Sitka (Baranof Island, Alaska)

Cruise Port schedule, live map, terminals, news

Sitka cruise port


Local Time
2022-12-08 10:27

min: 22 °F (-6 °C) / max: 39 °F (4 °C) 31°F
Wind: 130°/ 2.8 m/s  Gust: 5.2 m/sWind: 130°/ 2.8 m/s  Gust: 5.2 m/sLight breeze
2.8 m/s
Min / Max Temperature39 °F / 4 °C
22 °F / -5 °C
  Port Map

Sitka is a port city located on the western shore of Baranof Island in the Alexander Archipelago (Southeast Alaska). This picturesque town (as Novoarkhangelsk/New Archangel) was the capital of the Russia-owned Alaska between 1799-1867 which explains the pleasant blend of American, Indian and Russian cultures. On clear days, fronting the Pacific Ocean, Sitka rivals Juneau AK for the beauty of its surroundings.

Sitka (Alaska) cruise port

In 1799, the Russian explorer Alexander Baranof established New Arkhangelsk - a settlement adjacent to Tlingit village of Sitka. This was the foundation of the first permanent Russian government settlement in North America. In 1902 the settlement 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 Russian warships. They retook Sitka in the Battle of Alaska, then the city 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 1804-1867) to the USA. Sitka was designated Russian America's capital in 1808 by the territory's governor Aleksandr Andreyevich Baranov (1747-1819, trader and merchant, since 1790 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.

The first tourist cruises 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 cruise ships simultaneously at the Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal (2021-expanded, max capacity 8000 passengers).

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 KodiakPrince of WalesChichagofSt LawrenceAdmiralty, 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), 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 map

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).

Port Sitka Cruise Terminal

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.

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.

25 April, 2023
UnCruise Adventures Cruises cruise lineSS Wilderness Legacy
25 April, 2023
Royal Caribbean Cruises cruise lineBrilliance Of The Seas11:0019:00
27 April, 2023
Carnival Cruise Line Cruises cruise lineCarnival Miracle10:0018:00

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