ok- so I hate to knock on the cruise ships because they are very important and I would give tours to cruise ship passengers BUT- no ships spend the night here. Spend at least 3 or 4 days here. Take the ferry or fly in. Even if you aren't very mobile- Sitka is such a sweet town. If you are looking on this website for vacation ideas, you probably wouldn't want a cruise anyways.
PS Avoid the Russian dance show too. It's a waste of $7 and soooooo cheezy.
Fun Alternatives: Native Dance Show is pretty neat.
The fur shops in Sitka are here only in the summer and gone when the last ships of the season leaves. Sitka was founded on the fur trade by the Russians many years ago but now these fur shops come in for the summer make their money and leave.
Fun Alternatives: Sitka has a lot of local and well known Alaskan Native and non native artists in town and their goods are sold here in year round shops and galleries for locals and our visitors.
People often go into the gift shops wanting to bring something authentic from Alaska home with them. That's understandable, it might just be a once in a lifetime trip. We had one guy come in to the National Park and request a totem pole. Masks, jewelry and other art are available, but they come with a hefty price tag. Still, that's the way to buy things, don't go with an "Alaskan Native" piece made in Asia, what's the point of that? You have something that's cheaper but really, all you did was buy something IN Alaska, not from Alaska.
Unique Suggestions: Look for the sticker--it doesn't matter what you're buying in gift shop, there's probably a local alternative. It's very important to support these local merchants--they survive on the tourism.
Fun Alternatives: There are certain places where you are guaranteed to get locally crafted items. Try the Sheldon Jackson Museum or the Isabelle Miller Museum--their gift shops are very nice.