359 Sitka Cruise Reviews

Because we were not able to see Hubbard Glacier (due to weather, Captain's decision) we were actually given a couple of hours in Sitka. We were supposed to arrive at 9 AM but we actually arrived at 7 AM. Our excursion was set to start ... Read More
Because we were not able to see Hubbard Glacier (due to weather, Captain's decision) we were actually given a couple of hours in Sitka. We were supposed to arrive at 9 AM but we actually arrived at 7 AM. Our excursion was set to start at 1 PM so we decided we were going to walk around a bit before our excursion meeting time. It was raining hard but my brother-in-law checked his weather application on his iPhone and it was set to clear up by about 10 AM or so. We decided rather than go on shore and get wet early, we would wait it out a bit and go over a bit later. We boarded the tender at 10 AM and by the time we reached shore at 10:30 AM---it had actually started to clear a bit. We were glad we waited. I ran into a couple of folks later in the day and asked how they liked Sitka and both said 'it was okay' and I asked why and they said because they were wet and cold all day. I told them we had a great day and actually liked Sitka....A LOT. We walked up and down the main drag, by the Russian Church. My kids picked up a few trinkets/knick knacks and we decided we were actually hungry for something other than ship food. We stopped at the Victorian hotel right on the main drag and I actually think the restaurant was called "Victoria's"?? Anyway, we got three orders of the Halibut & chips. It was pretty spendy ($24 for 4 pieces of halibut and a healthy portion of fries)----we were hungry and the fish was fresh. There isn't much seating and we sat down at 11:30 and beat most of the other ship lunch crowd. We were glad we ate. The excursion we chose in Sitka was the "Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest"---again, operated by Allen Marine. The charges for this tour were $119 for adults and $84 for kids. By far and away, our best tour/excursion on our entire cruise!! We LOVED this 3 hours! They promise that you WILL see wildlife or you will get a $100 per adult refund. We hadn't been on the boat more than 10 mins and we saw a whale. As we had already been on a whale tour out of Juneau, we were NOT that interested in seeing the whales again. We were kind of 'whaled' out by then. The captain was informative and interesting but not to the point of being over-bearing or boring. We watched the whale for about 15-20 mins but that was about 15 mins too long for our group (again, we had already seen whales earlier in the week)---but he did move on to the next group. We were essentially after sea otters. And boy did we ever find sea otters.....whole 'rafts' of otters--just floating and playing and sunning themselves. We stayed around the otters for about 1/2 hour to 45 mins. My kids LOVED seeing the otters and getting lots and lots of pictures, from a lot of different views and angles. We had two naturalists on board and they both did a great job of explaining about the otters, their habitat, lifestyle, etc. Again, not to the point of over-bearing or boring us. We also saw a few seals and a few sea birds too. But, the best part of the whole day was still to come. We went down a few miles more and saw lots and lots of Bald Eagles, in their natural habitat. Some flying, some in nests, a baby bird, in a nest, and a lot on shore, either just sitting or eating. This was my favorite part of the trip---just seeing the Eagles in their natural setting and habitat. They are such a majestic and pristine bird and just to get to see them was such a treat! We got to see a mother bear and her two baby cubs. This was a very rare and special treat. The naturalists say that you just don't see bears every day and maybe once in every 10-12 trips do you get lucky enough to see a bear. We sat and watched the mama bear eat and the two cubs play and frolic around. We were very, very lucky!! This was indeed the highlight for my kids!! It made their whole trip and their whole week. We headed back to the ship and the boat took us directly to the ship as the ship was due to sail at 5 PM and we were dropped off, right at 4:30 PM. Overall, a very worthwhile trip and it just very cool to see all of the wildlife we did that day: whales, seals, eagles, a couple of deer, otters, salmon, bears, and several other sea birds. I would say that this was our favorite excursion and we all thought it was well worth the money and worth our day. We liked the captain, the naturalists and the boat and itinerary. A 5+ type of day! And to top it off, it was a clear, sunny afternoon!! We lucked out! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
