Sitka (Baranof Island Alaska)

Cruise Port schedule, live map, terminals, news

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Sitka cruise port

Region
Alaska

Local Time
2024-04-14 06:56

min: 26 °F (-4 °C) / max: 41 °F (6 °C) 32°F
-0.1°C
Wind: 145°/ 0.9 m/s  Gust: 1.4 m/sWind: 145°/ 0.9 m/s  Gust: 1.4 m/sVery Light
0.9 m/s
Min / Max Temperature41 °F / 6 °C
26 °F / -3 °C
  Port Map

Port Sitka cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Sitka, Baranof Island Alaska. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.

DayShipArrivalDeparture
8 April, 2024
Monday
Norwegian Cruise Line Cruises cruise lineNorwegian Bliss11:0018:00
15 April, 2024
Monday
Norwegian Cruise Line Cruises cruise lineNorwegian Bliss11:0018:00
22 April, 2024
Monday
Norwegian Cruise Line Cruises cruise lineNorwegian Bliss11:0018:00
25 April, 2024
Thursday
Carnival Cruise Line Cruises cruise lineCarnival Miracle10:0018:00
27 April, 2024
Saturday
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Cruises cruise lineSeven Seas Explorer08:0017:00
29 April, 2024
Monday
Norwegian Cruise Line Cruises cruise lineNorwegian Bliss11:0018:00

Sitka is a major cruise port and city located on the western shore of Baranof Island in the Alexander Archipelago (Southeast Alaska). During Alaskan season 2023, Sitka reported a record year with handled ~560,000 cruise ship tourists.

The first tourist voyages visiting Sitka were operated by the Pacific Coast Steamship Company (1876-founded/1916-defunct) starting in 1884. Currently, at Port Sitka (locode USSIT) can dock two large-sized ships simultaneously. The Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal (2021-expanded) now has max capacity 8000 passengers.

This picturesque town was founded in 1799 (as Novoarkhangelsk/New Archangel) by Alexandr Andreyevich Baranov (1747-1819), a Russian trader and merchant and Russian America's first Governor (in office 1799 through 1818). Novoarkhangelsk was the capital of the Russia-owned Alaska between 1799-1867, which explains the unique blend of American, Indian and Russian cultures.

On clear days, fronting the Pacific Ocean, Sitka rivals Juneau for the beauty of its surroundings.

In 1799, the Russian explorer Alexander Baranof established the settlement New Arkhangelsk (adjacent to the Tlingit village of Sitka). This was the foundation of the first permanent Russian settlement in North America.

In 1902, New Arkhangelsk was destroyed by Tlingit Indians in an attempt to reclaim their ancestral home. In 1804 their brief victory ended with the return of Baranof, accompanied by the Imperial Russian Navy's warships led by Yuri Fedorovych Lysianskyi (1773-1837). They retook the town in the Battle of Sitka (October 1-4, 1804), then Sitka became the Russian capital of North America.

In 1867, the USA purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire. Baranof Castle State Historic Site (aka Castle Hill) is where was held the official ceremony of transferring Alaska (part of Russia between 1804-67) to the USA.

Sitka was designated Russian America's capital in 1808 by the territory's governor Aleksandr Baranov who since 1790 was recruited for trading in Russian America by Shelikhov-Golikov Company (1782-99, succeeded by Russian-American Company/1799-1881, closed due to the Alaska Purchase).

With the rapid population growth and the discovery of gold, in 1906 Alaska's capital moved north - to Juneau.

Sites of interest in Sitka AK include the Russian Blockhouse, Russian Cemetery, Russian Orthodox Cathedral St Michael's (1848-built, 1966-rebuilt after destruction by fire), Sheldon Jackson College Museum (housing Russian and native mementos). At walking distance from downtown is Sitka National Historic Park boasts Native American artists at work and its Russian Memorial Trail (lined with totem poles carved by Tlingit and Haida Indians) leads to the site of the Battle of Alaska. Remember to visit the Alaska Raptor Centre, where injured owls, eagles, hawks, and other birds of prey are treated and released back into the wild. Another tourist attraction is the Fortress of the Bear (habitat for orphaned or sick brown bears in the Tongass Forest). Wildlife viewing and fishing tours are available via walking, biking, boating and kayaking (in Sitka Sound).

Baranof Island (aka Baranov Island, Sitka Island) is located in Alaska's Alexander Archipelago. The island has length 100 mi (200 km) and width 30 mi (50 km), with a total land area of 1607 mi2 (4160 km2), ranking it the USA's 10th largest and the word's 137th largest. Its coastline is 617 mi (993 km). Its total population is around 8,500. Baranof is the smallest of Alaska's ABC Islands (Admiralty, Baranof, Chichagof). All three are located in the Alexander Archipelago and are part of the Tongass National Forest. Most of the islands' area is protected wilderness, with a minimal human presence on them. A large part of Baranof is designated as "South Baranof Wilderness".

The other (in the "USA top 10") largest Alaskan islands are Kodiak, Prince of Wales, Chichagof, St Lawrence, Admiralty, Nunivak, Unimak, and Baranof.

The list of communities on Sitka Island includes 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), and hunting tours (brown bears, Sitka deer).

Chatham Strait

Chatham Strait is a narrow waterway (passage) in Alexander Archipelago that separates Baranof Island and Chichagof Island (to the west) from Kuiu Island and Admiralty Island (to the east).

Chatham Strait has length 240 km/150 mi and width 5-16 km/3-10 mi, extending southwards from the junction of Lynn Canal and Icy Strait to the open sea.

Sitka cruise terminal

Cruise ships to Baranof Island dock (anchor) at Sitka AK (port town on the island's eastern coast).

In 2021 was completed the expanded Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal, but the facility was officially inaugurated on May 7, 2022 (during the visit of Ovation OTS). The development project, besides the dock expansion, also included the construction of a new terminal building. The expanded 2-berth passenger terminal now has capacity to handle two large liners (neo-Panamax-sized cruise vessels) simultaneously.

The new Terminal is sized ~3720 m2 (~40000 ft2) and houses 6x retail shops, 2x restaurants, an open-air terrace (covered), a departure point for shore excursions. The dock/pier has length 120 m (1300 ft) and can accommodate two ships with total capacity ~8000 passengers. A complimentary shuttle bus service (between the terminal and downtown) is provided via new motorcoaches (60-seater buses).

Sitka Sound Terminal is majority-owned by the local company Halibut Point Marine Services, some local stakeholders and minority ownership by RCG-Royal Caribbean Group (world's second-largest shipowner/after Carnival Corporation) and Ceres Terminals Inc (cruise terminal operator, RCG partner).

In August 2021, the Sitka City Assembly authorized a 20-year lease of land (between Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal and Sitka Ferry Terminal) for cruise development. The Assembly (voting 5-2) approved leasing a total of 17 acres / 6,9 hectares to Shee Atika Inc (Alaska Native corporation), which via partnership with Adventure Sitka (tour agency) will develop the land with cruise tourism-oriented attractions like zip-lines, a canoe launch, a salmon bake.

The lease deal will generate USD 400,000 annually for the city.

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