Sitka Port Guide

Sitka Port is famous for its charm, natural beauty and historical attractions. The Sitka port of call is popular among cruise ships that go through the Inside Passage during the months of May to September. Sitka is a city borough located at the western part of Baranof Island in Alaska. Sitka cruise port is known to be one of the most exotic ports in Alaska. The city is mainly dependent on its fishing industry and tourism. During the month of September, Sitka holds its annual “Running of Boots Festival” where the locals say goodbye to their summer visitors and welcome back their salmon. Large cruise vessels are usually anchored off shore and smaller boats tender passengers either to the Crescent Harbor Lightering Facility or in O’Connell Bridge Lightering Facility. Sitka has a history of being a Russian settlement but in 1867, the Russian government later sold Sitka (along with the rest of Alaska) to the United States.


Be sure to grab Russian and native handicrafts when shopping at Sitka. The Russian American Company is a good store to shop for souvenir items. Their products are usually imported from Russia and include lacquer ware, jewelry, chest sets and so much more. Expect to find exquisite pieces of Faberge & amber jewelry, Russian porcelain & lacquer ware, hand painted boxes, nesting dolls, Christmas ornaments & etc. The Artist Cove Gallery features authentic basketry, dolls, carvings and jewelry from the Inupiat Eskimos, Northwest coast locals and Alaskan artists. You can also find other Russian handicrafts at Baranov’s, strategically located at the heart of the metropolis.

Things to See

The town’s mild climate and low population makes Sitka one of the best places to view wildlife. The Whale Park, just about 6 miles from downtown, features humpback whales that can be viewed from telescopes all over the picnic area. The park also has a hydrophone where you can listen to the sounds that these enormous creatures make. For a taste of Sitka’s history, be sure to drop by the Isabel Miller Museum. It showcases relics, artifacts and photographs from the town’s Tlingit, Russian and American history. You can also go visit the Anb Hall, a national historic landmark built in the early 1900’s. Nowadays, it serves as an Alaskan Native Community Center.

Restaurants and Bars

The Backdoor a cozy coffee shop that is famous for its custom espressos, beagles, pastries and other breakfast items. Enjoy your cup of coffee as your eyes gaze around a huge display of local artworks inside the shop itself. Overlooking the Crescent Harbor, the Bayview Restaurant offers a spectacular view of the port. They feature gourmet hamburgers, steak, deli sandwiches, and homemade desserts. If you are looking for a food shop that will satisfy your Chinese cravings, you can drop by the Twin Dragon Restaurant. Enjoy their delicious Mandarin, Cantonese, Szechwan, and Peking style cuisines at reasonable prices. For all original Alaskan coffee brews, you can visit the Highliner Café. They also serve Scandinavian cakes, cookies and pastries that you will surely love and come back for more. If you are the “tea” person, then you wouldn’t have to worry. Tea-Licious Tea House and Bakery has over 50 tea varieties from which to choose.

Find a Cruise

Ask questions and get advice from other cruisers on our popular discussion board,