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Sitka, Alaska Cruise Port

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The first thing you notice about Sitka is this: The town and its environs are absolutely stunning. Wander up Castle Hill, gaze out upon sparkling Sitka Sound and the Pacific Ocean beyond, and the view of hundreds of large and little islands literally boggles the mind. Mt. Edgecombe, a dormant volcanic dead ringer for Japan's Mt. Fuji, is especially compelling. To get yourself sightseeing-oriented upon arrival and to collect maps and brochures head to the city's Harrigan Centennial Hall where you can visit the Sitka Historical Museum and watch the notable New Archangel Russian Dancers or the equally praiseworthy Native Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Dancers.

St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral in the town center ranks as the community's principal visitor attraction. Within the onion-domed cathedral visitors view lovingly executed icons and numerous other religious objects, many created in Russia more than a century ago.

The U.S. Park Service manages Sitka National Historical Park at two locations - the painstakingly restored Russian Bishops House not far from downtown and the USPS Visitor Center at the southeastern end of town. The setting is one of striking totems set along a photogenic forested walking trail. Demonstrations of totem carving and other facets of Native Art are ongoing at the Southeast Alaska Native Cultural Center within the Visitor Center. Sheldon Jackson Museum is another treasure trove of Alaska Native art, culture, tools, boats, utensils, and other items of Indian, Eskimo, and Athabascan life. And even if you're not a birder, don't fail to visit Sitka's renowned Raptor Center northeast of town where injured eagles receive healing, tender care.

The internationally acclaimed Sitka Summer Music Festival, an annual June celebration of chamber music, attracts world-famous artists and devotees. More Sitka information from

Text copyright © 2008 Mike Miller All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

For more Alaska Cruise information, see Alaska Cruising Report.

Updated March 3, 2008. Comments?   Counter CGI