Prince William Sound is home to so many glaciers, they aren’t all named. If glaciers are on your bucket list, this five-day sample itinerary will take you to some of the best in Southcentral Alaska, and also provide great opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Day 1 Whittier
Start your adventure by taking an Alaska Railroad train south from Anchorage to Whittier, a quirky port town where almost the entire community lives in one building. Once you arrive in Whittier, transfer to a sightseeing cruise that can take you to as many as two dozen glaciers in western Prince William Sound if sea conditions allow. When the tour concludes, enjoy locally caught fish and chips at a local restaurant and tuck in for the night at a B&B.
Day 2 Whittier
Get up early and start your day with a hike on the Portage Pass trail. After just a mile of hiking, you’ll crest the pass and be rewarded with views of Portage Glacier. You can hike another mile and a half to the shores of Portage Lake, or head back to town. In the afternoon, you’ll board an Alaska Marine Highway ferry for the seven-hour sailing to Cordova. Along the way, you’ll be treated to spectacular coastal scenery. Upon arrival in Cordova, check into a local hotel and explore downtown on foot.
Day 3 Cordova
While it’s not a traditional day cruise, a fishing charter is another great way to enjoy the scenery, see some wildlife, and take home your own fresh-caught Alaska salmon, halibut or other wild seafood. After a full day of sportfishing, your catch can be flash-frozen and shipped home for you. Turn in for another night in Cordova.
Day 4 Valdez
Board the ferry bright and early for the 14-hour journey to Valdez. Keep your binoculars and camera handy, because you’ll be treated to more of Alaska’s coastal beauty and wildlife sightings. Once you arrive, it’ll be time to drop your bags at the hotel and enjoy a dinner in one of Valdez’s excellent restaurants, then turn in for the night.
Day 5 Valdez
Today you’ll take another day cruise, this time through the eastern half of Prince William Sound for views of either the Columbia or Meares glaciers, along with plenty of wildlife viewing along the way. Enjoy another meal of fresh, locally caught wild seafood and get a good night’s rest.
Day 6 Valdez
Spend the morning touring Valdez’s three small but impressive museums, including an annex that has scale dioramas of Old Town Valdez before and after it was all but obliterated by the Good Friday Earthquake of 1964. In the afternoon you can catch a regional flight to Anchorage or take a six-hour ferry trip to Whittier, and from there catch the train back to Anchorage.