This day of adventure begins with a ride on the historic Alaska Railroad’s Glacier Discovery train from Anchorage to Whittier. Hug the shores of Turnagain Arm, where the tide can change 27 feet in just a few hours. Travel through the Chugach National Forest, home to Dall sheep, numerous moose, and black bear. As the train enters the glacially carved Portage Valley, a series of small tunnels lead up to North America’s longest shared tunnel, the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. This one-way tunnel is the only way to access Whittier on land. Once through the tunnel, the cruise adventure begins!
The 26 Glacier Cruise departs from Whittier and travels through the pristine passageways and fjords found in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Upon leaving Whittier, proceed to the very scenic area called Esther Passage where only small ships can navigate the waterway. High mountains protect this narrow channel from rough seas and winds. Many different animals call this area home; bald eagles are commonly seen fishing in the area along with occasional black bear sightings. It is not uncommon to humpback whales, sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters and a variety of birds in this narrow passage.
Continue north for a panoramic view of the glaciers in College Fjord, named after colleges on the East Coast during the Harriman Expedition. Next, cruise to Surprise Glacier and Barry Arm where the Captain plots a path through the ice filled waters to the front of the glaciers where we will watch for massive chunks of ice to calve into the sea.
On the return trip to Whittier, the vessel will stop one more time at a kittiwake bird rookery, our last stop before returning to Whittier.
After the cruise, drive through the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and learn about moose, musk ox, wood bison, caribou, bears and more!
Return to Anchorage by coach in time for dinner in Anchorage on your own at one of many local restaurants.
Operator: Phillips Cruises & Tours, LLC