369 Sitka Cruise Reviews

Get non-profit trip that has a great local experience - very interesting and a full day
Get non-profit trip that has a great local experience - very interesting and a full day Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
The Oosterdam is one of the few cruise ships which stops in Sitka, which is too bad because it is a very charming town. This is a tender port, so the crew has to lower the enclosed life boats to ferry the guests back and forth to the dock. ... Read More
The Oosterdam is one of the few cruise ships which stops in Sitka, which is too bad because it is a very charming town. This is a tender port, so the crew has to lower the enclosed life boats to ferry the guests back and forth to the dock. A local told me that this can be quite expensive for the cruise lines, and there is speculation that someday the ships may no longer come. However, there is quite a bit to see and do in this little town, and residents seem generally friendly, even with the influx of tourists on Cruise Ship Days.The first thing you notice when you arrive at the dock is that hometown feel: local kids selling homemade bake goods for snacks, local operations offering various excursions, residents selling passes to the hop-on, hop-off bus. We were a little disoriented at first, confused by the choices, but ended up paying $10 pp for an all-day bus pass. By riding the bus, we were able to go to the convention center where the Russian dancers were preforming, the Russian Bishop's House, the Sitka Aquarium, the Totem Pole National Park, and the Alaska Raptor Center. We ran out of time, so didn't get to see the Cathedral or the Bear Rescue Center, which other people said was amazing. We bought a couple of souvenirs downtown, but definitely could have used more time to shop.Sitka is pretty isolated. The hop-on, hop-off bus driver told us that it is cheaper to fly from Seattle to Hong Kong than it is to fly from Seattle to Sitka. I'm not sure if that statistic is really accurate, but I do know that Sitka is quite a gem--so much history, hometown flavor, beautiful scenery--that I would highly recommend that you visit if you can. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
It was a tender port. We enjoyed the quiet of the ship.Four of the group took a float plane : two hour trip they enjoyed.Two did a sea otter tour. Saw otters, eagles and a bear.
It was a tender port. We enjoyed the quiet of the ship.Four of the group took a float plane : two hour trip they enjoyed.Two did a sea otter tour. Saw otters, eagles and a bear. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We visited only one place in Sitka, the Alaska Raptor Center, which was well worth it. Spent most of the time in Sitka on the ship.
We visited only one place in Sitka, the Alaska Raptor Center, which was well worth it. Spent most of the time in Sitka on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Sitka is a wonderful place to explore and hike. There were plenty of shops that sold locally made merchandise-YOU HAVE TO SEEK THEM OUT! Avoid the shopping scams by shopping only local made products. There is a lot of stuff made in other ... Read More
Sitka is a wonderful place to explore and hike. There were plenty of shops that sold locally made merchandise-YOU HAVE TO SEEK THEM OUT! Avoid the shopping scams by shopping only local made products. There is a lot of stuff made in other countries-what's the point. The forest is a great hike, we really had fun here. Oh, and eat at the, shoot I forget what it is called. It looks like a white house just to your left when you get to the port, there is a radio station upstairs. We had fish tacos and veggie burrito that were great. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
the problem on this place is no pier, you have to take a little boat to get to town...... the town is very natural and not commercial place. National Park is a good place to visit. the town is very small so you can just walk ... Read More
the problem on this place is no pier, you have to take a little boat to get to town...... the town is very natural and not commercial place. National Park is a good place to visit. the town is very small so you can just walk around, no need any tour..... Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We did not book an excursion. We just walked around the scenic little town and enjoyed shopping. Round two of King Crab legs. This time at Victoria's. Delicious!
We did not book an excursion. We just walked around the scenic little town and enjoyed shopping. Round two of King Crab legs. This time at Victoria's. Delicious! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Sitka was a lovely setting with lots of little islands sprinkled around the bay, many just big enough for a house or 2 and a boat dock. I wouldn't mind owning one ;) We walked out to the Raptor center, then around the National ... Read More
Sitka was a lovely setting with lots of little islands sprinkled around the bay, many just big enough for a house or 2 and a boat dock. I wouldn't mind owning one ;) We walked out to the Raptor center, then around the National Historic Park. It's a very do-able walk if you're in reasonable shape to walk. The raptor center was very interesting and we saw some beautiful birds, but it's really more like an educational zoo. The birds are all in caged enclosures. The hike around the National Historical Park was very beautiful. We enjoyed it very much, and we regularly hike around Yosemite NP as comparison lol This was a great port not to do an excursion in. We also went back into town and watched the Tlinget Native Dancers. It was a nice show, but it was a little too much like a stage production for me, with a stage, special lighting, microphones and speakers. I was expecting a little more "native" and a little less "production". Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Wonderful historical town. Well marked sites. Transportation supplied by the town along with commentary. Beautiful scenery!
Wonderful historical town. Well marked sites. Transportation supplied by the town along with commentary. Beautiful scenery! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Cute little town; we walked around, stopped at an authentic Japanese restaurant so my wife could get some good sushi. Had actual crab rather than the "fake" stuff. lots of both tourist shops and small town activities.
