Where should I go for a day cruise?

Pick the glacier and wildlife day cruise that is right for you at one of three ports: Seward, Whittier or Portage Lake.

Day Cruises in Prince William Sound

Accessed from Whittier, Alaska, 60 miles south of Anchorage, Prince William Sound is shielded from the Gulf of Alaska and has generally calmer waters. In fact, one tour company operating a catamaran in the Sound guarantees no seasickness upon a money-back return. The appeal of this cruise is mainly glaciers. Sea otters, whales, sea birds and seals are often spotted, but it’s the incredible number of glaciers concentrated in the area that are the focus of most cruises in Prince William Sound. Major Marine, Phillips Cruises and Tours, and Lazy Otter Charters each sail from Whittier

Day Cruises in Kenai Fjords National Park

Located out of Seward, Alaska, 127-miles south of Anchorage, Kenai Fjords National Park is filled with marine wildlife. It’s astounding how many animals can be encountered on one cruise, including orca, gray and humpback whales, Stellar sea lions, sea otters, Dall porpoises as well as puffins and a multitude of other sea birds. Even land mammals are often spotted along the shore. Brown and black bears occasionally walk the shore, and mountain goats navigate rocky mountain ridges above. You'll see Bear Glacier in the distance at the mouth of Resurrection Bay, but tidewater glaciers are deep in the park, so you'll need to select one of the longer Kenai Fjords cruises to get out to the face of a glacier here. Kenai Fjords Tours and Major Marine each operate from Seward.

Portage: Short Time, Big Glacier

For travelers short on time, there’s a third option. Portage Glacier and the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center are just 50 miles south of Anchorage. Stroll along the ice-berg choked lake left behind by the retreating glacier and then hop aboard the MV Ptarmigan for a closer look. It's a lake, so you'll miss out on whale watching opportunities. But if a glacier visit is a must, this is one of the quickest options near Anchorage, not to mention one of the most popular attractions in the region.


Most people plan at least three days in Anchorage during their Alaska travels. No matter how long you have, there are many ways to explore.