Sitka Premium Scenic Tour: Fortress of the Bear, Raptor Center & Totem Village


View rescued brown bears and eagles up close on this premium tour of the Fortress of the Bear, the Alaska Raptor Center, and Totem Village in Sitka.

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 the 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 midseason 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 a guide or stay longer and stroll the Sea walk back to town (a 15-20 minute walk to ship shuttle)

Meeting Instructions:

  • 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 closable containers 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. 

Not seeing answers to your questions?

Check out other frequently asked questions here!

Customer Reviews
Sep 2021 - David W.

wonderful time and really appreciate the small size of the tour group. this tour hit all the highlights of Sitka without sacrificing space or time. outstanding

Sep 2021 - Marianne L.

Our guide was very professional and answered all our questions. Loved this tour and would highly recommend to others. The small van was perfect!

Aug 2021 - Nancy J.

Highly recommend. It was everything the description said it would be. Saw lots of wildlife and really enjoyed the history, stories and information about the totem poles. Best of the best as far as tours we ve taken in Alaska (our fifth trip).

Oct 2019 - Deborah S.

Lindsay was a fabulous guide and companion on this day. She has so much to share and does it in such a friendly and compelling manner.

Sep 2019 - Melissa S.

This tour was amazing. Our tour guide was super friendly and very funny. Absolutely loved the fortress of the bears and the whole tour was very accommodating for my family ( I was traveling with my three and four year old daughters) would highly recommend for adults and families alike.

Sep 2019 - Helen M.

Fantastic excursion with our guide Maria. Would recommend this tour as it was well organised & very informative. The raptor element of the tour could have been given a bit more time but seeing the rescued bears at the fortress was wonderful! Overall the tour was thoroughly enjoyable!

Sep 2019 - Susan L.

The tour with guide, Maria, was great. Wish we had more time to spend in Sitka to shop and tour the totem museum, although the video presentation gave me better understanding of the indigenous people of Alaska.. The lecture at the Raptor preserve was very informative and to see Brown bears being cared for was just in line with my views on preservation of wildlife.

Sep 2019 - Connie B.

We had a wonderful tour guide, Becky. She was just full of great information about Alaska and especially about Sitka, as she was born and raised there. We so enjoyed the eagles, bears and the hike to the river teeming with salmon swimming upstream. Then she was kind enough to trnspot us back to the pier. Simply superb!!

Sep 2019 - Terry M.

Our tour director, DeAnna was amazing. She was raised in Sitka and was very informative. Loved the tour!

Sep 2019 - Lori L.

How much can we say we loved this tour? So very much. Maria was the guide and was excellent. Raptor centre and the Totem village were great. Maria's knowledge and hike around the village were excellent, salmon spawning, the neatest thing we've seen and totally unexpected, with bears on the brain:) Fortress of the Bears-we had to be dragged out, what a beautiful idea, instead of euthanizing the orphaned cubs, raise them and educate the people who love nature. Sorry Maria, you had to pull us out, but we did also stop for a beautiful photo on the way back to town. Best tour on the trip we took, due in part to what we saw and our guide, down to earth, fun and her love of what she does, high five Maria!

Aug 2019 - Elizabeth M.

Fantastic tour.. Linsay was the best tour guide you could have! Great information from a local woman that was informative, sweet snd kind to all travelers. This was one of the best tours we ever took and the price was much better than from the ship. There is no reason to fear the local tours, they are professional and will get you back to your ship on time! Thanks Linsay for making it a great tour!

Aug 2019 - Susan C.

Very informative guide and great experiences. Particularly loved the totem poles and walk.

Aug 2019 - Dennis B.

Incredible tour guide! Friendly, informative and made the experience even better. A great opportunity to see Alaska's wildlife in a controlled environment.

Aug 2019 - Chris S.

This was a great trip! Fun and energetic guide that helped us see a lot of wildlife and learn a lot about Sitka - a must do addition to your holiday!

Aug 2019 - Alan R.

Our tour guide/driver was amazing. She was very informative!

Jul 2019 - Victor W.

The raptor centre was awesome. Seeing those majestic birds up close was amazing. Glad there is a place set up to help get the injured birds back up and flying and back into the wild.

Jul 2019 - Deborah N.

The respect and care off the wildlife of Alaska is on view here. It was wonderful. Our guide, a salmon fisher woman, shared with us her knowledge of Alaska

Jul 2019 - Connie L.

Our family enjoyed the Sitka tour. Sitka is a lovely city and our tour guide was very knowledgeable. This was our only time seeing Bears while in Alaska and the Fortress of the Bears does a great job with the orphaned cubs. We loved seeing the bald eagles up close in the Rapter Center. The totem village park was serene and beautiful!

Jul 2019 - Nick S.

This was a great tour. We met the owners at the tour depot area, who were very nice and knowledgeable. Our driver was exceptionally nice, but She seemed to lose track of time easily causing the most interesting parts of the tour (Fortress of the bear, Raptor Center and Totems) to get cut very short. We had 20 minutes at each of these when we should have spent more time there. Our tour started with a harbor view from the opposite end of town that, in my option, could have been cut out to spend more time at the other places. That said, our guide was extremely nice and knowledgeable having grown up on the local area. She knew everyone, and the Totems, Bears, and Raptors were all awesome!! (just could have used more time at each)

Jul 2019 - Allison M.

