Summer Travels: Cruising Alaska Continues: College Fjord to Whittier
by Jo Anne Disney
September 3, 2014 • 130 views
The next stop on the Alaskan Cruise was Whittier, a distance of 31 nautical miles from College Fjord. Whittier was our last stop on the cruise. It is situated at the head of Passage Canal and is approximately 58 miles south east of Anchorage. Today, less than 300 people live in Whittier, but it is the most traveled port that visitors arrive at every year. Citizens enjoy 22 hours of daylight each summer. History tells us that Whittier “was originally part of the portage route for the Chugach Indians of Prince William Sound traveling to fish the Turnagain Arm. Later the Russians and Americans exploring the region also used the passage. It was used by prospecting goal miners during the gold rush as it was the quickest passage from the Sound to the Cook Inlet and Interior regions. The city itself is a historical area, established by the U.S. Army during WWII. The Federal railroad to Portage was completed in 1943 and became the primary debarkation point for cargo, troops, and dependents of the Alaska Command.”
Whittier was not a place that we could spend a lot of time at. After we disembarked from the ship, we boarded the Denali Express headed to Mt. McKinley. This was a 9 hour train ride that took you through the beautiful South-central Alaskan wilderness. Each car was a dome liner and allowed you spectacular views and outstanding photo opportunities. The scenery was simply amazing!
Next stop: Mt. McKinley Wilderness Lodge