Kodiak Excursions

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Kodiak Sightseeing & Russian Tea

©2011 Cyril Deug under cc-by-sa 3.0 license

Tour Description

After boarding your motorcoach at the Kodiak dock, you will take a 5-minute drive to downtown Kodiak. Along the way, you will pass Kodiak's Cannery Row, and your guide will expound on the importance of the fishing industry in this small town.

Your first stop is at the Russian Orthodox Church, where the local priest will guide you on a tour of the "Log Chapel," a replica of the first church built in Kodiak, which was constructed in the late 18th century. You'll also learn about the important role the church played in Alaska's early history.

Next, you'll make a brief stop at one of Kodiak's art galleries, the Northern Exposure Art Gallery on Mill Bay Road. Here you can view some of the work of local artists; nature themes are prevalent.

Your last stop is the Fisherman's Church. Here, you'll proceed to a meeting room and be feted with a Russian-themed program. You'll be served Russian tea and treats, including borscht, Russian tea cakes and pirozhkis. As you enjoy the food, a local band, the Balalaika Players, will entertain you as they perform traditional Russian music.

The tour concludes with a scenic drive south of Kodiak along Rezanof Road that will take you past the Kodiak Coast Guard Base, the largest such facility in the United States. Possible wildlife sightings may include bald eagles, whales and salmon running in a local stream.

Activity Level:


Excursion Length: 2¾ to 3 Hours

40% This activity will take up about 40% of your time in port.

What You Need to Bring:

  • Comfortable lightweight shirt
  • Sweater
  • Rainproof jacket with a hood
  • Pants or shorts
  • Sturdy, waterproof shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Bring your camera

Cruise Line Offering This Tour:

Holland America icon Holland America

What Else You Need to Know:

Transit to the site: You will board a motor coach at the Kodiak dock, and take a 5-minute drive to downtown Kodiak to begin your day's tour.

Who should take this tour:

  • Folks who are looking for an educational excursion
  • Folks who want to learn about the Russian influences on the town of Kodiak
  • Folks who want to see some of the scenery of Kodiak Island
  • Photographers

Traveler's Review

Do not take this tour. In June of [2011], I went on this tour. It was the one I anticipated the most and it turned out to be the one I wish I'd missed.

Rated 3 Stars (1 Review)

Review Date: July 2011
Reviewer: Melissa/Washington DC
We took this tour in: June 2011
Cruise Line: HAL

"We were greeted by a woman from Portland who spoke no Russian and drove a passenger van with a very bad exhaust problem. We only spent about 10 minutes at the Orthodox church and the clergy member did not go into any details about the art pieces at the church, or mention them. We did not go in the other church as it was Sunday.

"The art gallery is in reality a high end gift store that sells pieces by local artists. There were some nice things there, but I had less commercial vision of an art gallery.

"The food was not "tasty." I've made Russian food all of my life and whatever we were served bore no resemblance to borscht. The perogies were barely passable and the tea cakes were okay. It was kind of like the old Star Trek episode where one of the folks knew what the food should look like, but had no idea about smell or taste.

"The musicians were the best part. They really tried and they did put on a nice, fun show.

"On the way back, the tour operator commented on the Coast Guard "gals," who had to wait for their deployed husbands and boyfriends. The woman next to me and I both thought this statement did an injustice to the many active female members of the US Coast Guard who are definitely not waiting around for the "guys."

"My biggest complaint about this tour is the exhaust from the van. We mentioned it to the tour operator, but she dismissed us and told us that we wouldn't be in the van that long and we should open a window. That didn't help. I was very ill for hours afterwards and ended up going to the medical clinic on the ship as a result.

"Maybe this tour is an accurate view of the integration of Russian culture in Kodiak, but I did not feel it was a good representation of Russian culture or food. Mostly, I just felt very sick and couldn't wait to disembark the passenger van."

Who should take this tour/excursion: "People who like folk music and aren't interested in food."

excursion reviews

Kodiak (9:59)
Balalaika (8:55)

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