Travelling slowly from Anchorage to Whittier allowed us time to explore the region and spot some native Alaskan animals. We couldn’t get enough of Alaska, and wish we had allowed ourselves more than a week in this rugged state before heading off on our Alaska cruise. As we quickly discovered, there is not an Anchorage cruise port, despite what is says in the cruise advert. The ships leave out of either Whittier (1.5 hours to the east) or Seward (2.5 hours to the south).
There is a bus, a train, or the ships offer transport. Instead, we opted to enjoy our travel time from Anchorage to Whittier. We hired a private guide to show us the highlights along the way. Rather than a three-hour drive, we had a nine-hour adventure.
Here are the highlights, best seen in photos:
Practical Information on Travelling from Anchorage to Whittier:
- If you are doing this drive on your own, be aware of the one-direction-at-a-time Whittier Tunnel schedule. Officially the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, it allows autos and trains to pass under Maynard Mountain. At 4,100 m (13,300 ft) long, it is the second-longest highway tunnel, and longest combined rail and highway tunnel in North America.
- We split our week before cruising between Anchorage highlights like Alaska Native Heritage Center and the Anchorage Museum and a few nights in Denali National Park. The 8-hour train from Anchorage to Denali through the Alaskan wilderness is one of my life’s highlights.
- Our guide was Steve, owner of Great Land Adventures. We customised his Anchorage to Whittier Private Cruise Transfer & Tour to meet our needs.
- The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is doing great work. If you can’t visit, you could adopt an animal.
- We stayed at the Ramada Inn in Anchorage and recommended for midrange accommodation. If you want to splurge, the Crowne Plaza looks nice. Check for current prices –> at Agoda .
- Don’t forget to bring your Lonely Planet Alaska guidebook.
This is another post in my throwback series encouraged by moving all my photos to Lightroom. This post has been updated with more information and lots of new images. We visited Alaska in 2013.
Bus or private guide, how would you get from Anchorage to Whittier?
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