Whittier Port, located in the northeast shores of the Kenai Peninsula of the Valdez-Cordova census area, is one of the cruise port destinations in the Alaska Marine Highway. The Whittier cruise port becomes busier during the peak summer months of June and July. Around 75 nautical miles from the Port of Valdez and 115 nautical miles from the Port of Cordova, the Whittier Port is evolving to be one of the major cruise port destinations in Alaska.
The Whittier port of call was initially built as a military facility; it functioned as an entry point for United States Soldiers to Alaska during the Second World War. The port served as a working army facility until the 1960s. The primary port incorporated as a city in 1969 and is now a popular destination for cruise ships due to its close proximity to the inland destinations of Alaska and Anchorage.
The Whittier cruise terminal handles several cruise lines during peak season. In addition to the heavy cruise traffic during these months, the port also handles sport fishers and hunters as well as a few freight ships in the region.
The city is small but houses shopping areas and districts that display wondrous items and souvenirs that are unique and locally made. Antique stores, jewelry shops, glassware shops and a movie theater line the street in the Uptown section of Whittier. The Uptown is a good place to do some bargain hunting for souvenirs and gifts to take home. A vibrant and thriving district, it is a commercial district where shopping at its finest is offered.
Another area to do some shopping is the small kiosks and stalls that line the path leading to the harbor. Local arts and sculpted woodcarvings are favorite items bought by cruise tourists. The Farmer’s Market is also the best option to do some local shopping.
Things to See
Situated within the Chugach National Forest (the second largest national forest in the United States), visitors are treated with glaciers, fjords and islands all teeming with natural wonders and settings. The bay area of the port of Whittier is perfect for outdoor activities such as water skiing, swimming and scuba diving. Whittier is a city has an abundance of rock outcroppings and wildlife that remain untouched and perfect for nature hikes.
The beaches in Whittier also provide perfect spots for scuba diving, swimming and boating. Fishing activities in the bay are water sports that most locals and tourists enjoy.
Restaurants and Bars
Native American Eskimos were the first settlers in the census area. Fish and chips are the main fast food items that people order. For more formal dining however, the hotels in the city provide the restaurants to meet this need. The Inn at Whittier and the June’s Whittier Bed and Breakfast Condo Suites offer fine dining. Most casual dining areas are located at the east end of the harbor.