I loved Sitka. This is the only tender port and it was no big deal to catch the tender. Such a charming little town and the view was so cool from the cruise ship. We picked up the all day shuttle bus (I think it was $10 per person to ride ... Read More
I loved Sitka. This is the only tender port and it was no big deal to catch the tender. Such a charming little town and the view was so cool from the cruise ship. We picked up the all day shuttle bus (I think it was $10 per person to ride it all day) and went to the Raptor Center. It was neat to see the eagles and the birds that are being rehabilitated. There are some nice walking trails (you are supposed to watch for bears) but I had walking issues so I didn't get to enjoy them. We also went to the park and looked at the totem poles. Hubby and BIL walked to the salmon hatchery and enjoyed learning about that. I REALLY wanted fresh crab legs but I refuse to pay $43 for lunch. So I guess I will be eating frozen forever... Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We loved Sitka! It was grim and rainy when we arrived, but the little town was very pleasant and has great character. Of the ports we visited this actually seemed a bit real as opposed to totally geared to cruisers and run by the cruise ... Read More
We loved Sitka! It was grim and rainy when we arrived, but the little town was very pleasant and has great character. Of the ports we visited this actually seemed a bit real as opposed to totally geared to cruisers and run by the cruise ships, probably because not many lines dock there (we were the only ship in that day). Very cool Russian Orthodox Church in the town, and a raptor center a short walk away. We did a tour (through HAL) Sea Otter and Wildlife - 5+ stars. Nice warm, comfortable boat which seemed very stable even though the sea was a bit choppy. Super knowledgeable and friendly crew - found us a whale which conveniently breached twice up close, sea otters (so cute), eagles, puffins, deer. Just gorgeous scenery. Freshly cooked snacks and hot drinks. This was a great excursion, probably the best we have ever done - $119 pp. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Loved it. Had great weather and easy to get around. Very pretty scenery.
Loved it. Had great weather and easy to get around. Very pretty scenery. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
The ship used tender to transport passengers ashore. Although it was raining when we got to Sitka, I love this place (my kids didn't like it because it was too quiet, according to them). We did not take any excursion from the ship. We ... Read More
The ship used tender to transport passengers ashore. Although it was raining when we got to Sitka, I love this place (my kids didn't like it because it was too quiet, according to them). We did not take any excursion from the ship. We took a shuttle for $10/person. They took you around to various places such as the Raptor Center, Museum, National Park, etc. You can hop-in and out as you please. My favorite was the Raptor Center where they are rehabilitating eagles and other birds. You could see these magnificent birds really close. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Sitka is a really charming and entertaining port. We signed up for a Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest and were not disappointed. We had a captain that had spent many years in the Coast Guard and he knew where to go and how to get there. We saw ... Read More
Sitka is a really charming and entertaining port. We signed up for a Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest and were not disappointed. We had a captain that had spent many years in the Coast Guard and he knew where to go and how to get there. We saw 2 whales, about 50 or so otters all lounging around on their backs, 2 bald eagles and a nest with 2 nearly grown eagles, and we also saw puffins. I had really wanted to see some puffins, so I was ecstatic about this sighting. We also saw a sea lion on our way out to sea. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Very nice. Excellent museums. Raptor Center a must see. Absolutley one of the most beautiful anchorages in the world.
