Kayaking at a leisurely pace for approximately 2-1/2 hours in two person kayaks; walking for approximately 1 hour on dirt/sand/gravel paths. Walking up to 2-1/2 miles in the afternoon. Sturdy, waterproof boots and rain gear are highly recommended for kayaking excursion. We also recommend bringing synthetic gloves, rain hat, and waterproof bag to store valuables and camera gear. Walking poles will be supplied if needed during the kayak excursion.
In our hotel meeting space with a buffet to include choices such as egg dishes, cereals, toast, yogurt, fresh fruit, plus coffee, tea, and water.
We will walk to the center of town and meet our kayak outfitter, Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures who will start with an orientation to the equipment. We'll then head out on our kayaking adventure in the sound. With our expert, we will paddle near fishermen, tug boats, and other vessels before heading out of the harbor to explore island shores and kelp forests keeping an eye out for wildlife. Our kayaking experts will choose the landing site depending on water conditions and land first, assisting participants to get in/out. We'll then head to Fort Rousseau where we will explore on foot with our experts.
Enjoy an early picnic lunch on the beach including smoked salmon, fresh fruit, veggies and dip, gourmet crackers and hummus plus an assortment of large homemade cookies and bottled water.
We'll return to the hotel to freshen up and prepare for our walks to the Russian Bishop's House and Sheldon Jackson Museum. The Russian Bishop's House is one of four original Russian Colonial era buildings in North America, and the best preserved. At the Sheldon Jackson museum, we will explore the oldest museum in Alaska, founded in 1897 and learn about Rev. Dr. Sheldon Jackson’s collection and artifacts. One of Alaska's most charming communities, Sitka has a complex history. Kiksadi Tlingit people have lived in the area for 8,000 years or more. The protected harbor and rich natural resources made it attractive to European explorers. Serious Russian interest began in 1725 when Tsar Peter the Great sent Vitus Bering to explore the Pacific coast of North America. A Russian trading enterprise called the Russian American Company was eventually formed. After much fighting between Russian forces and the native Tlingit people, Sitka became the administrative center and remained so until the sale of Alaska to the United States in 1867. The name “Alaska” is a Russified version of an Aleut word meaning “great land.”
Back at the hotel, we'll celebrate Sitka with another buffet meal in our hotel meeting space, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.