Getting there & around
Whittier is one of those places where getting there is half the fun. Sometimes, leaving can be even better.
Prince William Sound Glacier Cruises (472-2410, 877-777-2805; www.princewilliamsound.com) runs a daily shuttle between Anchorage and Whittier (one way/round-trip $69, 2½ hours). The bus leaves downtown Anchorage around 8am, and makes the return drive from Whittier at 5pm (or sometimes 6pm).
Magic Bus (230-6773; www.themagicbus.com) has a daily bus between Anchorage and Whittier (one way/round-trip $30/45, 1½ hours) that leaves Anchorage at 11am, and departs Whittier for the return trip at 6pm. On days when cruise ships are in Whittier, the bus makes a Anchorage-Whittier run at 3pm.
Every so often, Homer Stage Line (235-2252) has connections from Whittier to Seward and Homer.
Whittier Access Rd, also known as Portage Glacier Access Rd, leaves the Seward Hwy at Mile 79, continuing to Whittier through the claustrophobic Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, which at 2.7 miles long is the longest auto tunnel in North America (though Los Angeles, wouldn't you know, is planning a longer one). Negotiating the damp one-lane shaft as you skid across the train tracks is almost worth the steep price of admission (per car/RV $12/40), which is charged only if you're entering Whittier; if you bring your car into town on the Alaska Marine Hwy, you can exit through the tunnel for free. Eastbound and westbound traffic alternate every 15 minutes, with interruptions for the Alaska Railroad. Bring a magazine.
The Alaska Marine Highway (800-642-0066; www.ferryalaska.com) sails three times per week direct to Valdez ($85, seven hours), and another three times per week direct to Cordova for the same price. Both trips are superscenic - think Dall porpoises, Stellar sea lions and the kittiwake rookery. Twice per month a ferry departs Whittier, crosses the Gulf or Alaska and docks in Juneau (39 hours; $213). The ferry terminal is beside the Triangle.