369 Sitka Cruise Reviews

As in Icy Strait, we went wildlife watching with Allen Marine on another of their catamarans. Sitka is a tender port, and Allen Marine picked us up at the ship. They promised sea otters, and delivered big time - dozens and dozens. We also ... Read More
As in Icy Strait, we went wildlife watching with Allen Marine on another of their catamarans. Sitka is a tender port, and Allen Marine picked us up at the ship. They promised sea otters, and delivered big time - dozens and dozens. We also saw harbor seals, a few whales, and the captain even found a bear exploring the shoreline. Sitka has managed to resist the onslaught of cruise-oriented stores; the town still has a genuine historical feel to it, and most of the stores are run by locals. The restored Russian Orthodox bishops house (part of the national park) was interesting to visit, and the rest of the park (far end of town) has a very nice collection of totem poles in a woodland setting along with an active totem pole carver's shop in the visitors center. There's a recently carved pole outside the visitors center commemorating the history of the park, including an image of a buried Russian claim plate (claiming the land for the Russian Czar) that was found in Sitka. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Sitka is a tender port. We had beautiful weather today. Our tour today (Raptor center and Sea Otter) isn't until 12:15. They charged us an additional $25.00 to go to the Raptor Center, but I was glad I went as I missed all the other ... Read More
Sitka is a tender port. We had beautiful weather today. Our tour today (Raptor center and Sea Otter) isn't until 12:15. They charged us an additional $25.00 to go to the Raptor Center, but I was glad I went as I missed all the other rehab centers on the tours. We had to wait for tender tickets for about half an hour. We just made it to the dock in time for the tour. We went to the Raptor Center first - the bus driver did provide some narrative, but if we hadn't been sitting right behind him, we could not have heard what he said. At the Raptor Center, we saw the flight cage where the birds that they are preparing to release are housed. We were not to use cell phones or flash because we were behind one way glass. It was hard to take photos because of the reflections on the glass from the sunlight in the flight cage. Then we went into a demonstration room and saw a short video, and then they brought in an immature eagle to show us. This eagle was dropped off when she was about 2 months old. She was starving because she had a malformed beak and couldn't tear her food into small enough bites to eat. So she can never be released. Then we went into the shop, and I used the bathroom. It was so warm that I had taken off my coat (!!!) and when I came out of the bathroom stall I realized that I did not have my cane anymore. So I went back and found it. Bob meanwhile was walking around the outside cages where the birds that can't be released are kept. I went out and sat on a bench in the sun to wait for the bus to come back. I saw a truck come with a travel container (like a big cat carrier) and one of the workers said that they had gotten an eagle from Juneau. The bus came back and delivered us to the docks where we boarded a catamaran with about 80 other people who had just signed up for the Sea Otter part of the tour. They would have had a chance to eat lunch before they came, which we did not. Bob had a couple of chocolate chip cookies that he saved from his box lunch in Anchorage so we each ate one of them. The catamaran had a naturalist on board and he kept us entertained with narrative between sightings. It was cooler, so I put my coat back on. We saw humpback whales really really close, and I actually got some pictures of them. We also saw some sea otters, a bald eagle nest with two chicks in it, and even some starfish (which I didn't get any pictures of as my camera was too slow to focus). They served us a sample of smoked salmon, a scone and hot chocolate. He brought us right back to the tender dock on the ship, which was good as we didn't have to go up the ramp from the excursion dock and down the ramp to the tender dock and then ride the last tender back to the ship. Also one tender wouldn't have held all of us. The last tender was waitig for us to leave the tender dock so it could unload the last group of people. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Weather: 60 F and sunny. May 24 This is the most beautiful port yet, and that's saying something. The harbor is very protected, many small islands and the extinct volcano Mt. Edgecombe providing spectacular views anywhere you look. We ... Read More
