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Sitka Cruises

In 1799, the Russian explorer Alexander Baranof founded New Archangel, a settlement adjacent to the Tlingit village of Sitka, This was the beginning of the first permanent Russian government settlement in North America. But three years later the settlement was destroyed by the Tlingit Indians in an attempt to reclaim their ancestral home. Their brief victory ended when Baranof returned in 1804, accompanied by Russian warships, and retook Sitka in the Battle of Alaska. Sitka became the Russian capital of North America. In 1867, the Imperial Russian flag was replaced by the Stars and Stripes when the United States purchased Alaska. With the discovery of gold, and the rapid population growth that followed, Alaska's capital moved north to Juneau in 1906. Today, picturesque Sitka, across the water from snow-capped Mount Edgecombe, is known for its fishing industry, an annual summer classical music festival and, of course, its many historic visitor attractions. On a clear day Sitka, the only city in Southeast Alaska that actually fronts the Pacific Ocean, rivals Juneau for the sheer beauty of its surroundings.