Welcome to Prince William Sound


The best base for travelers is Valdez, a tough town hemmed in by dramatic mountains that's hailed for its helicopter-skiing and blue-water paddling. Connected to the road network via the Richardson Hwy, Valdez has survived two 20th-century disasters – an oil spill and an earthquake. More isolated Cordova is a fishing community with a quaint downtown, excellent bird-watching and access to great day hikes in the Chugach Mountains. On the western edge of the Sound, Whittier, a bizarre city born out of wartime necessity, is hideous, gorgeous, evocative and eerie. It's easily reached by car from Anchorage.


Top experiences in Prince William Sound

Travel guides

Starting at $38.99

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Prince William Sound activities

$195.03 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Full-Day Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise

This 7.5 Hour Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise departs daily at 10:00 a.m. and returns at 5:30 p.m. The cruise will travel approximately 130 miles roundtrip through Resurrection Bay into Kenai Fjords National Park. We will cruise through the protected waters of Resurrection Bay, searching for wildlife and and enjoying spectacular scenery. We will cruise by Bear Glacier, a piedmont glacier and the largest glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. After cruising through Resurrection Bay, we will round Cape Aialik (pronounced “I-al-ik) into Aialik Bay. The optional Alaska salmon and prime rib buffet will be served around 12:00 p.m. We serve the buffet while you cruise so you can maximize your time on the water and enjoy the breathtaking scenery from our large viewing windows while you dine. As we cruise into Aialik Bay you will get your first glimpse of Aialik Glacier, an active tidewater glacier. We will stop in front of the glacier and watch for calving, where large chunks of glacial ice break off and crash in to the water. Our next stop is Holgate Glacier, another actively calving tidewater glacier. We will spend approximately 20 minutes in front of each glacier, floating among the icebergs as we watch for spectacular calving. A National Park Ranger will be onboard to provide a detailed narrative on the history, ecology, geology, and wildlife in the area. They are always more than happy to answer all of your questions. They are very experienced, informative, enthusiastic, and enjoy sharing their knowledge of Kenai Fjords National Park. Depending on the weather, we will cruise to the Chiswell Islands or Cape Resurrection, home to thousands of nesting Alaskan seabirds like puffins, kittiwakes, and cormorants. The captain will stop the boat very close to the nesting areas of the seabirds, which provides great photo opportunities. We will also visit Steller sea lion colonies, where Steller sea lions gather on the rugged, rocky coastline. Sea otters, bald eagles, and mountain goats are also commonly seen along the route. Since this cruise does go out into the open Gulf of Alaska it is not recommended for anyone who is prone to motion sickness. Our half-day Resurrection Bay cruise or our Prince William Sound cruises are much better options if motion sickness is a concern.

$134 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Prince William Sound Blackstone Bay Glacier Cruise

Departing from Whittier, the Blackstone Bay Glacier Cruise travels through Passage Canal and Decision Point on its way to Blackstone Bay, a fjord located in the peaceful waters of Prince William Sound. A fjord is a deep, U-shaped valley that has been formed by glacial erosion. Prince William Sound is located in a temperate rain forest and receives a vast amount of rainfall that feeds the many overflowing waterfalls that you will see in the area.As you cruise into Blackstone Bay, you'll soon get the first glimpse of the gigantic ice field that feeds the Blackstone, Beloit, and Northland glaciers. Blackstone and Beloit are actively calving tidewater glaciers, which means that they flow from the mountains all the way down into the ocean, where they calve or break off into the water. Northland Glacier is an actively calving hanging glacier; it hangs off cliffs overlooking Blackstone Bay.As you approach the glacier, you'll begin to see chunks of ice called icebergs floating in the water. You'll come to a stop, floating among the icebergs as the glaciers tower 700 feet above the 77-foot vessel. Here, the captain will turn off the engines so you can hear the ice crack and groan. Often you will see harbor seals and sea otters lounging on the floating ice. You'll spend about an hour watching these glaciers so you have as much time as possible to see them actively calving. As you head back towards Whittier, watch for sea otters and the numerous amounts of bald eagles that nest along the coastline. Sea otters are the smallest marine mammal in Alaska, weighing 80-100 pounds. They do not have blubber, so to stay warm they have thick fur, with up to 600,000 hair follicles per square inch. Sea otters are one of the few animals that use tools, utilizing rocks to break open the shells of crab, clams, shrimp and other seafood, which they eat 20-25 pounds of each day!Next, you'll visit Hidden Falls, where the boat stops within feet of the mist of the falls, providing a wonderful photo opportunity. Before ending the cruise you'll visit the second-largest black-legged kittiwake rookery in Prince William Sound, where thousands of black-legged kittiwakes have built their nests on the steep sea-side cliffs. These migratory birds, part of the gull family, travel as far south as Baja California and Costa Rica every year. During the summer they mate, lay eggs, and raise their young in rookeries built into rocky cliffs. After leaving the rookery you'll return to the Whittier harbor.

