Learn more about Alaska when you dock in its first capital, Sitka. You'll see bears, raptors, and totems and get a better understanding of the largest and most sparsely populated U.S. state.
Your experienced local shore excursion guide will meet you a short walk from your Sitka cruise terminal and get you onboard a clean, comfortable full-size van. Group sizes are limited to 10 people, giving you a more personal experience. Your excursion begins at the Harrigan Centennial Hall and from there you'll head south on the highway. This wilderness state is home to bald eagles and Black Tail Deer. At Silver Bay, a deep-water fjord, you may spot Humpback and Minke whales in the later months of the year. A stop may be made here if time and weather permit.
The next excursion stop is near the end of the road system and is the Fortress of the Bear. This non-profit facility rescues and is a safe haven for orphaned bears. The mix of bears may change but at the time of this post, there are four Alaskan Coastal Brown Bears and three Black Bears, the only ones on the island. The 3-acre sanctuary is left in a natural setting and you'll be able to observe the bears from a viewing platform. These gentle giants are cared for and rescued by experienced naturalists. You'll learn more about them and be able to see them up close.
Next is a stop at the Alaskan Raptor Center, a rehabilitation center for birds of prey. Here you'll find a state-of-the-art bird flight room where you can observe them learning to fly again. Inside they are conditioned and must demonstrate their flight ability before they can be released back into the wild. They've rescued and rehabilitated native Alaskan birds like bald eagles, owls, hawks, falcons, and kestrels.
The last stop is at the Sitka National Historical Park located in the temperate rainforest. It's not a large park but offers several trail loops that lead out to the peninsula of the Indian River and Eastern Channel waters. The park is the site of Russia's defeat of the indigenous Tlingit people in the 19th century. You'll find 20 totem poles along the trail. You can walk the trail or make a visit to the Cultural Center. Here are more totems too fragile to be outside. Tlingit artists carve yellow cedar logs into masks and totems. There are also demonstrations and exhibits of native beading, metalworking, and working with fur.
At the end of your Sitka Wildlife and Culture Excursion, you'll board again your transportation to return to your Sitka cruise terminal. Don't forget your camera and have fun!
Learn more about Alaska and see nature up close on this amazing excursion of Sitka's bears, raptors, and totems. Come and enjoy the crossroads where land and sea meet, creating a unique experience that only Alaska can provide.