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When your cruise ship calls on Sitka, you’ll first be enthralled by the majestic mountains that tower above the town, making the town itself seem almost invisible, but as you embark on your Sitka shore excursion, the charming town of Sitka will come into full, colorful view.
Like much of the area surrounding the Inside Passage, Sitka is home to Native Americans of the Tlingit tribe, and that culture combined with town’s Russian heritage offers visitors an historical perspective, as well as close up views of its natural inhabitants, including brown bears, raptors, and sea otters to name a few.
Among the most popular Sitka cruise excursions are multiple-venue ones that offer boat rides on catamarans, cruisers, or Zodiac inflatable rafts to view the magnificent scenery, catch glimpses of wildlife in their natural habitats, and enjoy a taste of the island’s native cooking. Other combo tours include a bike and hike, a wildlife and kayaking adventure, and a taste of Sitka that takes you on a Russian/Tlingit cultural tour of the town, and introduces you to totem artists, a local beer meister, and the food of a beloved local restaurant.
If you’re a more single-minded adventurer, you can book a Sitka shore excursion to explore the lush rainforest of the Tongass National Forest on a 2-mile guided hike; paddle a kayak through protected waterways enjoying the quiet beauty of the area and passing wildlife in their natural environment; or rough-riding it on an ATV adventure on a remote island. For a singular and truly unique eco-experience, choose to board an ocean raft, and don an exposure suit to keep your body temperature stable as you zip through the icy waters at speeds of up to 50 miles an hour to reach an island coastline and explore caves created by a long-inactive volcano.
As you might expect, this being Alaska and all, salmon fishing is among the most popular of Sitka excursions, and it’s about as exciting a tour as any you’ll find. A small group charter takes you out to Sitka Sound, where you’ll be outfitted with all equipment you need – rods, tackle, bait, even raingear. If you’re lucky enough to reel in a catch, you can choose to release or have it processed (cleaned, filleted, cut, packed) and shipped back to you in the United States. That’s Alaska salmon fishing at its finest.