Sitka, Alaska, US

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A storied past mixed with jaw-dropping scenery sets Sitka, Alaska apart from other ports. Located on Baranof Island surrounded by the Sitka Sound’s icy blue water, it not only boasts lush scenery and captivating wildlife, Sitka offers a unique glimpse into Alaska history. Russia controlled Alaska from the mid-1700s until the United States purchased it in 1867, and Sitka was settled as the capital of Russian America with the name New Archangel.

 

Sail to Sitka on an Alaska Cruise today and you’ll see vestiges of Russia’s influence. Stroll past the onion dome of St. Michael’s Cathedral and the Russian Bishop’s House, both National Historic Landmarks. On a Sitka, Alaska shore excursion, stop by the visitor center of the Sitka National Historical park to peruse fascinating collections of Russian and Native Alaskan artifacts, and then join a ranger-led tour of the battlefield where Russia fought the native Tlingit people. 

 

Surrounded by the Tongass National rain forest, nature abounds in Sitka, Alaska. A walk up Castle Hill offers the ideal vantage point to take in Mount Edgecumbe, a dormant volcano. Visits to the Fortress of the Bear and Alaska Raptor Center are in order for any animal-lover. Both provide the opportunity to see Alaska wildlife, such as bears or raptors up-close, but safely.