Alaska & Pacific Coast
Enjoy a first-class experience! A knowledgeable, local native will be your personal guide as you explore Baranof Island in a private vehicle. You will pass by many of Sitka’s historic sites including Mt. Edgecumbe Volcano, the Alaska Pioneer’s Home and St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Visit the Sitka National Historical Park, where you have the option of following your guide along a scenic pathway where Totem poles impart the rich culture of the Tlingít. Step into the lush rainforest and see historic Indian River, one of Sitka’s many salmon spawning streams. Your guide will discuss totem significance, edible and medicinal plants of the rainforest, traditional uses of salmon and rainforest ecology. The walk leads into the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center. Inside, you can visit with Tlingít Native artisans practicing traditional arts such as carving, beading and weaving. The adjacent gift shop gives you the opportunity to purchase various souvenirs and books on the park’s totems and Tlingít history. Reserved seating at the Naa Kahídi Native Dance Performance will ensure superior viewing and photo opportunities. Inside a traditional style Tlingít Clan House, the performance begins with the telling of an ancient story while a burning cedar fire tantalizes your senses. Dancers enter adorned in beautiful regalia to entertain you with songs passed down through the generations. The resonating box drum and unique series of songs will captivate you and impart a lasting impression of the Tlingít people. You will have the opportunity to photograph and visit with dancers immediately following the performance, as well as visit the Made in Sitka artist co-op and gift shop. The final destination is the Alaska Raptor Center a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public and providing medical treatment for birds of prey. Trained facility staff will introduce you to a variety of natural exhibits, with more than 20 living “Raptors-in-Residence” that include bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. During your visit, you will have the unparalleled opportunity to closely observe these majestic creatures. Inside the Alaska Raptor Center is a unique gift shop that caters to things aviary – including eagle t-shirts, jackets, carvings, bird books, toys and more. Adult participants of the Best of Sitka excursion receive Alaskan hors d’oeuvres, bottled water, and a souvenir of Devil’s Club ointment, a locally prepared medicinal salve. Child participants will receive a locally made Theobroma chocolate bar in lieu of the Devil’s Club ointment. Return to port.
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