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Sitka is one of the oldest and most culturally significant communities in Alaska, and home to gorgeous scenery and captivating wildlife. (Photo provided by Windstar Cruises)
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Set sail to Sitka with Windstar Cruises

If you're one for traveling off the beaten path (in a totally classy and authentic kind of way, of course), look no further than Windstar Cruises for your next adventure. This Alaskan cruise line is taking small ship vacations in a completely different direction.

Windstar's Star Legend is a boutique ship that only holds a maximum of 212 guests and sails to spectacularly unique ports, like Sitka, Alaska—one of the oldest and most culturally significant communities in Alaska, filled with Tlingit, Russian, and early American settler history. What's even cooler? Sitka is only accessible by air or sea!

When you sail to Sitka with Windstar, you'll spend your days getting close to the best scenery and abundant wildlife and enjoying onboard entertainment and enrichment from a local's perspective, including insight from the Naa Kahidi tribe.

Windstar's product managers actually travel to each destination and personally go on each shore excursion to make sure it makes the grade. Here are just a few of the excursions you could experience in Sitka with Windstar.

Tour the wildlife. Sitka is home to raptors, bald eagles, and bears (oh my!). With Windstar's optional excursions, you could see all of them in one day! You'd begin with a wildlife tour through the Alaska Raptor Center, which operates with bird care professionals to rescue birds and provide them with rehabilitative care, with hopes of releasing them back into the wild.

Next, you'll visit the Sitka National Historical Park, where the 1804 "Battle of Alaska," was fought. The park hosts totem-lined trails, cultural exhibits, and carving rooms where native Alaskan artisans demonstrate their totemic art form. Walk the nature trail, view cultural exhibits, and video presentations, or talk with local native artists about their cultural art form. The final stop will be visiting the Fortress of the Bears, which will allow you to get within 25 feet of Alaska's brown and black bears in a naturalized setting. You will enjoy observing the bears from a covered viewing platform and interact with an experienced naturalist.

See the "otter" wildlife in the water. Search for local marine life like sea otters, whales, sea lions, porpoises, harbor seals, black-tailed deer, bald eagles, and other wildlife on Windstar's Wildlife Quest. They're so confident you'll see an otter, whale, or a bear on this trip that if you don't, they'll refund you $100!

Create and partake in local art. Sitka has a long history of cultivating the fine arts: in the early 1800s, Sitka was home to the first opera house, first performing arts theater, and had the first piano on the west coast. You can walk the city, the galleries, and see local artwork such as silver and wood carving, ceramics, regalia beading, kiln formed glass, ceramics, and pulling Venetian glass canes (and if you're feeling daring, try your hand at one).

Try your hand at salmon fishing. Discover why Sitka is one of Southeast Alaska's best places for salmon fishing. You'll spend a day at the Sitka Sound, "trolling" or "mooching" for king, silver, chum, and pink salmon, depending on the month. When "trolling," two or four lines are fishing off downriggers while the boat is underway and hooked fish are played on a rotational basis. When "mooching," you will hold a rod and work the bait while the boat is anchored. Your captain will decide which method he feels is the most effective given the conditions of the day. If you wish, at the end of your fishing trip, you can meet with local fish processors to have your catch sent home to you.

When your time in Sitka is up, you'll return to the warm, welcoming atmosphere of the Star Legend for a relaxing evening at sea.

Ready to book your Alaskan adventure? Visit www.windstarcruises.com or call 877-212-1416 to learn more.

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