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!

There are two different ways passengers on cruise ships visit our amazing city of Sitka.

When you arrive in Sitka, Alaska, on your cruise ship, you may get to shore by taking a short ride on a tender.

1. Tendering

If your cruise ship anchors offshore you will be tendered from the ship to Sitka’s tender dock downtown. Bruce and Rhonda will meet you near the top of the ramp at the vendor selling area.  You will notice them because of their bright blue jackets and yellow colored signs.

(Please make sure to depart the ship at least one hour before tour departure time to ensure you don’t miss your tour!) 

2. Old Sitka Dock

Rhonda and Bruce Conine, Owners of Sitka Wildlife Tours

Rhonda and Bruce Conine, Owners of Sitka Wildlife Tours, wearing their blue jackets

If your cruise ship docks at the terminal north of town (Old Sitka Dock) you will need to take the free shuttle (Green Buses) to downtown Sitka to the visitor drop off point (Harrigan Centennial Hall) where Bruce and Rhonda will be waiting for you at vendor selling area with yellow signs and blue jackets.

(Please make sure to depart the ship at least one hour before tour departure time to ensure you don’t miss your tour!)

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 Visitor center (Harrigan Centennial Hall) 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 Whale Watching Tour:

  • Arrive at the tour staging area 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. There is a small lavatory on the boat, and there are restrooms available at the halfway point 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 not 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.

If you only have 30 minutes or so before the tour, here are a few close by places you may like to visit and their estimated walk times from the Visitor Center (Harrigan Centennial Hall).

  • Castle Hill-15 min
  • Sitka’s Pioneer Home 15 min
  • Russian Block House 15 min
  • Michael’s Cathedral 10 minutes
  • Downtown shopping 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.

See what people are saying about our Sitka Tours

“Beautiful place!”

“Excellent wildlife tour last week! Our guide was wonderful and very personable. The highlight was certainly the unscheduled stop on the side of the road to watch the whales! Also fun watching the baby eagles learning to fly and of course you can spend hours watching the bears at Fortress of the Bear. Well worth your time and money with this company!”