Very nice. Excellent museums. Raptor Center a must see. Absolutley one of the most beautiful anchorages in the world. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Really clean, and a wonderful opportunity to shop. The Russian church and heritage of the first capital of Alaska are very interesting and truly a fascinating educational experience. The Fortress of the Bear and other shore excursions are ... Read More
Really clean, and a wonderful opportunity to shop. The Russian church and heritage of the first capital of Alaska are very interesting and truly a fascinating educational experience. The Fortress of the Bear and other shore excursions are terrific. One of the highlights of our whole cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
There are plenty of interesting things within walking distance. We found some wonderful shops including a sewing shop, a candy shop and a quaint drugstore. This is where we bought most of our souvenirs and gifts for our family at home. ... Read More
There are plenty of interesting things within walking distance. We found some wonderful shops including a sewing shop, a candy shop and a quaint drugstore. This is where we bought most of our souvenirs and gifts for our family at home. There were also many little historic spots with lots of placards explaining the significance. Also beautiful vistas and photographic opportunities. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Our favorite stop on our Alaskan cruise. Very quaint little town with lots of neat shops and rich in history. We spent part of the day hiking on the trails with beautiful scenery and the other part visiting historical sites and shopping. ... Read More
Our favorite stop on our Alaskan cruise. Very quaint little town with lots of neat shops and rich in history. We spent part of the day hiking on the trails with beautiful scenery and the other part visiting historical sites and shopping. Everyone was very friendly. Wi-Fi access is throughout the town for free. Just as the store clerk told me, "you can just plop down anywhere in town to get free internet access!" She was right! Dont' miss getting off the ship at this great town! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We did not book an excursion in Sitka, and we were fine. But, you do have to wait for a tender boat. If you want all the time you can get, book an excursion just to get on a boat sooner. We boarded a tender around 11, after waiting for ... Read More
We did not book an excursion in Sitka, and we were fine. But, you do have to wait for a tender boat. If you want all the time you can get, book an excursion just to get on a boat sooner. We boarded a tender around 11, after waiting for about 25 min. (You get a numbered ticket for a boat and go when your number is called). It was faster than I thought. If you're a walker, you can walk everywhere- we did. All the way to the Raptor Center, which is great. We also did the Sitka National Historic Park, which is free and very interesting. We saw the Russian cathedral, it was okay- a $5 'donation' per person is mandatory. (??) We ate lunch at the Larkspur cafe, it was so good and relaxing. We did take a shuttle back from the Raptor Center, and the driver recommended Two Chicks and a Stick for lunch as well. This town is very beautiful and charming. No more time is needed there than you receive for the call. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Day 4 was in Sitka. It was drizzly, but not too bad. We went around on our own again, as the excursions were either a repeat of our last trip or not suited to our interests. Sitka was a quaint little town, quite interesting, and we managed ... Read More
Day 4 was in Sitka. It was drizzly, but not too bad. We went around on our own again, as the excursions were either a repeat of our last trip or not suited to our interests. Sitka was a quaint little town, quite interesting, and we managed to walk by St. Micheal's Cathedral, as well as tour a Russian Museum, which we'd seen in the excursions. We also found a shop that sold Russian dolls (the kind that comes apart and has lots of 'babies,' which was fairly interesting. We also had to tender to port, but that wasn't a big deal, the system was fairly efficient and worked fairly well. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We also loved Sitka. The weather wasn't the best but not too bad either (gray day with some light rain). We did the morning on our own, going to the Raptor Center (very informative guides there. You join a group that comes in for a ... Read More
We also loved Sitka. The weather wasn't the best but not too bad either (gray day with some light rain). We did the morning on our own, going to the Raptor Center (very informative guides there. You join a group that comes in for a guided tour or you can do it on your own), Russian Bishops House, the Russian Church, and a few shops. I highly recommend the Russian Bishops house. They do tours every half hour. Very informative and interesting. You will gain an overall understanding of Sitka's history. Sitka was more spread out than I had imagined based on reviews I have read on CC. We ended up getting a taxi to go to the Raptor Center in order to save time and do all we wanted to do. At 1:00, we had a kayak tour with Sitka Sound. This was the first time we kayaked and it was fun but their online information is misleading. Our tour guide gave us very little info while kayaking and we only saw one sea lion, one eagle, and a few starfish. Do this tour if you want to kayak but not if you want to see wildlife or learn about the area. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Sitka is just beautiful. you have to be in your balcony when your pulling up- it looks like the ship is going right into the town!! we didn't have an excursion here- we just walked around and had a few drinks. again more souvenir ... Read More
Sitka is just beautiful. you have to be in your balcony when your pulling up- it looks like the ship is going right into the town!! we didn't have an excursion here- we just walked around and had a few drinks. again more souvenir shopping. we actually boarded earlier than the time allocated- we were hungry we had dinner reservations and had to get ready. Reason why you should really plan out the day taking everything into consideration!!! Now I know for next time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
The weather really cut into this port, it was raining as if we were in Northern CA in January. We took a great excursion that had us biking and hiking. However the weather cut into our exploring this town. It is cute, and the church is ... Read More
The weather really cut into this port, it was raining as if we were in Northern CA in January. We took a great excursion that had us biking and hiking. However the weather cut into our exploring this town. It is cute, and the church is worth seeing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
No dock so you must tender to get there, so that's not ideal. Nice wildlife excursions but the town is so-so.
