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“Alaska Offshore Up Close and Personal”
Review of Sitka Secrets - CLOSED

Sitka Secrets
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Come with us to explore, marvel, and appreciate the wildlife that call the ocean home. We are former wildlife biologists dedicated to making your visit a memorable one. We share a perspective acquired through years of education, experience and a love for Alaska's wildlife.
Houston, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Alaska Offshore Up Close and Personal”
Reviewed August 7, 2013

If you enjoy being ferried about by a personable, articulate and highly knowledgeable guide then Kent and his Sitka Secret is perfect for you.There are loads of "wildlife tours" in AK, but Kent has to be one of the best for the traveler who avoids tour buses and/or lethargic college kids with a summer job.He really,really knows his stuff and is a good skipper as well. I could not have been more satisfied.

You can customize the itinerary...get 4-6 friends together and book the whole boat. Go for the extra hour or so, a real bargain. His wife Bev was prompt and thorough in handling questions and booking details. Professional, polite and welcoming.....two people who love AK and happily share it with the visitor.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank jack w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penguin555, Owner at Sitka Secrets, responded to this review, August 9, 2013
Thank you for coming with us! When our customers are happy, we're happy:).
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

25 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Andover, Kansas, United States
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Laid Back...Wildlife At It's Best! Otters, Puffins, and Whales!”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

Ken our skipper is a retired Park Ranger and Biologist who has extensive knowledge of the wildlife in Alaska. His boat was comfortable and perfect for a small group. There were only six and that was great! We set out on our adventure headed to St. Lazaria Island which is a bird and wildlife sanctuary. Along the way we saw otters and seals. Once at the island, Ken answered any questions as we made a slow loop round. Birds abound there and Ken shared a lot of good information about the various species. We then headed out in search of whales. Ken keeps in contact with other boats for sightings. We were able to sight and photograph several whales, including a mother and calf. We highly recommend this tour and I think you probably can hire him for a customized adventure as well.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Dougandlaurie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Highly recommend!”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

We disembarked our cruise ship in Sitka without having a tour planned. We took the shuttle to the convention center, and saw a "sandwich board" advertising this tour. We called, and Bev said that Kent could meet our party of 4 in 45 minutes. He was right on time. We experienced a service alarm, but Kent was able to fix it in about 20 minutes. We were on the 2 hour tour, and saw many whales, seabirds, otters and bald eagles. Kent had some frozen fish that he would toss into the water and whistled for the eagles. What great video and photos we have of the eagles swooping in for a snack. Amazing. He was so kind, so knowledgeable. Thanks, Kent!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank JED53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stevensville, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
266 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Fantastic tour!!!”
Reviewed June 5, 2013

We booked this tour while we were on an Alaskan cruise and specifically due to being able to see puffins and the visit to St. Lazaria Island. Bev kept in contact from the very beginning, letting me know when she received my deposit and following up with new directions when our tender location was changed. There were only 6 of us on the tour, 7 including Kent. To me, paying for a small charter is worth it. The weather was sunny and naturally windy on the water, but we sat in the back of the boat the whole time, happily snapping away. We saw otters, sea lions, birds of all kinds (I can't begin to name all of them at the island), whales, and the beautiful bald eagle. I was amazed at how fast Kent could spot different animals and how fast he got us there! Make sure you take a camera that has a good zoom on this tour so you can get pictures of some of the animals that are farther away. I feel extremely lucky to have taken this tour, since not all Alaskan cruises visit Sitka. Thank you again, Kent and Bev for a fantastic day!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Karissa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penguin555, Owner at Sitka Secrets, responded to this review, June 7, 2013
Thank you:). We always try to do our best:).
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Take Sitka's Secrets to St. Lazaria Island Wildlife Refuge - AMAZING”
Reviewed May 20, 2013

The secret is out - if you want a personalized small-boat charter customized to meet your wildlife viewing goals (mine was to see puffins), while in Stika this is it!! Bev Minn and Kent Hall are expert wildlife biologists and they know their way around Alaska (and Hawaii too).

We learned from Kent that the St Lazaria wildlife refuge, which hosts thousands of breeding pairs of tufted puffins was established by Teddy Roosevelt. The island, which feels a bit pre-historics, feels remote and offers conditions that are ideal for breeding sea birds. The landscape features sea arches, pinnacles, ragged cliffs, and caves.

What you need to know:
1. Kent's boat is comfortable, has a heated interior, and an open viewing area in the back.
2. Kent can spot, identify, ensure that you also see all the wildlife that your trip reveals.
3. This is not a group tour, Kent takes time to help you witness this unique part of Alaska.

What we saw:
1. Gazillions of tufted puffins - we were there in mid May.
2. Murres, cormorants, murrelets, nesting Pacific Loon, and harelquin ducks and auklets
3. Eagles, and 2 massive eagle nests (with little eaglets.....I think....)
3A. Thanks to Kent, I have a photo of the Eagle swooping just above the sea for a herring.
3B. It took 2 attempts for me to get that photo - thank you Kent! :)
4. Steller Sea Lions
5. Sea Otters (individuals and groups of between 20 & 50 forming a sea otter raft)
6. Humpback Whales and Gray Whales
6A. Yes, we got lucky we were in the back of the boat and a Gray Whale breached directly
in front of us. OMG.

We enjoyed this trip immensely and we heartily recommend it to you.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank EllenGwynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penguin555, Owner at Sitka Secrets, responded to this review, June 7, 2013
Thank you very much for your review. Were you taking notes?;).
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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