After a quick shuttle ride into the town of Sitka, guests will begin their small group tour from the Visitor Center. A comfortable and smaller capacity van will transport guests throughout their expedition in Sitka; positioned at the edge of Baranof Island towards the end of the Inside Passage.
A local guide depicts everyday Sitka life on the way to the first stop along this extensive tour, Silver Bay. The stunning beauty of the region reveals itself with every turn of the road south. The van will stop for an incredible photo opportunity along the way and there is always the potential wildlife spotting along the way; eagles, whales, sea lions and salmon are among the common sightings along this region.
The next stop brings guests to the popular Fortress of the Bears; a naturalized habitat offering visitors opportunities for up-close viewing (within 25 feet!) of local rescued brown bears. Set along the National Forest, the 3/4 acre environment is the largest bear dwelling in North America. Skilled rescuers will share their experience, care and knowledge of a generally feared, yet revered forest dweller. Guests will learn the challenges these rescuers face in the pursuit to protect these amazing creatures.
The intimate small group tour will continue onto the Raptor Center, a 17 acre habitat against the Tongass National Forest and the Indian River; its mission to rehabilitate injured and/or ill birds of prey like hawks, eagles, owls, and falcons. Being the largest rehabilitation center in Alaska, and one of the largest in North America, it takes in between 100 and 200 birds each year. Many of the birds are recovering from gunshot wounds as well as trauma related to traffic incidents. It is the goal of the center to heal and introduce the birds back into the wilderness. Guests will learn about part of that healing process that focuses on retraining the birds to fly within the expansive flight training center. While birds that can no longer return to the wild are often sent to wildlife centers and zoos throughout the country, a few do remain as permanent guests. Visitors can often view more than two dozen winged inhabitants who aid in the public education mission of the Raptor Center.
Guests will then be transported within their small group to the final stop along the tour and Alaska's oldest national park, Sitka National Historical Park. A stunning stroll through the Tlingit and Haida totem poles among spruce and hemlock trees awaits each guest on the breathtaking coastal trail. Joining a guide on a scenic walk looking out over the Indian River will educate guests on the salmon life cycle, and mid season opportunities to observe spawning. As the tour concludes, guests are given the option of riding back to town with their guide or staying longer and strolling along the beautiful Sea Walk back to town (about a 15-20 minute walk to the ship shuttle).
Duration: 2.5 hours (Roundtrip from cruise ship terminal.)
- Roundtrip transportation
- Entrance and activity fees
Duration: 2.5 hours (tour times are approximate)
- 35 minutes total transport time to all attractions
- 40 minutes Fortress of the bears
- 40 minutes Alaska Raptor Center
- 35 minutes Sitka National Historical Park.
- Guests will have a choice to drive back with guide or stay longer and stroll the Sea walk back to town (a 15-20 minute walk to ship shuttle)
- This tour meets on the cruise ship dock. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.
ADA Accessibility of Tour:
- This tour is not wheelchair or limited mobility accessible.
How many passengers does the tour van hold?
The maximum capacity for this tour is 10 guests. If you have more than 10 passengers in your party, multiple vans will provide transportation for your group.
What is the seating arrangement of the tour van?
There is open seating on the tour van, however if you require a certain seat due to a physical impairment then please inform your tour guide.
Will I see any wildlife or bears on this tour?
Wildlife is abundant in Southeast Alaska and sightings are possible on any tour. Bears will be viewable at the Fortress of the Bears stop during the tour.
Are there any age restrictions for children?
There are no age restrictions for this tour.
Can I bring a backpack?
Backpacks, small bags, and purses are allowed on this tour.
Can I bring my own food or drink?
Non-alcoholic beverages in a closeable containters and snacks are allowed on tour.
Are food and drink included?
No food or drinks are included.
What is the wheelchair accessibility of this excursion?
The transportation van does not have the capacity to accommodate most wheelchairs, collapsible or not, unfortunately.
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