Sitka, on the Pacific Coast of Barenof Island in Alaska, is one of the more unusual Cruise ports to visit featured on an Alaskan itinerary. Originally built by Russian traders in the early 1800’s, when it was known as the city of ‘New Archangel’, Sitka has a very different feel to the wild west, gold rush, mining towns that form most of the other ports of call in Alaska. It is definitely worth a visit if you get the chance!!
Juneau, the capital of Alaska since 1906, was our first port of call. It is the only American State Capital not accessible by road – everything and everyone arrives by boat or air! Named after one of the two men -Joe Juneau and Richard Harris – who discovered gold in the area back in 1880, the town quickly grew up as mines flourished in the hills above and by 1906 Juneau was centre of the worlds gold mining trade. Unfortunately it was a short lived title and by the 1940s labour shortages due to WW2 meant that the mines closed. Today the cruise industry is the main source of income and employment history of Juneau for the town and the Mendenhall Glacier is its most promoted attraction.