$135 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Columbia Glacier Cruise from Valdez

Columbia Glacier is the headline destination of this tour, however there are many other attractions along the way that your local captain and crew will share with you such as; a water based tour of the Trans Alaska Pipeline Terminal, a chance to witness commercial salmon fishing operations, and cascading waterfalls along the shoreline. A visit to Columbia Bay is one of geologic significance. Columbia Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in southcentral Alaska is in the middle of a historic retreat into the Chugach Mountains. Each trip into this area is unique and our approach to Columbia is determined by the ice conditions we find. In addition to the amazing ice in Columbia Bay you will see wildlife along the way that calls the Sound home. Your guides will be on the lookout for seals, sea lions, sea otters, eagles, puffins, porpoise, whales and more!

$170 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Meares Glacier Cruise Excursion from Valdez

Cruise the majestic waters of Prince William Sound from Valdez to Meares Glacier. In route our local captains will travel the shorelines looking for the wildlife that call the Sound home.   This tour has the time to travel the locations where we typically spot sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, Humpback or Orca Whales, porpoise, eagles, puffins, cormorants and more. Meares Glacier, an advancing tidewater glacier, is nestled in the back of a narrow fjord, providing you the opportunity to view the face of this glacier in conditions that allow you to hear the thundering roar as the ice calves (falls) from the glacier face. On board your all-Alaskan captain and crew will share with you stories about the history of the Sound from early explorers, gold and copper mining, oil shipping, commercial fishing and the 1964 Earthquake.

$60 Outdoor Activities

Half-Day Tour from Whittier to Anchorage

This is one of the most popular transfer options to Anchorage, with live tour commentary from professional guides and photo stops. It's a 3-hour, one-way excursion on a shuttle with a maximum of 25 people per trip. You'll see Beluga Point, the scenic overlook of Turnagain Arm, and Portage Glacier, with view of Portage Lake and the surrounding glaciers. Both stops will be around 5-10 minutes. Also included on all sightseeing tour transfers is a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to view Alaska's most famous animals up close in a natural setting. During this 1-1.25 hour visit you'll get great pictures of real live bears, moose, muskox, caribou, bison, and more. Your guide will give you a tour of the park and the wildlife found there, and you will then have between 30-45 minutes to explore on your own. The admission fee to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is included in the tour price.Departure from the cruise ship terminal in Whittier is 8:45am, with arrival to Anchorage Airport first around 12pm then the shuttle will continue drop off at local hotels.

$199 Shore Excursions

Anchorage Shore Excursion: Post-Cruise Transfer and Tour - Whittier to Anchorage

Our adventure begins at the Whittier Cruise Terminal or your Whittier hotel. Leaving the Whittier, we'll a ride through the 2.5 mile Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, the longest one-way train and vehicle tunnel in North America. The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel is located 50 miles southeast of Anchorage, near Portage Glacier, and connects the port city of Whittier on Prince William Sound to the Seward Highway and South Central Alaska.First we’ll drive through Portage Valley, home to several hanging glaciers and beautiful alpine scenery. Depending on the season, we may be able to view salmon as they complete their life cycle and spawn in one of the valley’s rivers. Then we’ll visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which opened to the public in 1993, and has been providing up close and personal Alaska wildlife experiences ever since. It is located on 140 acres at the southern edge of Turnagain Arm and the entrance to Portage Valley. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center provides wildlife education and awareness, and care and rehabilitation for Alaska’s wildlife. Get close, safely observe and photograph some of Alaska's largest land animals, including moose, bison, elk, deer, caribou, bears, and musk ox. Our guests also enjoy seeing small mammals like wolves, and stunning birds of prey such as bald eagles. For lunch we’ll visit the quaint town of Girdwood and our favorite Bake Shop. Bottomless soup, sourdough bread, beverages, and dessert are all on the menu. After lunch, get ready for the aerial tram ride up the longest double black diamond ski slope in North America. From the top you can view several glaciers and the farthest northern reaches of a temperate rainforest that stretches from here all the way south to Northern California. On select days our guests visit the Roundhouse Museum. This mountainside museum features a panoramic viewing deck for incredible views. Next we’ll continue the scenic drive into Anchorage, along the Turnagain Arm, watching for wildlife and taking stops at scenic viewpoints. Upon arrival in Anchorage, between 2 and 3pm, you’ll be transferred to your hotel or the airport. Private Transfers? We are happy to be able to offer private tour & transfers based on purchasing 10 seats.

Prince William Sound in detail