Views from Seward Highway

Introduction:

If you plan to visit Alaska via a cruise line, you will inevitably have to travel on Seward Highway. However, even if you plan to visit Alaska by other plane or highway, it is still a must that you drive from Anchorage to Seward by car, bus or train. It is one of the most scenic roads in Alaska and in the top ten scenic highways in the United States.

Since Alaska Cruise Transportation is the bus company that takes passengers on Seward Highway almost daily, we thought this would be a helpful guide for first time visitors to Alaska from the experts. We absolutely recommend exploring the amazing Seward Highway drive before you head out to your other adventures in our beautiful state.

Seward Highway

Frequently Asked Questions:

Everyday we get asked these questions: How do I get from Seward to Anchorage? How long is the drive from Anchorage to Seward? What will I see on the way from Seward to Anchorage? We hope that this will be helpful to get the answers that you are looking for.

  • How far is the drive from Anchorage to Seward?
    • Seward Highway starts at mile 1 in Seward and ends at mile 127 in Anchorage. Seward Highway is also known by Route 1. Seward Highway is the only road to travel from/to the city of Seward. On the drive between Anchorage and Seward you will also pass by small towns – Girdwood with Alyeska Resort, Portage with the turnoff to Whittier, and Moose Pass town located right on the Seward Highway.
  • How long does it take to get from Anchorage to Seward?
    • If you drive by car, bus or motorcoach, it will take 2.5 hours without stops.
    • If you take a train, it is much slower and can take up to 6 hours.
    • There are no commercial flights, you will have to hire a private small plane if you would like to fly.
  • How do I get from my cruise ship in Seward to Anchorage Airport?
    • Seward is 127 miles from Anchorage. Many cruise ships dock in Seward such as Holland America, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line. Whittier is another port that is located in the middle of the way between Seward and Anchorage and it is only used by Princess Cruise Lines. 
    • When you arrive to Seward on the cruise ship, you will have to take either a bus, motorcoach, taxi, rental car, or take a train (train tracks parallel the highway most of the way) to get to Anchorage. 
    • We recommend making reservations ahead of time for either of these travel means. It will be hard and much more expensive to find transportation once you arrive. Alaska Cruise Transportation offers some affordable bus options with sightseeing stops on Seward Highway and direct bus transfers to/from Anchorage Airport. See the PRICES HERE.
  • What is there to see and do on the drive from Anchorage to Seward?
    • The drive from Anchorage to Seward is one of the most scenic drives in Alaska and United States. There are incredible panoramic views from the highway as you drive through the Turnagain Arm and Chugach National Forest down the Kenai Peninsula!
    • Every turn on this highway opens up breathtaking views with lots of opportunities to pull over for some great pictures (be extremely careful driving on Seward highway, it is just one lane each way with mountains on one side and ocean on the other, be mindful of the speed limit!)
    • Below are some of the noteworthy points on Seward Highway:
  • Turnagain Arm – Seward Highway rests between the Chugach Mountains and Turnagain Arm, a 45-mile-long tendril of Cook Inlet that separates the Chugach range from the Kenai Peninsula. The tidal range here is one of the greatest tidal fluxes in the world, second only to the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, with a difference between an extreme high and low of more than 41 feet. A breathtaking wall of water up to 6 feet tall called a bore tide can roar up Turnagain Arm twice a day. The wave moves faster than 10 miles per hour. Several pull-outs on the side of the highway have interpretive signs. At high tide, water comes right up to the road. At low tide, the whole Arm narrows to a thin, winding channel through the mud.
Potter Marsh Anchorage
  • Potter Marsh – The first viewpoint on Seward Highway as you drive outside of Anchorage. Potter Marsh is a part of the 2,300-acre Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, it acts as a stopover for more than two hundred species of migratory birds: Canada geese, mallards, pintails, green-winged teal, widgeons, canvasbacks, shovelers, and scaup are common, there are also the trumpeter swans, bald eagles, northern harrier, snow geese, and short-eared owls also occasionally present. The marsh has a boardwalk that offers a good look into the marsh with interpretive displays.
  • McHugh Creek Recreation Area – There is a 20-foot waterfall, and a trail that offers some spectacular views of the Turnagain Arm. At the upper parking lot you will find free picnic tables, barbecue pits and outdoor lavs. 
  • Beluga Point – There are numerous lookout points on Seward Highway to pull over and take in the breathtaking scenery. Beluga Point is the most famous and is usually very crowded. There are many other pull outs on Seward Highway that offer the same great scenery with interpretive signs as the Beluga Point. If the tide and salmon runs are right, you may see Beluga Whales from any of the pullouts. The whales chase the fish toward fresh water. Some of the pull-outs has spotting scopes to improve the viewing. Of all the whales that inhabit Alaskan waters, the beluga is one of the most intriguing and certainly the easiest to spot, due to its unusual white color.
  • Windy Point Wildlife Viewing – Windy Point is located at milepost 105-107. Be on the lookout on the mountain side of the road for Dall sheep picking their way along the cliffs. Windy Point is a unique spot where the sheep get much closer to people here than is usual in the wild. They are white and can be easily spotted on the mountains and cliffs. Be extremely careful on this part of the road, watch out for stopped vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Girdwood and Alyeska Ski Resort – Girdwood, 37 miles south of Anchorage, is proof that a charming little town can coexist with a major ski resort. The town was started by a gold miner who staked a claim on Crow Creek. The crow creek mine is now a historic site located on Crow Creek Road, 5 miles inland, that offers a collection of picturesque log buildings and the opportunity to pan for gold. 
    Today, Girdwood is a little village of about 1,200 that swells to some 3,000 when the snow falls. The primary summer attractions are the hiking trails, the tram to the top of Mount Alyeska, and the Crow Creek Mine. In winter, it’s skiing. There are seven lifts and an aerial tram. This is the only ski resort in the country where you plunge down powder-filled slopes while looking at the ocean below. If you take the tram, which takes 7 minutes to get to the 2,300-foot level, where it stops at a station containing both the Seven Glaciers Restaurant (one of the finest dining in Alaska) and an attractive cafeteria. Whether or not you eat here, the tram presents an opportunity for everyone to experience the pure light, limitless views of Alaskan mountaintops, glaciers and bay. Make sure to gas up at the Tesoro gas station on the way to Seward, this is your last chance for the next 80 miles.
  • Old Portage Town and Dead Trees – All along the flats at the head of the Turnagain Arm are large marshes full of what looks like standing driftwood. This was a sight of the most dramatic recent natural event that happened in Alaska – the great earthquake of 1964. These ghost trees stand as a reminder of that Good Friday March 27 when the largest earthquake to hit North America shook the land. It measured 9.2 on the Richter scale. The ground along this part of Turnagain Arm subsided 6-11 feet flooding the forest with salt water. The Railroad town of Portage was flooded as well. The homes and businesses of Portage’s 70 residents abandoned. If you look on the side of the road, all that remains of the town sight sits rusting and decaying as traffic along the Seward Highway rushes by. 
  • Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center – originally conceived as a tourist attraction, the center has become a 200 acre non-profit conservation, education, and recreation facility dedicated to the care of orphaned, injured, and displaced native Alaskan wildlife, giving homes to injured and orphaned deer, moose, owls, elk, bison, muskoxen, bear, fox, and caribou. Most animals can’t be returned to the wild and are kept here in fairly naturalistic grassland enclosures. You can either drive a short course to see the animals in fenced enclosures as large as 18 acres or walk through. Get your cameras ready this is the great place to get tons of wonderful wildlife photos!
  • Kenai Peninsula – as you wind around the end of the Turnagain Arm, the Seward highway will take you up to Turnagain Pass at 900 feet, it is the highest point on Seward Highway at mile 70. There is no shortage of breathtaking mountains, lakes, and creeks. One of them is the Summit Lake (pictured above) with its still waters, it is one of those perfect picture stops with surreal calmness. 
  • Moose Pass Alaska – there is only one town on Seward Highway between Girdwood and Seward. Moose Pass is a quiet community of several hundred folks, Moose Pass was first a construction camp for the Alaska Railroad. Today, the town boasts lodging, gift stores, a post office, grocery store, and a highway maintenance station.
  • Seward Alaska – you have made it all the way to Seward! The town was named after William Seward, secretary of state under President Andrew Johnson, who engineered the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. Resurrection Bay is the best of Seward, an inviting front yard, attracting boaters, birders, kayakers, fisherman, sailors, and whale watchers. Full of glaciers and incredible wildlife, all the western coast of the bay is in Kenai Fjords National Park. Seward is a mountainside grid of streets lined with old wood-frame houses and newer fishermen’s residences. 
  • Should I spend time in Seward? Is there anything to do or see in Seward?