Cute little town; we walked around, stopped at an authentic Japanese restaurant so my wife could get some good sushi. Had actual crab rather than the "fake" stuff. lots of both tourist shops and small town activities. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Quaint little town. Very walkable. Very pretty. Russian dancers are all-female and not Russian but are amazing! Loved all the totems. Salmon hatchery had a great touch pool with anemones and sea stars. If you have kids, don't do a ... Read More
Quaint little town. Very walkable. Very pretty. Russian dancers are all-female and not Russian but are amazing! Loved all the totems. Salmon hatchery had a great touch pool with anemones and sea stars. If you have kids, don't do a tour so you can spend extra time with the critters. Little shop/restaurant next door has good chowder and bread. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
none of the excursions especially appealed to us, so we walked around town, had hot chocolate, and purchased most of our souvenirs ( one store had really neat socks in the window and we shopped there).
none of the excursions especially appealed to us, so we walked around town, had hot chocolate, and purchased most of our souvenirs ( one store had really neat socks in the window and we shopped there). Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We caught the local shuttle and stopped at the Sitka Nat'l Historic Park (Totem exhibit and walking loop), and crossed one of the small salmon spawning streams (filled with salmon migrating upstream) by bridge en route to the Sitka ... Read More
We caught the local shuttle and stopped at the Sitka Nat'l Historic Park (Totem exhibit and walking loop), and crossed one of the small salmon spawning streams (filled with salmon migrating upstream) by bridge en route to the Sitka Raptor Center. The Raptor Center is well worth the time and expense. It was wonderful! From the Raptor Center re-boarded the shuttle to town. Town was a bit disappointing. I thought there would be lots of Russian architecture to see, but only St Michael's Cathedral displayed the Russian influence (at least to the non-practiced eye). Others took the sea kayak excursion from HAL and loved it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
I could have done without stopping at this city, it was very small (except for one place we went too)..We went to the church right in the middle of the road and it was so beautiful so much history. We stayed there most of our time reading ... Read More
I could have done without stopping at this city, it was very small (except for one place we went too)..We went to the church right in the middle of the road and it was so beautiful so much history. We stayed there most of our time reading about how it was started but for some reason the people here was not that friendly I guess they didn't like us coming there just to shop. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
It was a gloomy looking day ahead of us in Sitka, with no excursion plan. We headed to shore on an early tender and walked to the Sitka Sound Science Center for a brief walk through. From here we continued on to the totem park and then ... Read More
It was a gloomy looking day ahead of us in Sitka, with no excursion plan. We headed to shore on an early tender and walked to the Sitka Sound Science Center for a brief walk through. From here we continued on to the totem park and then to the Raptor Center, which was really neat. On the way back we walked through the park again and then along the beach to explore the tide pools. After some shopping in town we made it back to the tender area under the O'Connell Bridge just in time to take shelter from an absolute downpour! Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Small and quaint town. Enjoyed the church bells and the castle history of how Alaska went from Russian to America hands.
Small and quaint town. Enjoyed the church bells and the castle history of how Alaska went from Russian to America hands. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
I like Sitka because it was the least commercialized of all the ports and the national forest was a joy to walk through. The town is small enough for walking, but there are buses / shuttles / bicycle carriages to help you get around. ... Read More
I like Sitka because it was the least commercialized of all the ports and the national forest was a joy to walk through. The town is small enough for walking, but there are buses / shuttles / bicycle carriages to help you get around. Sitka National Historic Park (free admission) is full of great trails. We saw bald eagles everywhere, it was ridiculous. Wonderful scenery that should take you about 2 hours to fully enjoy. The Raptor Center ($12) is right across the street north of the forest and houses at least 30 different eagles, hawks, falcons, owls for you to check out. Good for kids and animal lovers alike. The Bishop's House is supposedly more than 100 years-old but the restoration made it look totally new, which made me kinda disappointed. First floor exhibits are free but 2nd floor costs $3 if i remember correctly. I had a reindeer hot dog (about $5) from one of the street carts and it tasted EXACTLY like a regular beef hot dog. It was good, but i was expecting reindeer to taste different, oh well. Castle Hill offers a good view of the town, harbor, bridge, and snow-capped mountain in the background. a good place to swing by real quick before heading back to your ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Great place to get stunning photos with volcano and fishing boats. Fun museum and totem park nearby. Raptor Center is well worth seeing if you like birds. Ship anchors and you tender in which is like getting a mini excursion for free.
Great place to get stunning photos with volcano and fishing boats. Fun museum and totem park nearby. Raptor Center is well worth seeing if you like birds. Ship anchors and you tender in which is like getting a mini excursion for free. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Sitka is a beautiful place, the islands surrounding it are spectacular. much wild life to watch for.
Sitka is a beautiful place, the islands surrounding it are spectacular. much wild life to watch for. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Interesting that our previous two ports were not available to review. FYI, they were Homer and Kodiak. We used HAL's excursions for both stops. One: Seldovia Cruise w/Gull Island (good, but not enough time in Seldovia), and Kodiak ... Read More
Interesting that our previous two ports were not available to review. FYI, they were Homer and Kodiak. We used HAL's excursions for both stops. One: Seldovia Cruise w/Gull Island (good, but not enough time in Seldovia), and Kodiak Sightseeing & Wildlife Cruise (Small and personalized). Now, onto Sitka! In Sitka we chartered Sitka's Secrets to take us out to Saint Lazaria Island, a major bird breeding area 15 miles from Sitka by boat. The wind was high, the water was choppy, and the ride was better than the worst roller coaster. But we made it and saw an incredible breeding island with over 21 species of bird, many of which were new to our life lists (species we've seen). After our thrill ride, we did a bit of shopping in Sitka and managed to find a few gifts for friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Our favorite port. There are some good hiking trails that you can access from the downtown. The hike to the Raptor Center is gorgeous.
Our favorite port. There are some good hiking trails that you can access from the downtown. The hike to the Raptor Center is gorgeous. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
I did not do the sea otter excursion but those who did said it was awesome. Tons of sea otters (and babies) as well as sightings of brown bears, black bears, and grizzly bears...
I did not do the sea otter excursion but those who did said it was awesome. Tons of sea otters (and babies) as well as sightings of brown bears, black bears, and grizzly bears... Read Less
Sail Date May 2012

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