By Bus: There is a Sitka bus system called RIDE Sitka, but it's primarily designed to serve locals. Buses run from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with three route loops. All routes leave the downtown Crescent Harbor parking lot at 45 minutes past the hour; the Green route also leaves Crescent Harbor parking lot at 15 minutes past the hour.

Fares are extremely affordable for adults and half-price for seniors (age 60 or older), children (ages 6 to 17) or people with disabilities. Day passes are also available.
Several tour companies run shuttles to the Raptor Center and other attractions. Look for signboards in front of Centennial Hall.

By Bike: An active, yet convenient option is to rent a bike from Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop (329 Harbor Drive, across from Centennial Hall). They offer a variety of bikes at about $30 for the day.

By Taxi: There are several local taxi companies whose cabs congregate at Centennial Hall. (You won't find any at Old Dock, but you can call ahead for one to pick you up.) They include Hank's Taxi & Tour Service (907-747-8888), where you might get a song thrown in with your tour; Baranof Taxi and Tours (907-738-4722); Sunset Cab (907-623-0979); and Sitka Checkered Tours (907-738-9417), which operates a classic 1973 Checker Marathon cab.

By Rental Car: Rental agencies are located at the airport, which isn't convenient for cruisers, and with the limited local roads, there's really no reason to rent a car in Sitka. If you insist, you can rent from Sitka Car Rental (907-738-2282), which will arrange to drop a vehicle off at your location upon request.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency is the U.S. dollar. Banks with ATMs are located on Lincoln Street, between St. Michael's Church and Centennial Hall.

Language?

English is spoken by just about everyone, but many Sitkans also speak Tlingit or other native languages.


Sitka Cruise Reviews
Sitka is unspoiled and great for the history. Our excursion included the Alaska Raptor Center and Bear Fortress. This time we did not have an opportunity to walk in the town, but walk the town if you have the chance.Read More
User Avatar
Spyder49
This was our first visit to Sitka and we found it quite interesting. We took a ship sponsored tour which included history and culture of the first settlers. The 6 mile drive from the port to the town was a negative bRead More
User Avatar
rsato
Sitka itself we found to be another most pleasant town, with its interesting Slavonic history and a building style reminiscent of the High Tatra (shades of Polska in Alaska ?) Lots of fish leaping at random in the bRead More
User Avatar
AnInnerUnalaskan
This was the only port we had a decent time slot. The only bad thing with Sitka is the dock is like half an hour from downtown. They have shuttles running all day, which was great, but that did make it a little incoRead More
User Avatar
rsldonk

Related Cruises

Cruises to Newport

Cruises to Newport

250 Reviews
Cruises to Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

Cruises to Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

223 Reviews
Cruises to Riga

Cruises to Riga

85 Reviews
Cruises to Santiago (Valparaiso)

Cruises to Santiago (Valparaiso)

123 Reviews
Cruises to Berlin

Cruises to Berlin

230 Reviews
Cruises to Punta Arenas

Cruises to Punta Arenas

184 Reviews
Cruises to Adelaide

Cruises to Adelaide

99 Reviews
Cruises to Falmouth

Cruises to Falmouth

1,552 Reviews
Cruises to Honfleur

Cruises to Honfleur

58 Reviews
Cruises to Koh Samui

Cruises to Koh Samui

126 Reviews
Cruises to Perth (Fremantle)

Cruises to Perth (Fremantle)

101 Reviews
Cruises to Saint-Malo

Cruises to Saint-Malo

14 Reviews
Cruises to Walvis Bay

Cruises to Walvis Bay

6 Reviews
Cruises to Bimini

Cruises to Bimini

205 Reviews
Cruises to Punta del Este

Cruises to Punta del Este

50 Reviews
Cruises to Salerno

Cruises to Salerno

57 Reviews
Cruises to Townsville

Cruises to Townsville

Cruises to Cinque Terre

Cruises to Cinque Terre

348 Reviews
Cruises to Skagen

Cruises to Skagen

95 Reviews
Cruises to Argostoli (Kefalonia)

Cruises to Argostoli (Kefalonia)

139 Reviews
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.
About UsCruise DestinationsFirst Time CruisersFind A Cruise

Share your feedback

International Sites

© 1995—2023, The Independent Traveler, Inc.

  • Privacy and Cookies Statement

  • Terms of Use

  • Site Map

  • Cookie Consent