We'll be arriving in Whittier from the Coral Princess on May 19. We stay in Anchorage overnight as the start of our cruisetour. Princess provide a coach transfer to Anchorage with sightseeing that takes 3 hours but they don't give any details of what you see during the 3 hour trip. They have an optional Turnagain Arm History & Tram Tour which sounds good. I am interested in hearing if anyone has done either trip and if it sounds as though the optional trip is worthwhile. Here are the details of that trip:
Experience glaciers, mountains and Alaska history on this tour of Turnagain Arm.
Your first stop is Portage Glacier, Alaska's most visited attraction. At the Begich-Boggs Visitor Center, you can "walk" through the Portage Valley in the interactive exhibit rooms. Hear stories about the people who first inhabited the area, stand next to a lifesize moose or view the award-winning film "Voices from the Ice."
Next, journey to the base of mighty Mt. Alyeska, home to one of the most breathtaking year-round destination resorts in the world. Ride the Glacier Express Tram and take in the surrounding valley from 2,300 feet above its floor.
Enjoy picturesque mountains as you continue traveling on Alaska's "Scenic Byway," the Seward Highway. On arrival in Anchorage visit the Anchorage Museum of History & Art, home to the largest collection of Native Alaskan art and artifacts in the state. Time is allowed for shopping in the museum store, featuring the highest quality Alaska Native art, or to enjoy a snack in the cafe. Your tour ends with a transfer to the airport or downtown hospitality center.
Last July I took the train from Anchorage to Whittier (reverse from you) and recall it as a very nice trip along Turnigan Arm. I did not make any of the stops that you mention, but if you can afford it and you may not be there again, it may be worth $. I also recall visiting the Anchorage museum also~very nice. I was there for only about 4-5 hours and could have stayed all day.
I've never been on a cruise to Alaksa, but I did live there for a couple of years. The Turnagain Arm area is hands down the most beautiful part of Anchorage. You will probably see mountain sheep (Dahl Sheep) and if it's the right time of year, a beluga whale.
I also went to the museum that you spoke of. Wonferful place..full of Native exhibts.