Set right on the waters of the famous Alaskan Inside Passage, Sitka is without question one of the most exotically beautiful ports in the region. The surrounding area glistens in wondrous scenery or jagged mountains, a towering volcano and the most impressive sight of all; Tongas National Forest, the world’s largest temperate rainforest.
Sitka has gone through a hugely diverse range of historical influences over time and still remains a beautiful destination. The area continues to reinvent itself whilst always maintaining its delicate grace and splendour. Once home to the Tlingit Indian Tribe and even a Russian empire, this outstanding port of call has primarily flourished as a unique commercial fishing zone but in modern days, the locals have created a tourism dynasty. The area is only accessible by air and sea so a trip via a sensational cruise itinerary is often the finest way of seeing this extraordinary place. The elements of its historical influences now provide a unique blend of cultures that never fail to compliment the Alaskan wilderness backdrop. This diverse cultural background creates a once in a lifetime experience.
The climate here is fantastically mild and therefore allows for a remarkable array of wildlife throughout the area. The low population levels mean the area is beautifully unscathed and a simply stunning sight to behold. Waterways even provide the perfect opportunity for humpback whale feeding grounds and world class fishing adventures for salmon and halibut.
Away from the magical backdrop of wildlife and landscapes, the town itself is also full of charisma. Guests will find a magnificent choice of things to see and do, including lavish museums, Russian orthodox artistic flair, innovative souvenirs and the treasurable Saint Michael’s onion-domed cathedral. Many visitors to the town also wish to take in the Raptor Centre’s veterinary project and in particular the amazing birds of prey.
The range of excursions here is truly unique. The choice with most cruise operators is excellent and provides an abundance of options depending on how active you wish to be. Take in the volcanic scenery by ocean craft reaching speeds of up to 50mph, the perfect way to witness the remarkable marine life and amazing areas of Kruzof Island. Alternatively passengers can opt for a journey into the sea life extravagance aboard the only semi-submersible to immerse yourselves under the hidden treasures of Alaskan waters.
A truly special and once in a lifetime excursion option is to combine Sitka’s new Brown Bear sanctuary and the award-winning Sea Otter Quest. The rescue facility at Silver Bay is a non-profit centre for orphaned Brown Bear cubs and provides a wonderfully educational insight into the makeup of these fascinating creatures. An incredible home has been created for these vulnerable animals to live and survive using an abandoned woodland mill. This is not the only excitement of the day as the next stop will be to board a catamaran before arriving at the location for your own private Sea Otter Quest. This is the most amazing opportunity to witness incredible marine life in their natural habitat and sights often include sea otters, harbour seals, brown bears, whales, sea lions and even Sitka’s renowned Blacktail Deer.
The sightseeing here is truly unique and a pleasure for all the senses. This impeccable destination continues to enthral and enchant each guest to reach its shores, sit back and enjoy the magical destination that is Sitka.