This is a big post so bear with me (see what I did there?). Whittier is just to the east of Anchorage but on the way there you’ll pass the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre. They have bears, moose, elk and more. On their site you can read about each animal individually – their story, name, family etc. You drive around a loop round and stop/walk as often as you like to see the animals. The part that really got to us is just how beautiful the location is. Nothing feels caged or threatened here. Every space was large and the landscape with the mountains in the back is just gorgeous. All the animals seemed really content and happy. I’m not a big fan of zoo’s but this was a really positive experience and a great place to support.
From there you drive into Whittier. Whittier is a small town and the only land access to it is through a tunnel. This tunnel is shared amongst cars and trains, therefore you will want to look online and check the time slots that you can pass through it or you’ll be waiting awhile. Driving through there was pretty intense as it is very small and enclosed – you’re also going through there for about ten minutes so it feels like an eternity. On the other side Whittier is very open and surrounded by these amazing mountains.
We had booked with Major Marine Tours to go on a Prince William Sound Surprise Glacier Cruise (what a name). There are several companies that do it but this one had smaller groups and seemed more intimate. The total trip was around five hours but the time flew by. If you opt for it there is a buffet that features salmon and prime rib (it was pretty delicious and there was tons left over for seconds). On the actual boat is the captain who was constantly on the lookout for wildlife and pointed out several whales (I think in total we saw four). There is also a park range who explains what you’re looking at and points out things of interest. A highlight for me was getting to see glacier calving. The delay of sight to sound is ridiculous and then the actual noise is deafening loud. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and one I won’t forget. Obviously the sound itself is absolutely gorgeous as well, and we went on a perfect day. We ended up seeing eagles, whales, sea otters, seals and salmon. It was great getting to spy out the animals whilst drinking cocktails made with glacier ice they collected off the boat haha.
This was a true highlight of the trip and a place in Alaska that I think is underrated but so incredible beautiful. Just the blue and green ratio of all these images is stunning and of course photos never do landscapes any justice (unless you’re Ansel Adams). On Wednesday I go solo from my friends and show you what I got up to in Juneau!