Sail Date: July 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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 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
2 Helpful Votes
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: September 2010
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
2 Helpful Votes
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: May 2011
The ports of Busan, Vladivostok, Petropavlosk & Kodiak were not listed but very easy to get to as we opted for our own sightseeing. Busan in Korea had a free shuttle bus to downtown 25 mins away Vladivostok, you are right at the city ... Read More
The ports of Busan, Vladivostok, Petropavlosk & Kodiak were not listed but very easy to get to as we opted for our own sightseeing. Busan in Korea had a free shuttle bus to downtown 25 mins away Vladivostok, you are right at the city Petropavlosk was a tender & you could walk 15 mins to the city Kodiak & Sitka also a tender & you are right in town Sitka was a lovely place but only 5 hrs there to see the township & Raptor Centre. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
I was amazed with the beauty of Sitka, Alaska. The town is absolutely charming, not too touristy. The Raptor Center was definitely worth it. I recommend walking there from the port, you will see so much more of the town and parks. We took ... Read More
I was amazed with the beauty of Sitka, Alaska. The town is absolutely charming, not too touristy. The Raptor Center was definitely worth it. I recommend walking there from the port, you will see so much more of the town and parks. We took a 2 1/2 hour kayaking tour and were blown away with the beauty around Sitka. I highly recommend the kayaking for a more "nature" experience. It was by far my favorite port on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We were going to sign up for one of the bike tours HAL offered but we weren't sure about what we would do if it rained. We got to Sitka on a beautiful day so we just went to the Yellow Jersey bike shop and rented two bikes for $27 ... Read More
We were going to sign up for one of the bike tours HAL offered but we weren't sure about what we would do if it rained. We got to Sitka on a beautiful day so we just went to the Yellow Jersey bike shop and rented two bikes for $27 each and he gave us a map and told us how to get to Blue Lake which is where the bike tour was going (for $119 each). Anyhow it was a great ride, beautiful scenery and for those less adventurous the is a paved bike path along the coast east of town, that since it is along the coast, is relatively flat. After our ride we turned in our bikes and had a nice walk around town visiting the Bishops House and the Russian Church. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We walked around town and checked our email on the free municipal Internet. A one mile walk took us to the Totem park and a easy walk through a rain forest. It is a beautiful town and well worth a visit.
We walked around town and checked our email on the free municipal Internet. A one mile walk took us to the Totem park and a easy walk through a rain forest. It is a beautiful town and well worth a visit. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
Sitka was our favorite port! If you are able, try to explore Sitka on foot. The Oosterdam dropped anchor in Sitka Sound and we used a tender to get us to the O'Connell Bridge Visitor's Dock. I suggest picking up a "Sitka ... Read More
Sitka was our favorite port! If you are able, try to explore Sitka on foot. The Oosterdam dropped anchor in Sitka Sound and we used a tender to get us to the O'Connell Bridge Visitor's Dock. I suggest picking up a "Sitka Through 4 Seasons" Book at the dock. It is free, and it has a wonderful walking tour map inside. From the dock, we walked up Northeast up Harbor Drive to Lincoln Drive. This is a lovely walk past the Crescent Harbor Dock and St Peter's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church. We passed the Sheldon Jackson Museum and started our trek through the temperate rain forest at the Sitka National Historical Park Visitor's Center and Totem trail. The park's trail takes you by the site of a Tlingit Indian Fort and many Tlingit Totem poles. There is also a battle site where the Tlingits fought with the Russians in 1804. We took the trail to Sawmill Creek Boulevard where we followed the yellow bird's feet to the Alaska Raptor Center. Our family loved the Raptor Center where we got to see numerous birds of prey. We were lucky enough to be there at the right time as they brought out an immature bald eagle who was born with a beak deformity. It was almost as big as its trainer! After leaving the Raptor Center we walked back down Lincoln to Harbor drive and past St. Michael's Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church. We ended our exploration at Castle Hill. Baranof's Castle was the site of the transfer of Alaska to the United States. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2011
Did a private wildlife tour with Captain Davey (puffinsandwhales.com). It was a four hour tour that showed us whales, puffins, sea otters, eagles. We went to St. Lazaria Island and it is an amazing place. Dress warmly, it gets cold out on ... Read More
Did a private wildlife tour with Captain Davey (puffinsandwhales.com). It was a four hour tour that showed us whales, puffins, sea otters, eagles. We went to St. Lazaria Island and it is an amazing place. Dress warmly, it gets cold out on the water. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
Very quaint! Sea Otter and Fortress of the Bear excursion was worth every penny!
Very quaint! Sea Otter and Fortress of the Bear excursion was worth every penny! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2011
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

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