Weather: 60 F and sunny. May 24 This is the most beautiful port yet, and that's saying something. The harbor is very protected, many small islands and the extinct volcano Mt. Edgecombe providing spectacular views anywhere you look. We go on the Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest, through the ship but run by Allen Tours. This is a tender port but the Allen boat picks us up directly from the ship , a nice convenience. We tool around the bay & out into open water for a bit as the day is so nice for about 2 1/2 hours. We see dozens of sea otters, males and females separate in groups called rafts. Some of the females have babies on their bellies. We see a group of harbor seals sunning themselves on rocks, and we also see a nesting pair of bald eagles. We spend the last hour chasing after a couple of humpback whales. Several good sightings, nice dives with tails etc. Not as good as Juneau but nice to see whales again, and very nice for the folks on board who did not go whale watching elsewhere. No puffins or dolphins. Well run excursion, they give us a great snack of smoked salmon. We spend the afternoon walking around Sitka, very pretty town and easy to walk everywhere. We visit the St. Michaels Russian Orthodox Church, very simple structure with beautiful paintings and icons. We stop at the Red Hot Reindeer Sausage Stand and pay $6.50 for a 1/4 lb. reindeer polish dog, inc. chips and a soda. Great lunch, we sit on the plastic chairs and soak up the sunshine. The dogs are very good, the couple running the stand are a project manager and physician's assistant who work at the local hospital but take their combined lunch hours to run this stand. After lunch, we go to see the Shelden Jackson Museum. This is not to be missed. It is an amazing collection of very beautiful native artifacts mostly from the 1880 - 1910 era. The gift store is small but very nice. I stroked a pillow of sea otter fur, it is absolutely the softest thing I have ever touched. I left it at the museum for someone else, not having budgeted $350 for a small pillow. We walked back to the tender dock, shopping a little as we went, and wishing we had more time in Sitka. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Sitka - they charged us an additional $25.00 to go to the Raptor Center, but I was glad I went as I missed all the other rehab centers on the tours. At the Raptor Center, we saw the flight cage where the birds that they are preparing to ... Read More
Sitka - they charged us an additional $25.00 to go to the Raptor Center, but I was glad I went as I missed all the other rehab centers on the tours. At the Raptor Center, we saw the flight cage where the birds that they are preparing to release are housed. We were not to use cell phones or flash because we were behind one way glass. It was hard to take photos because of the reflections on the glass from the sunlight in the flight cage. Then we went into a demonstration room and saw a short video, and then they brought in an immature eagle to show us. This eagle was dropped off when she was about 2 months old. She was starving because she had a malformed beak and couldn't tear her food into small enough bites to eat. So she can never be released. I bought a shirt in the shop (an eagle with the caption "I AM smiling"). Bob meanwhile was walking around the outside cages where the birds that can't be released are kept. I went out and sat on a bench in the sun to wait for the bus to come back. I saw a truck come with a travel container (like a big cat carrier) and one of the workers said that they had gotten an eagle from Juneau. The bus came back and delivered us to the docks where we boarded a catamaran with about 80 other people who had just signed up for the Sea Otter part of the tour. They would have had a chance to eat lunch before they came, which we did not. Bob had a couple of chocolate chip cookies that he saved from his box lunch in Anchorage so we each ate one of them. The catamaran had a naturalist on board and he kept us entertained with narrative between sightings. It was cooler, so I put my coat back on. We saw humpback whales really really close, and I actually got some pictures of them. We also saw some sea otters, a bald eagle nest with two chicks in it, and even some starfish (which I didn't get any pictures of as my camera was too slow to focus). They served us a sample of smoked salmon, a scone and hot chocolate. He brought us right back to the ship tender boarding area, which was good as we didn't have to go up the ramp from the excursion dock and down the ramp to the tender dock and then ride the last tender back to the ship. Also one tender wouldn't have held all of us. The last tender was waiting for us to leave the tender dock so it could unload the last group of people. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We booked the “Sea Otter & Wildlife Quest” excursion. The boat picked us up at the ship. The seas were rough and the boat was rocking, but we safely boarded the boat. The crew took us around Sitka and we saw sea otters, bald ... Read More
We booked the “Sea Otter & Wildlife Quest” excursion. The boat picked us up at the ship. The seas were rough and the boat was rocking, but we safely boarded the boat. The crew took us around Sitka and we saw sea otters, bald eagles, and humpback whales. We got some amazing pictures during this excursion. The crew was very informative and friendly. After our excursion we walked through town to the Tongass National Forest and back to the pier. Sitka is a quaint town and has not been overrun with tourist attractions. This was our favorite port. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Of all the ports, this is the most beautiful. Small islands in the bay, just beautiful. I would love to own a home there on the water. The Raptor Center is a nice walk, couple of miles. Interesting to see the Eagles, my favorite bird. The ... Read More
