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Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles

Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles

star-4.553 Reviews
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Sitka, United States
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Safety measures
icon2 hours  (approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds
Safety measures
icon2 hours  (approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds
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Safety measures
icon2 hours  (approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Overview

Discover Alaska’s historic city of Sitka on this small-group tour limited to just 10 people. A comfortable van takes you across the O’Connell Bridge to Japonski Island. Pass Sheldon Jackson Museum, Alaska Pioneer Home, and St. Michael’s Cathedral, and listen to engaging commentary on the sites from informative guides. Enjoy up-close views of rescued bears at Fortress of the Bear, and take in the stunning scenery of Sitka National Historical Park and admire its towering totem poles.
  • Sitka wildlife and culture tour
  • Examine the stunning totem poles at Sitka National Historical Park
  • Get close to rescued wild bears living in the naturalized setting of Fortress of the Bear
  • Visit Japonski Island to learn about Sitka's role in World War II
  • See cultural landmarks including the Alaska Pioneer Home and St. Michael’s Cathedral
  • Small-group tour limited to 10 people ensures a more personalized experience with your expert guide
Why you are seeing these recommendations
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2-hour scenic tour of Sitka by 10-passenger van
Customizable, small-group tour
Local guide
Air-conditioned vehicle
Gratuities
Harrigan Centennial Hall , 330 Harbor Dr, Sitka, AK 99835, USA

330 Harbor Drive

This activity will end right where it started.
Head to Sitka port to meet your small group and climb aboard a comfy van accommodating a max of 10 people. Your sightseeing tour of Sitka, located at the edge of Baranof Island, one of the last stops of Alaska’s Inside Passage, takes you over the O’Connell Bridge and on to Japonski Island, where your guides recount Sitka’s role in World War II.

Switch up the scenery and head to Sitka National Historical Park, Alaska’s oldest park. Learn about the historical and cultural treasures of the Tlingit and Haida totem poles towering in the hemlock and forests, and then take a tranquil walk along the Indian River. If you’re visiting during the salmon season, learn about the wondrous life cycle of the salmon.

Back aboard your van, continue south on a scenic route along Silver Bay and arrive at the Fortress of the Bear, the largest bear reserve in North America. The habitat takes in orphaned bear cubs to live in a naturalized setting. Meet the caretaker staff and watch brown bears at play or rest, from a fun and safe distance.

Other top landmarks you see during your tour include the Sitka Sound Science Center, Alaska Pioneer Home, Sheldon Jackson Museum, and St. Michael’s Cathedral.

Your sightseeing tour ends with transport back to the departure point.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Sitka National Historic Park/Totem Park
Learn about our totem poles, local plants and see a eagle nest
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Fortress of the Bear
View our local resident bears
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes as the weather in Sitka is always different. The van has a heater for your comfort, but you will want to get out and enjoy the fresh air
  • A maximum of 10 people per booking
  • Please note: Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed
  • ALL tours start at Harrigan Centennial Hall 330 Harbor Drive Sitka Alaska 99835.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Sitka Wildlife Tours
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles?
A:The policy on face masks and attendee health is:

  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles.

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Traveler Tips


  • "This tour does not cover the Raptor recovery center which is worth a stop as well." See review

