Step off your cruise ship into Sitka, an Alaska town with a colorful past highlighting a unique blend of Native Tlingit culture and Russian history. Meet your private driver/guide and set off in search of Sitka’s best highlights, tailored to what you enjoy most!
YOUR OPTIONS INCLUDE:
Visit the Alaska Raptor Center
The Alaska Raptor Center is a rescue center that provides medical treatment to around 200 injured birds per year. The Center strives to rehabilitate and release the birds, but some may stay at the center in the Raptors-in-Residence program. After a brief introduction, you’ll receive a educational presentation featuring one of the Center’s birds. Afterwards, view the Flight Center, Raptor Clinic and outside deck habitat areas.
Explore Sitka National Historic Park
Sitka National Historical Park hosts totem-lined walking trails, cultural exhibits, and carving rooms where Alaskan Native artisans demonstrate the totemic art form. Time may be spent walking the forest trails, viewing cultural exhibits and video presentations, or talking one-on-one with local Native artists about their cultural art forms.
Visit St. Michael’s Orthodox Cathedral
St. Michael’s Orthodox Cathedral is a National Historic Landmark, established in 1848. Prior to becoming the 49th state of the United States, Alaska was colonized by Russia, who utilized Sitka as a trading post. As the Russian presence grew, the missionary Bishop Innocent constructed this cathedral, the first of its kind in North America.
Visit Russian Bishop’s House
The Russian Bishop’s House is a historic house, museum, and is another National Historic Landmark. This restored building which was once the Russian Mission Orphanage offers guests a look back into the history of Sitka and a chance to understand what it was like to live in Sitka during the Russian-American era.
Relive History & Discover Culture at the SE Alaska Indian Cultural Center
Learn the history and culture of the Native Sitka Tlingit community at the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center. The exhibits housed here offer insight into the contention between the Russians and the Tlingits and how the Tlingits have struggled to retain their identity and culture. Speak with one of the Native artists while they work to learn more about the techniques passed down through generations.
Meet Bear Orphans at Fortress of the Bear
Bears have ruled Alaska long before fishermen, gold miners, or cruise ships arrived. As their territory has diminished, more and more bear cubs have become orphaned and sick. Fortress of the Bear is a safe haven for orphaned bears; the staff is dedicated to rescuing cubs, bringing them back to health, and providing a long life full of enrichment. Their hope is to, one day, release rehabilitated bears back into the wild.