Of all the ports, this is the most beautiful. Small islands in the bay, just beautiful. I would love to own a home there on the water. The Raptor Center is a nice walk, couple of miles. Interesting to see the Eagles, my favorite bird. The totem park was o.k. Between the walk to the Raptor Center and totem park there was a bridge that goes over a small river, lots of salmon. Climbed the stairs to the location where the Russians sold Alaska to the states. Beautiful view, worth the climb, there is also a ramp. Besides that, not a lot to do in Sitka, but it is gorgeous. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Sitka was truly wonderful! After a visit to St. Michaels Church, we took the 1:15 p.m. Sea Otter and Wild Life tour that the ship offered. Within 5 minutes of leaving the dock, we were next to 2 humpback whales. This was followed by a ... Read More
Sitka was truly wonderful! After a visit to St. Michaels Church, we took the 1:15 p.m. Sea Otter and Wild Life tour that the ship offered. Within 5 minutes of leaving the dock, we were next to 2 humpback whales. This was followed by a visit to a small isle that was home to about 20 sea otters. Rounding out our adventure were sightings of 2 eagles nests with 2 eaglets out on the branch, several seals, 2 gray whales, and returning to port, a finale consisting of 4 to 5 humpbacks. What a trip; it was worth every cent! Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We decided to do Sitka on our own. We actually did our souvenir shopping in the morning and went back to the ship for lunch in the Lido and then went onshore again in the afternoon. Being almost the last ship to be in their port there ... Read More
We decided to do Sitka on our own. We actually did our souvenir shopping in the morning and went back to the ship for lunch in the Lido and then went onshore again in the afternoon. Being almost the last ship to be in their port there were many good bargains to be had. We felt we got a good feel of the town by doing it that way. We walked by the high-school and the elementary school, visited a museum, walked along the port, and actually visited a grocery store and was able to get a feel of the real Sitka. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Went on the most fabulous excursion whale watching. It was a small boat with a very knowledgeable captain. Saw many whales up close, sea otters, seals and beautiful coves. It was wonderful. Actually the best excursion I've ever been
Went on the most fabulous excursion whale watching. It was a small boat with a very knowledgeable captain. Saw many whales up close, sea otters, seals and beautiful coves. It was wonderful. Actually the best excursion I've ever been on. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Had to be tendered in but there were local people at the dock who were extremely anxious to help in any way.
Had to be tendered in but there were local people at the dock who were extremely anxious to help in any way. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
A beautiful city but i was dissappointed there was no Russian cuisine anywhere. I may choose to do an excursion in Sitka as the town was small and mostly cultural sightseeing. LOVED Sitka Tango the dog and bought the books about him.
A beautiful city but i was dissappointed there was no Russian cuisine anywhere. I may choose to do an excursion in Sitka as the town was small and mostly cultural sightseeing. LOVED Sitka Tango the dog and bought the books about him. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Expect rain. The ship anchors out and uses tenders. The town offers shopping and a Russian Church, that's about it. The Russian dance troupe was great, don't miss it.
Expect rain. The ship anchors out and uses tenders. The town offers shopping and a Russian Church, that's about it. The Russian dance troupe was great, don't miss it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Sitka was an exceptional favorite. We took time to walk through the woods, go to the Raptor center and really enjoyed the quiet town! All stops were great.
Sitka was an exceptional favorite. We took time to walk through the woods, go to the Raptor center and really enjoyed the quiet town! All stops were great. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Let me just say, WOW! I have found my island retreat. Again, another rain forest so expect fog and rain/drizzle but when the sky clears, the views are breath-taking! Sitka was clean, extremely friendly people, prices more than fair, not ... Read More
Let me just say, WOW! I have found my island retreat. Again, another rain forest so expect fog and rain/drizzle but when the sky clears, the views are breath-taking! Sitka was clean, extremely friendly people, prices more than fair, not lots to do but I was there to see the scenery and wildlife which I did. I may have to buy an island and retire to Sitka!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Sitka provided an opportunity to learn about the Russian influence to the area. It is a friendly town.
