Why go to Whittier?
Whittier is the gateway to scenic Prince William Sound; on a clear day you'll spot 26 glaciers
The town has one way in and out by land: a tunnel shared by cars and the train that you'll have to time
Whittier is small and often shrouded in fog, but has a fascinating military history (and pet reindeer)
Whittier Cruise Port Facilities?
Whittier has more use as a staging ground for getting out on Prince William Sound. The town itself is rather industrial. There is a cruise ship terminal, where you can pick up a guidebook. There are a few restrooms around the Small Boat Harbor.
Good to Know?
It rains a lot in Whittier; bring your rain jacket and managed expectations. Even if the tour you're on boasts 26 glaciers, you might only see one or two due to cloud cover (still, the one or two are pretty amazing). Thusly, resign your sightseeing around Prince William Sound to fate.
On Foot: Once in town, there is no need for taxis or shuttles -- everything in town is within walking distance.
By Bus: For people who are coming independently from Anchorage and do not have a cruise line transfer, check out The Magic Bus, which departs from the Anchorage Museum (7th and C streets) at 9:45 a.m. daily, May through September; the trip takes about 90 minutes, includes narration and picture stops, and drops at the Princess dock at noon. For reservations, call 800-208-0200. You can also get there by train: Call the Alaska Railroad at 800-544-0552; the trip takes about 2.5 hours.
By Car: If you're driving to or from Whittier be sure to have the schedule for the historic Anton Anderson Tunnel -- built during WWII, it's the only way in or out. Open to vehicles since 2000, the tunnel is used by the train and cars, but in one direction at a time. Be sure to catch the next opening in your direction or you might be waiting in line for another hour.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
Currency is the U.S. dollar. An ATM is available at the Harbor Store (also the site of the Avis Rental Center) at Lot 8 Small Boat Harbor.
Where You're Docked?
The cruise ship terminal, located at the mouth of Whittier Creek, doesn't offer much, other than efficient check-in and disembarkation facilities; a rack offers brochures on tours, eateries and the few existing shops. Passengers disembark in the heart of a tiny business/residential district.