Good tour of the bears and raptor center. Our guide was knowledgeable about the general area of Sitka. We didn t get to see the full totem village as we had to get back on our cruise ship.

Jul 2019 - Christina S.

We loved this excursion, especially Totem Park. Our guide, Deanna, was amazing and really knew the history of her city. Loved the small size of our group. It was intimate and relaxed. Far better than large, hurried groups.

Jul 2019 - Carol B.

Great tour of the first two exhibits. I would skip Totem Village though.

Jul 2019 - Malcolm B.

This was a good trip but slightly disappointed with the Bear fortress which was still under refurbishment. Raptor centre was made very interesting by the on site guide. Our trip guide was a very enthusiastic lady who provided us with plenty of information of interest throughout the trip. A lovely little walk along a forest trail leading to the beach to finish the trip.

Jul 2019 - Crystal R.

Our tour guide was excellent and very knowledgeable. The service was wonderful. Would use again when we return. Thank you,

Jul 2019 - Keith O.

We thoroughly enjoyed this tour. An excellent tour guide ensured we had plenty of time at the Fortress of the Bears, Raptor Center and the Totem Village. She was very informative and knowledgable

Jul 2019 - Christine M.

Our guide was the best. She is very knowledgeable and sincere. We enjoyed the varied aspects of the trip.

Jul 2019 - Michael W.

This was a 2 and a half hour tour. There were 8 family members and 2 others. Our guide was patient, answering lots of questions, and pointing out various things of interest. We did the afternoon tour which was much quieter than the morning. Easy company to book with, and quick to answer any questions and add an extra passenger. Far nicer in a 10 seater van than a huge bus!!!

Jun 2019 - Narda V.

Raptor Center was excellent--their tour guide provided background information on all the raptors and whether or not they could be released into the wild.

Jun 2019 - Eric D.

Excellent. Our guide was terrific.

Jun 2019 - Michelle P.

Great tour. Maria our tour guide was awesome and very knowledgeable. The fortress of the bears was great to be able to see the bears in a more natural habitat than a zoo where you have to look thru glass and try to find them. The Raptor Center was great to see some Eagles and other birds up close and see what they are doing to help get some of them back into the wild. Totem Village was very interesting, got to see a Eagles nest in the trees. Saw several flying around on this trip. Definitely recommend.

Jun 2019 - Laura D.

Guide was good spending just enough time at right places. Was very attentive to the kids in the group. We were a private group which gave us additional flexibility. Raptor Center was definitely a great stop, Bears while neat, very similar to zoo experience.

Jun 2019 - Martin J.

Had a lovely time, our host was knowledgeable and pleasant. The venues were good even though the Bear Kingdom is being extended.

Sep 2018 - Charles P.

Totally worthwhile and educational tour. Our guide was Tlingit Indian and very well versed in the culture and arts of her people. The Fortress of the Bears is a great facility, dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of injured bears, with a population of several recovering Alaska Brown Bears that you can observe close up. The Raptor Center was a similar experience, with several bald and golden eagles and other recovering birds of prey. Totem Village has a wonderful museum of native Alaskan carved poles and panels. All in all, a great value among shore excursions. Book directly through and take advantage of the savings. Their tour buses are clean and comfortable and tour sizes are moderate. We would definitely use them again.

Sep 2018 - David S.

Amazing tour. So much cool stuff to see

Sep 2018 - Patsy F.

What a great day! Akaacheq (sp?) was our tour guide, and she couldn

Sep 2018 - Elzelina G.

Really enjoyed this tour. Our tourguide was the best....cant think if her name but she drove van # 1.

Aug 2018 - Shirl G.

Delightful. Very impressed and grateful for the good work being done at these centers. Our tour guide was terrific. As a native, she was particularly insightful which made the tour all the more meaningful for us.

Aug 2018 - Gina M H.

Great tour

Aug 2018 - Phil G.

Excellent trip. Maria the guide was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The trip includes close encounters with both bears and birds of prey and is well worth doing.

Jul 2018 - Mark C.

Really enjoyed seeing the efforts to take care of these animals that can't be returned to the wild. Maria was a fantastic guide, sharing with us her experiences of being born and raised in Sitka

Jun 2018 - Edward D.

Guide was terrific. We really enjoyed our time.

Jun 2018 - Antonio S.

Maria made our experience in Sitka very rewarding. She made us feel very welcome and comfortable. Her passion about her work and her home is so beautiful. Maria is a beautiful person and a great asset to your company, she made sure we had a wonderful experience. Thank you Maria!!

Jun 2018 - Catherine M.

great tour!

Jun 2018 - Graeme C.

One of the best experiences ever! Particularly as we were in a small group so able to spend plenty of time at this facility with ample photo opportunities.

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Duration: 2.5 hours

Number of Passengers *

Adult: $79.00

Child (12 and under): $79.00

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