Sitka provided an opportunity to learn about the Russian influence to the area. It is a friendly town. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Stika we did the Sea otter tour with an add on of Fortress of the bears we booked through HAL . We had a fantastic tour of the wildlife on the boat tour . REALLY BAD WAS THE FORTRESS OF THE BEARS > ITS IN AN OLD FUEL BUNKER TANK > ... Read More
Stika we did the Sea otter tour with an add on of Fortress of the bears we booked through HAL . We had a fantastic tour of the wildlife on the boat tour . REALLY BAD WAS THE FORTRESS OF THE BEARS > ITS IN AN OLD FUEL BUNKER TANK > ITS ABOUT 150 FT in diameter with 2 pet bears in it . Cost of admission was $10 at the park but HAL charged us $50 extra to go there Its about 5 min from port . Its a real disappointment Ill never recommend to anyone to do . Its not in a wilderness setting as described . Stika was a great town to tour . We ate in a little restaurant that makes fresh caught fish . I had fish and chips, Halibut. It was the best I think I've had . Its right next to a fresh fish store . They also make PIZZA . The waitress said the get fresh fish daily . We got great deals on souvenirs as stores were having a sidewalk sales with 50 - 75 % off . I got some nesting doll that were $70 for $15 nice little town Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Had to take a tender to shore, but no problem. Plenty of stores and restaurants within walking distance.
Had to take a tender to shore, but no problem. Plenty of stores and restaurants within walking distance. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Sea Otter and Wildlife Cruise excellent. Van Winkle and Sons good food.
Sea Otter and Wildlife Cruise excellent. Van Winkle and Sons good food. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Wow, Totems, views, and Salmon Berries Yum! The Totem Park used a phone service where you could call from your cell phone and get a narrative on each totem as you walk the path from totem to totem. It was great.
Wow, Totems, views, and Salmon Berries Yum! The Totem Park used a phone service where you could call from your cell phone and get a narrative on each totem as you walk the path from totem to totem. It was great. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Our only tender. We visited the raptor centre, The rehabilitation work they do was very interesting although there were not that many birds to see. Nonetheless very enjoyable. We walked down to the National Park and their totem poles. Nice ... Read More
Our only tender. We visited the raptor centre, The rehabilitation work they do was very interesting although there were not that many birds to see. Nonetheless very enjoyable. We walked down to the National Park and their totem poles. Nice stroll through the forest although there were no salmon in the Indian River. Nice totems. The town was very pretty and we found a great bar near the bridge full of friendly locals where we enjoyed Halibut kebabs and more Alaskan Amber. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
We tendered into Sitka from the ship. This process went fairly smoothly, as they had people disembarking based on excursion times. The weather was overcast and 55 degrees. We did go on a 3 1/2 hr guided bus tour. First stop was the ... Read More
We tendered into Sitka from the ship. This process went fairly smoothly, as they had people disembarking based on excursion times. The weather was overcast and 55 degrees. We did go on a 3 1/2 hr guided bus tour. First stop was the historic Michelangelo church. We weren't there for long, just long enough to see it. The driver took us on a short bus tour of the city, pointing out normal tour bus highlights. Then we went to the raptor center. The kids enjoyed this. There is an up-close interview with one of the trainers and a bald eagle in a small room. We were able to take pictures and ask questions. There are a variety of eagles and raptors at the facility to see. Next, we went to the community center to see the Russian dancers. The show was about an hour. The older girls enjoyed it. I was out in the hall with the baby most of the time. Lastly, we went to totem pole park. We didn't spend much time here, as it was almost 1 and the kids were getting hungry. There is a fair amount of easy hiking you can do. We did a short loop, got some pictures, and walked to town for lunch (we didn't want to wait for the driver to come pick us back up.) Two highlights of Sitka were all the eagles and our lunch at The Bayview. The eagles were everywhere! Fun for us and the kids! We have a family connection in Sitka, and we had lunch with her at The Bayview. It's just a great place for sandwiches, salads, soup, etc. I would highly recommend it. She said it is a locals favorite! Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Sitka was the second port of call. No shore excursions. We were in walking distance of the sights we wanted to see. The Eagle Raptor was a must for us to see. The Archangel Dancers give us view of the Russian Heritage.
Sitka was the second port of call. No shore excursions. We were in walking distance of the sights we wanted to see. The Eagle Raptor was a must for us to see. The Archangel Dancers give us view of the Russian Heritage. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Small Alaska town that retains its original charm and hasn't been trashed. Visit the Russian church while you're there and browse the art galleries. The Sea Otter Quest was a fantastic excursion, with really knowledgeable and ... Read More
Small Alaska town that retains its original charm and hasn't been trashed. Visit the Russian church while you're there and browse the art galleries. The Sea Otter Quest was a fantastic excursion, with really knowledgeable and enthusiastic naturalists onboard - terrific. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010

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