Sitka Small Group Scenic Tour: Totem Poles, Sitka History, and Fortress of the Bears

Experienced local guides will share their knowledge of the beautiful Sitka region and wildlife with guests on this 2 hour tour. Stroll throughout lofty totem poles in the Sitka National Historical Park, observe brown bears up close at the Fortress of the Bears, and take in the stunning scenery that Sitka has to offer. Japonski Island, O'Connell Bridge, Alaska Pioneer Home, Sheldon Jackson Museum and St. Michael's Cathedral will be viewed along the ride through town as well. A personalized introduction to Sitka awaits guests on this locally run, small group tour.

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. Driving over O'Connell Bridge will give guests a wonderful view of Sitka and transport them to Japonski Island, where Sitka's history in World War II will be revealed.

Guests will then be transported within their small group to 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.

The next stop brings guests to the popular Fortress of the Bears; a naturalized habitat offering visitors opportunities for up-closing 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 local guide will bring attention to historical gems like the Sitka Pioneer Home, Sheldon Jackson Museum, St. Michael's Cathedral, and the Sitka Sound Science Center throughout the tour. A keen eye can often spot wildlife along the way, so guests will want their cameras close at hand. The tour concludes with highlights of Sitka's wildlife and history before returning guests to the Visitor Center in the downtown area. Shopping is a mere 10 minute walk away for those with time to spare, or else guests can hop aboard a shuttle back to the ship terminal.

Included: Entrance and activity fees.

Please note: Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed. A small amount of walking is involved. Maximum of 14 passengers.

Duration: 2 hours (Roundtrip from cruise ship terminal.)


  • Entrance and activity fees

Duration: 2 hours (tour times are approximate)

  • 40 minutes of total transport time to all attractions
  • 15-20 minutes at Japonski Island for a photo opportunity
  • 30 minutes Fortress of the bears
  • 30 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)

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 bus hold?

The maximum capacity for this tour is 14 guests. If you have more than 14 passengers in your party, multiple buses will provide transportation for your group.

What is the seating arrangement of the tour bus?

There is open seating on the tour bus, 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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Duration: 2 hours

Number of Passengers *

Max of 14

Adult: $65.00

Child (4-12): $65.00

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