Reviews by Viator travelers.  We perform checks on reviews

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
53 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 53 reviews
star-5
Great tour
P B
, Jul 2019
Maria provided a fun and interesting tour. We learned a lot about local life and landmarks. The totem park was interesting and the walk down to the river was beautiful. The best part of the tour though was the fortress of the Bears. And the bonus at this place was the amount of bald eagles right above the fortress. And we got many great pictures of the Bears playing in the eagles flying. It was incredible! Maria was a big reason why we enjoyed the tour. I highly recommend this tour!
icon Response from Host , Jul 2019
We totally agree! The Sitka National Park is so beautiful and it's always fun going out to the Fortress of the Bears to view them! Maria has been our top guide for many years now we have been blessed with her coming back each year to show off our little town !
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star-4
The tour was interesting and showed...
Mitchell K
, Jul 2017
The tour was interesting and showed us some very scenic areas around Sitka. The guide explained a lot of local history and landmarks dating from when the Russians owned Alaska. The tour also stopped at a park where Tlingit Totems were on display. The highlight of the tour was the Fortress of the Bear. We had nearly an hour to observe rescued bears that were living there. There were also many bald eagles there as well, feeding on the scraps of fish left over from the bears. One eagle picked up some fish and landed on a ledge only 3 feet from where we were standing! That was unbelievable! The only thing that could be improved was the vans used for the tour. They were small Nissan vans that held 9-10 people. The view was not very good, especially for the people sitting in the middle. It would be better if taller vans like those used by airport rental car shuttles were available instead.
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star-5
This was a small group tour with an...
Darlene A
, May 2017
This was a small group tour with an excellent tour guide who gave us lots of information and background on Sitka and then drove us up to the bear sanctuary explaining how it had come to be. It was interesting and the tour is certainly worthwhile. it leaves lots of time to then visit suggested Sitka landmarks on your own when you get back to the town site.
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star-5
Fran, our tour guide, was highly...
Kathleen_H
, Sep 2016
Fran, our tour guide, was highly informative and fun to tour with!
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star-5
Fortress of the Bear is a DONT MISS...
Mary_R
, Aug 2016
Fortress of the Bear is a DONT MISS in Sitka. Would have spent more time there if my schedule had allowed.
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star-2
Don’t waste your money
Kathy_B
, Jul 2019
We enjoyed the Sitka National Park and museum but our tour made a very short stop so we walked down by ourselves later. The park and museum is free and a short walk from town so you don’t need a tour company for this. I’m glad we went to the Fortress of the Bears but you could probably take an Uber to the site. The tour van took us over to the “beach” but we had already walked to the area. Our tour guide was knowledgeable but we could have done this ourselves and saved $138. Also, the tour was advertised as 2 hours and she took us back after 1 1/2 hours.
icon Response from Host , Jul 2019
We are sorry you didn't enjoy your tour like thousands of others do each year. We remember that day well your guide started your tour early because everyone showed up early. She was covering as backup for a sick driver and was little rusty having not toured for two years. We wish we would have had the chance to make it right with you in person. We will make sure she gets retrained before any more tours and thank you for you thoughts. it makes us strive even harder to give the best tours in Sitka.
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star-5
What can you say about Fran...
Dave L
, Aug 2017
What can you say about Fran? One of the the most personable tour guides and a great tour of Sitka with a tremendous amount of local knowledge..... 5 stars isn't enough. Would do it all over again tomorrow.
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star-5
Great tour. Tour guide,...
Paul_D
, Jun 2022
Great tour. Tour guide, Chris was fantastic. My son enjoyed the fortress of the bears. Highly recommend this tour.
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star-5
Had a wonderful trip, our guide was...
Daphne_R
, Sep 2017
Had a wonderful trip, our guide was very enthusiastic and knowledgable, took great care of us. A very enjoyable morning followed but another trip with the same company whale watching on o catamaran with six other tourists, saw about thirty whales, sea otters, sea lions and eagles. A wonderful wildlife experience. All the arrangements were excellent. Thank you for a memorable day. Daphne and Pauline
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star-3
Sitka is in a rain forest be prepared.
Ellen W
, Sep 2019
Maria our driver was knowledgeable and gave a lot of information about the area. Fortressof the bear is a must see. This tour does not cover the Raptor recovery center which is worth a stop as well.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Hi Ellen, We do offer a PREMIUM tour that includes the Raptor Center but that tour sells out FAST! We appreciate you leaving a review for us. I'm glad you enjoyed Maria's tour.
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star-5
Loved Sitka!
Mary_K
, Jun 2019
We loved our scenic tour of Sitka, the Fortress of the Bears and Totem Pole Park. Our guide Bruce was very personable - sharing lots of information about Sitka, the vegetation, people and animals that live and thrive there. Loved seeing the bears up close. The staff at the Fortress brought out food for the bears which drew them really close and we were able to take some great pictures! Totem Pole Park is really beautiful and we could have spent the whole day there. We were on a cruise so our time unfortunately was limited. We definitely enjoyed our tour and would love to return to Sitka for a longer stay!
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star-5
Excellent tour guide Fran and the bear...
Harry_W
, May 2017
Excellent tour guide Fran and the bear exhibit is well worth visiting.
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star-5
Informative
silver2lining
, Sep 2018
Learned quite a bit about the local culture, plants and habitats. The scenery from pier to Fortress of the Bear was beautiful.
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star-5
Sitka sightseeing
Bhikhu_P
, Aug 2019
We were pleasantly surprised by this tour. Easy pace, plenty of time, great local guide. Good value for money.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2019
Thank you! We sure appreciate your review on our team! We are glad you enjoyed your time in Sitka !
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star-5
Our tour guide was from Sitka and...
Deborah R
, Aug 2017
Our tour guide was from Sitka and you could tell she loves her home. The bears were amazing and their habitat better than expected. I really enjoyed walking the National Park and seeing the totem poles.
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star-5
Great overall experience!
DEANN_M
, Jul 2021
Our tour guide, Deanna, was very knowledgeable and shared a lot of interesting information along the way. We got a good overall feel for Sitka! I especially loved the fortress of the Bears. It was so interesting seeing the Bears close up and observing their behaviors!
icon Response from Host , Aug 2021
We have lived here over 40 years and still enjoy going to the Fortress of the Bears too! Love to be able to go see them up close.The new viewing areas there are amazing! Thank you for the review so others can read about your experience with us! Take care and God bless!
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star-5
If you get Maria as your guide...
Candace B
, Sep 2017
If you get Maria as your guide you've already got your monies worth. Her enthusiasm, knowledge, common sense, and love of Stika is contagious.
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star-5
great tour. a great tour through...
Martha_A
, Sep 2017
great tour. a great tour through Sitka. Bears were amazingly entertaining.
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star-5
This was a very enjoyable...
Kevin S
, Aug 2016
This was a very enjoyable experience. Our tour guide was knowledgeable of many aspects of Sitka life and she did the best she could to integrate our understanding of the current status of the town with a historical overview of its Russian and Tlingkit roots. We also visited the Totem Pole park, got a look inside preservation efforts at the park before driving out to Fortress of the Bear. The fortress was very interesting. It was great to observe the bears in their new home. We learned about the good work they do there with abandoned and orphaned bear cubs. It was all great stuff. Sitka was, by far, my favorite shore site to visit on our cruise. I would highly recommend this excursion.
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star-5
Our guide was excellent! His...
Elizabeth_W
, Oct 2016
Our guide was excellent! His knowledge of the area and culture was fascinating. Totally enjoyed our tour!
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