Sitka day trips: Allen Marine Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest

Sitka Alaska has many attractions for families, but if time is tight and you only have one day to experience one of many Sitka day trips, spend it on the water of Sitka Sound with Allen Marine. Allen Marine has been running their wildlife tours  for over 40 years, making them an authority on Sitka and wildlife and marine life viewing. Alaskan Native owned and operated, the company guarantees wildlife sightings while on board their vessels.

sea otter and wildlife quest

We took their Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest tour of the Sitka Sound as part of our Alaskan Dream Cruises itinerary (also run by Allen Marine), which took us amid the many small islands off the sound for a three hour tour.

What sets Allen Marine apart:

We were happily surprised to see that Allen Marine provides a naturalist onboard all their day excursion vessels. Our naturalist, in partnership with our boat’s experienced captain, was able to point out details our untrained eye would have missed, such as an eaglet in a known-to-locals bald eagle’s nest and a bird sanctuary not usually part of a standard Sitka itinerary. The waterjet tour boat is two-stories, with wall-to-wall windows for viewing and a covered sun deck for some air. Snacks, coffee, hot chocolate, and tea are complementary, as are the use of high quality binoculars (enough for everyone).

Sitka Sound

In addition to showing us sea otters, Stellar sea lions, eagles, bears, and sea birds, our naturalist had many tactile lessons on-hand for the kids (and adults), such as feathers, leaves, skins, and furs to use as educational tools. We didn’t expect such a knowledgable crew! Tip: dress in layers and have a rain jacket and gloves on-hand to really enjoy the observation deck.

sea otter and wildlife quest

Date last visited: July 2013

Reservation information: Book directly with Allen Marine, or check your cruise ship’s excursion listings…they’re likely on there! Cost information is available by calling Allen Marine or through your cruise line.

Directions: Boats pick guests up directly from cruise ships, or from select docks in Sitka.


Not visiting Sitka? Allen Marine offers similar tours in both Juneau and Ketchikan.

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.



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