No dock so you must tender to get there, so that's not ideal. Nice wildlife excursions but the town is so-so. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Here we took the tender and went into town and walked to the Sitka National Historial Park. Sitka was the only port that we had rain in. The park was very interesting with the Tlinglit and Haida totem poles
Here we took the tender and went into town and walked to the Sitka National Historial Park. Sitka was the only port that we had rain in. The park was very interesting with the Tlinglit and Haida totem poles Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Raptor Center, Russian Dancers and St Michael's Russian Orthodox Church were wonderful. Locals were helpful And friendly. Not enough time in port
Raptor Center, Russian Dancers and St Michael's Russian Orthodox Church were wonderful. Locals were helpful And friendly. Not enough time in port Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
JUNE 24 If you put a gun to my head, and said, "Move to Alaska," I'd say, "Okay, Sitka." But I wouldn't need a gun put to my head; Sitka is charming. It is large enough to feel like a proper town, but smart ... Read More
JUNE 24 If you put a gun to my head, and said, "Move to Alaska," I'd say, "Okay, Sitka." But I wouldn't need a gun put to my head; Sitka is charming. It is large enough to feel like a proper town, but smart enough to stay uncorrupted by the cruise industry. A few years ago, some developers wanted to build a dock large enough to accommodate large cruise ships. But the citizens voted it down. Only ships willing to anchor out in the harbor and tender in passengers come here. Sitka still has gift shops and jewelry stores, but in far fewer numbers than in Juneau or Ketchikan or Skagway-- all of which feel like "Epcot Alaska." Sitka savors of authenticity and hard-won prosperity. No big excursions today. I will admit to being tempted by a local man standing on the the dock (dog at his side) holding a sign reading "Sea Otter Expeditions," but Sitka has enough history and character that just walking around town is entertainment enough (at least for us). We enjoyed the small museum at the National Historical Park, walking the totem trail, and tidepooling along the beach (no starfishes this time). It was grey and foggy and drizzly and chilly all day. The Alaska Raptor Center was interesting. They rehabilitate injured birds-- eagles, mostly, but also owls, hawks, terns, puffins-- pretty much any bird native to Alaska-- and when possible, release them back into the wild. Not a lot to see here: several outdoor habitats for the birds, and one large indoor area, but I did not mind the $12 admission fee; it goes to a good cause. We walked-- still in the rain-- back to town. We explored Castle Hill-- site of where Russia officially handed the keys over to the US, and also of where, several decades later, the first flag with 49 stars was raised, marking Alaska's official statehood. We stopped in a chocolate shop, and then tendered back to the ship. We decided to stay casual, and went to the Terrace for supper. Tapas, sushi, a few entrees, and lots and lots of desserts. We put a serious dent in all those desserts. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
I mentioned this above. I would suggest you do a little reading about Sitka before you go so that you can appreciate and enjoy the history of this city. Don't miss the the world biggest dandelions, reallly.
I mentioned this above. I would suggest you do a little reading about Sitka before you go so that you can appreciate and enjoy the history of this city. Don't miss the the world biggest dandelions, reallly. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We did the Bike & Hike tour, it was good and they tell you alot about the local flora and fauna. I recommend you can just rent bikes for $25 and ride on your own if you want, there is a main road that leaves the city along the coast, ... Read More
We did the Bike & Hike tour, it was good and they tell you alot about the local flora and fauna. I recommend you can just rent bikes for $25 and ride on your own if you want, there is a main road that leaves the city along the coast, goes up to Whale Park (didn't see any whales, it is a scenic overlook) It is a hilly road along basically a highway with wide shoulders. Or you can walk to the raptor center, and walk through the park that has the totem poles, all within walking distance of the port. We went to the museum that is in the library. Take a look at the house on the point that you can see from the library, we saw about 8 eagles nesting there and flying all around. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
In Sitka we did the dry suit snorkel which was a hoot. More vegetation to view than wildlife except for starfish. Recommend this tour for those interested in a 30-35 minute experience.
In Sitka we did the dry suit snorkel which was a hoot. More vegetation to view than wildlife except for starfish. Recommend this tour for those interested in a 30-35 minute experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011

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