Planning for Your Sitka Shore Excursion



Thank you for booking a Sitka Shore Excursion with Sitka Wildlife Tours!! We look forward to showing you this amazing place we call home!  Here are just a few tips so you can be prepared for a great time in Sitka, Alaska!

Planning for your Sitka Shore Excursion:

If you are arriving on Holland America or Princess Cruises your ship will anchor off shore and you will be tendered to shore to Sitka’s cruise ship dock where we will be out there holding a yellow sign that says “Sitka Wildlife Tours.”

If you arrive via another cruise ship and dock at the terminal north of town you will need to ride the shuttle to downtown Sitka to the main dock where we will be waiting for you.

You usually have some time either before or after your Sitka shore excursion to see downtown Sitka. There are many things to see and, of course, you’ll want to find a special souvenir to take home with you.

Just remember, if you are walking around downtown before the tour, you need to be back at the dock 15 minutes before your departure time.

Here are some tips so that you have the most comfortable and fun experience on your Sitka Shore Excursion or Sitka Watching Tour:

  • Arrive at the tour staging area under the bridge 15 minute prior to scheduled tour time.  We will give you further instructions for boarding at that time.
  • Please use the restroom prior to boarding.  Public restrooms are located right under O’Connell Bridge. There is a lavatory on the boat, however, and there are restrooms available during the van tour.
  • Dress in layers: The weather in Sitka is always different so please dress in layers so you can remove clothing if we have a warm day.  Both the van and the boat have heated cabins for your comfort, but you will want to get out and enjoy the fresh air. 
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes as we will be walking a short distance part of the tour. The tour is wheelchair accessible.
  • Bring a light waterproof jacket in case of rain and to wear on the boat.
  • Don’t forget your camera (with plenty of batteries) to take pictures of the beautiful scenery, wildlife and historic sites. 
English: St. Michael's Cathedral (Sitka, Alaska)

St. Michael’s Cathedral (Sitka, Alaska) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you only have 30 minutes or so before the tour, here’s a few close by places you may like to visit and their estimated walk times from O’Connell Bridge.

  • Castle Hill-2 min
  • Harry Race Pharmacy and Photo-5 min
  • Sitka’s Pioneer Home-5 min
  • Russian Block House-5 min
  • St. Michael’s Cathedral, -5-10 minutes

Sitka, Alaska, has much more to see and do; these are just some ideas for you if you have a short time before your tour and want to see something close by.

Here are some links and information about Sitka, Alaska.

The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013– Smithsonian Magazine (Sitka named number 9).

Travel Channel; Bizarre Foods -Alaska’s Inside Passage, Sitka, Alaska

Discover Sitka, Uncrowded Alaska– Sunset Magazine

Sitka Sentinel-Sitka, Alaska’s Hometown Newspaper

KCAW Radio-Sitka, Alaska, News, NPR, National Public Radio

Alaska, Historic Novel written in Sitka, Alaska, by American Author James Michener


The Pioneer Home, one of Sitka's many historic...

The Pioneer Home, one of Sitka’s many historic structures, in May 2002. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)