    • Seward is a small town about 3,000 people. You can navigate around Seward without a car, most things are in walking distance. Most hotels offer shuttles, there is also a FREE town bus that runs between downtown Seward and the Cruise Ship Terminal. Taxis are limited but also available in Seward.
    • Seward is at the head of Resurrection Bay, surrounded by the Kenai Fjords National Park and the Chugach National Forest. Visiting Seward should be on the list for all tourists as it has lots to do and the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. 
    • Below are some of the most popular things to do and see in Seward:
Sealife Center
  • Alaska Sealife Center – this is a rehabilitation and a research facility for the marine and wildlife that inhabit this region, it was formed after Exxon Valdez oil spill devastated Prince William Sound.
  • Exit Glacier hiking – Exit Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers from the road. It is located about 15 miles from downtown Seward. There are local sightseeing companies that operate shuttles and guide services from downtown Seward to Exit Glacier. It is definitely worth taking a side trip to Exit glacier. Stand just a few feet away from this majestic glacier for some amazing photo opportunities. 
Mount Marathon
  • Mount Marathon hiking – if you are in great shape, hiking Mt Marathon will help you see Resurrection Bay from above with the most stunning views. During 4th of July, Mt Marathon hosts the most famous race in Alaska which attracts world class athletes and about 30,000 people every year.
Whale Watching Seward
  • Whale and Glacier Watching day cruise – there are plenty of boat tours that you can take from Seward. They offer either a short or a full day tours. You will have an opportunity to see a whale breach the surface of the water, sea otters, seals, and several species of birds. 
Dog Sledding Seward
  • Dog Sledding Tours – this is one of the most fun activities to do in Seward. During the summer time, you will ride a wheeled sled by a dog team and get to learn everything about the most popular sport in Alaska – dog sledding. In the winter time they do a ski sled tour around glaciers.
Downtown Seward
  • Walk around in Downtown Seward – Seward is a charming little town to walk around with several great restaurants. If you are a seafood lover, you will find some fresh seafood spots that are sure to please.
Seward Alaska
  • Take a fishing trip – hire a fishing charter to stock up your freezer for the winter with some Alaskan favorites – halibut, salmon, rock fish and lingcod.
Kayak Kenai National Park
  • For more adventurous travelers – there are helicopter tours with glacier landing including dog sledding in the mountains and kayak tours in the Resurrection Bay. There are some great camping spots, and RV parking also available.

