Learn about Alaska's Russian heritage in Sitka

Matrioshka Nesting Dolls, St. Petersburg, Russia
Matrioshka Nesting Dolls, St. Petersburg, Russia

There are a number of beautiful and interesting stops included on every Alaskan cruise, but those lucky enough to be stopping in Sitka should be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to explore a truly unique town.

According to Frommer's, Sitka is the town in Alaska with the most history, as it preserves the traditions of the old Russian Alaska before it was sold to the U.S. in 1867. Many cities and towns in the state trace their history back to this point, but Sitka is one of the few remaining locations that remembers and honors their Russian heritage.

You'll get a first-hand glimpse of this if you select an excursion package that includes a tour of the city. Your knowledgeable guide will take you to some of the key locations from Sitka's past, such as Glimpse Castle Hill and the Bishop's House, both prime examples of colonial-era Russian architecture.

Another point of interest is the Sheldon Jackson Museum, which was actually founded in 1887. That means travelers will not only get a detailed look at Alaska's U.S. history, but also its extensive time as a Russian colony and home to Tlingit natives.

Finally, your shore excursion will provide an opportunity to explore a Russian Orthodox cathedral, as well as take in a performance by a modern dance group that specializes in Russian and Ukranian choreography.