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This tour reaches into the past with a panoramic drive past the Alaska Pioneer’s Home, St Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Castle Hill, World War II Fort Ray and the Russian Bishop’s house. Discover what makes Sitka a classic Alaskan small town, with its resident "sourdoughs" and dynamic native community, a vibrant fishing industry and flourishing performing arts.
All sides of Sitka come alive as you travel through time in this former Russian capital that calls itself the Paris of the Pacific. At Sitka National Historical Park, wander through the lush rain forest and along scenic paths where totems depict the rich culture of the Tlingit people. A short walk gives your guide a chance to tell you about edible and medicinal plants, the life cycle and traditional uses of the various salmon species, and rain forest ecology.
Discover the park’s visitor center featuring local native artists demonstrating how the past can illuminate the present. View a fascinating video presentation of Sheet’ka’s Story as told by all the peoples of Sitka and explore the totem trail in a 100+-year-old-park commemorating the last battle between the Russians and the Kiksadi people. Next experience authentic Tlingit native stories and songs inside a traditional clan house built on the site of a former government school. The Naa Kahídi Community House features the largest carved house-screen in the Pacific Northwest.
Sharing ancient stories passed down through generations around a traditional cedar fire brings the house alive with songs and voices, including your own. Beautiful regalia clothing captivates you while you learn to speak a few words of Tlingit and hear the legend of the "lovebirds"—the eagle and the raven. Your tour ends back at your ship or you may choose a town drop-off and visit the main street laid out over the original Russian roads and Tlingit trails.
Note: Dress in layers, bring a rainproof outer layer; wear comfortable walking shoes.