The Alaskan towns we visited are remote and small. Boat is the best way to reach them if you want to avoid driving hundreds of miles through Canada. I was able to explore the towns on foot within a few hours. I did not do any excursions, but all my family who did raved about them. They did everything including dog-sledding, zodiac tours, Raptor Center, lumberjack show and bike & brew. In Sitka my partner went fly-fishing so I was free to sleep in and wander around by myself.
We were lucky not to have any tender ports, but in Sitka were shuttled to town from where the MS Westerdam docked outside of town. The bus driver provided some local history and suggestions for places to visit. After the bus ride I hiked up Baranof Castle State Historic Site, visited the Russian Orthodox cathedral and did some shopping. Sitka is one of the few places in the US that used to be ruled by Russia so I enjoyed reading about it’s history on the plaques on Castle Hill and throughout town.
Date: 6 July 2016
Travel with: 20 Komarinskis
Weather: Partly cloudy skies, gentle breeze, 50-60s, moderate seas
Accommodation: MS Westerdam, Inside Stateroom 1060
- Hiked up Baranof Castle State Historic Site
- Sightseeing: St Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral; Baranof Totem Pole; The Prospector Statue
- Shopping in town
Food & Drink:
- onboard the ship
Transportation: MS Westerdam plus complimentary shuttle from cruise ship terminal to town