Learn and discover more about Alaska when you dock in its first capital, Sitka. See bears, raptors, and totems and get a better understanding of the largest and most sparsely populated U.S. state.
Your experienced local guide will meet you a short walk from your Sitka cruise terminal and get you onboard the comfortable full-size passenger van. This is a private excursion to give you a more personal experience. Your private 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 stop is near the end of the road system and is the Fortress of the Bear. This is non-profit facility is home to seven 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 flight room for the birds 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 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 where there are more totems that are 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 day, you'll board again your transportation to return to your Sitka cruise ship terminal. Don't forget your camera and have fun!
Please note we also offer this excursion on a public basis if you do not want to do it privately, please click the highlighted link to review it: Sitka Bears, Raptors, and Totems Excursion