Baranof Island (Alaska)

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Baranof Island (aka Sitka Island) is one of the Alexander Archipelago islands in Alaska (USA). The island was discovered in 1799 and named in 1805 after its discoverer - Aleksandr Andreyevich Baranov (1747-1819, Russian trader and merchant, Russian-American Company's first governor). Baranof is the smallest of the ABC islands Alaska (Admiralty, Baranof, Chichagof). The ABC Islands AK is part of the Tongass National Forest (USA's largest) located in Southeast Alaska). They are best-known for pristine nature and wildlife, including brown bears.

Baranof Island Alaska

Baranof Island measures roughly 169x48 km (105x30 mi), has coastline length 993 km (617 mi) and Alexander Archipelago's highest elevation point (1643 m / 5390 ft). By land area (4162 km2 / 1607 mi2) Baranof is ranked Alaska's 8th-largest, USA's 10th-largest (after Hawaii, Kodiak, Puerto Rico, Prince of Wales, Chichagof, St Lawrence, Admiralty, Nunivak, and Unimak) and the world's 137th-largest. Most of the island is within the Tongass park, and a large part of it is designated South Baranof Wilderness (created in 1980).

Communities on Sitka Island include Baranof Warm Springs, Port Alexander, Port Armstrong, Port Walter, and Sitka. All are located on the eastern coast. Important industries for the locals are fishing (tours and commercial), seafood processing, tourism (also by cruise ship passengers), hunting tours (brown bears, Sitka deer). Island's total population is around 9,000, most of which is in Sitka AK (around 7,000).

Baranof Island is included in the summer itinerary schedule of cruise ship Baranof Dream - owned by the US company Alaskan Dream Cruises and also chartered by Adventure Smith Explorations. The ship offers two 7-night / 8-day long itineraries themed as "LAST FRONTIER ADVENTURE" and "BECOME A TRUE ALASKAN FAMILY CRUISE".

Baranof Island AK cruise itinerary map

"LAST FRONTIER ADVENTURE" itinerary visits Sitka AK (embarkation, Day 1), Baranof Island’s Waterfall Coast (Day 2), Wrangell Narrows (between Mitkof Island and Kupreanof Island, and Wrangell AK, Day 3), Thomas Bay and Baird Glacier (Day 4), Endicott Arm Fjord (Dawes Glacier, Day 5), Southeast Alaska coastal cruising and Orca Point Lodge (Day 6), Glacier Bay NP (Margerie Glacier and Bartlett Cove, Day 7) and Juneau AK (debarkation, Day 8).

"BECOME A TRUE ALASKAN FAMILY CRUISE" itinerary visits Sitka AK (embarkation, Day 1), Kupreanof Island Bay (Day 2), Mitkof Island, Petersburg AK and Frederick Sound (Day 3), Tracy Arm Fjord or Endicott Arm Fjord (Day 4), Juneau AK, Mendenhall Glacier and Orca Point Lodge (Day 5), Southeast Alaska coastal cruising and Glacier Bay NP (Day 6), Glacier Bay NP (Day 7) and Juneau AK (debarkation, Day 8).

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