Summary:

Once you travel on the Seward Highway you will realize that you have made the right choice. The drive from Anchorage to Seward offers absolutely breathtaking scenery and is a perfect day trip from Anchorage. There is so much to see and explore that you can easily spend a couple of days hiking and wildlife viewing along the Seward Highway. Take some awesome pictures and make memories of the lifetime!

How to get from Anchorage to Seward for my cruise ship?

Seward is located 125 miles south of Anchorage. Whittier is 60 miles south of Anchorage. One way cruises depart from Seward or Whittier and end in Vancouver. 

Since all the major airlines fly to Anchorage, you will have to travel to Seward or Whittier by road or rail once you land in Anchorage. The Seward Highway is the road that connects Anchorage with Whittier and Seward. The Seward highway has been nominated as a Top Ten National Scenic Driveway and rightly so. It is absolutely breathtaking.

If you drive from Anchorage to Seward by road it will take about 2.5 hours to Seward and 1.5 hours to Whittier. The railway and highway are parallel to each other. You will get the same beautiful scenery, however train takes more than twice as long as traveling by a bus or a car and does not stop for photos or any sightseeing.

The best way to travel to or from your cruise ship in Seward, Whittier and Anchorage is by taking a sightseeing tour with stops along the way. Or if you are in a hurry to catch your flight, you can select the non-stop express transfer between Seward, Whittier and Anchorage.

Alaska Cruise Transportation offers bus and day tour service from Anchorage airport, hotels, and car rentals to Seward cruise ship port. We offer service from Seward cruise ship port to Anchorage Ted Stevens airport, hotels and car rental agencies. We provide these services for all cruise ship passengers for all major cruise lines that come to Seward, AK and Whittier Alaska.

We recommend planning extra time for your transfer to fully enjoy the scenery and make stops along the way, our transportation options:

  • Direct transfer by a motor coach
  • Wildlife tour and transfer with stops at the Wildlife park
  • Full day excursion visiting most popular attractions.

Please visit our Seward Transportation page to find out the schedule and prices https://alaskacruisetransfer.com/seward-tours/

Please visit our Whittier Transportation page to find out the schedule and prices https://alaskacruisetransfer.com/whittier-tours/

Seward Alaska airport – flights and transportation.

What is the closest airport to Seward Alaska?

This is a commonly asked question. Many visitors don’t realize that you can only get to Seward by bus, rail, train, shuttle, or car. Seward Alaska has a small airport. Seward Alaska Airport is only accessible by small aviation flights. It has a runway accessible only by small air taxi services offering flight seeing and/or flights to local airports, no flights to continental United States are available from Seward Airport.

Closest major airport is about 125 miles North and is Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Anchorage airport is a major cargo and passenger operation with most major airlines flying all over the world. Since most visitors come to Alaska by air using a major airline, Anchorage airport is the best option.  You can rent a car, meet your bus or train and travel to your next destination. 

Visitors can only reach Seward Alaska by bus, rental car, cruise ship or Alaska railroad.

Alaska Cruise Transportation offers bus and day tour service from Anchorage airport, hotels, and car rentals to Seward cruise ship port. We offer service from Seward cruise ship port to Anchorage Ted Stevens airport, hotels and car rental agencies. We provide these services for all cruise ship passengers for all major cruise lines that come to Seward, AK.

Since flying to or from Seward is not a viable option for majority of travelers you have several transportation options:

  • Direct transfer by motor coach
  • Wildlife Tour with transfer with stops at the Wildlife park
  • Full day excursion visiting most popular attractions.

Please visit our Seward Transportation page to find out the schedule and prices https://alaskacruisetransfer.com/seward-tours/

Transportation between Seward, Whittier and Anchorage Alaska with the premier shuttle transfer company.

Finding Seward Whittier Anchorage Bus Transportation Transfer options to get to or from your cruise line in Alaska is not always an easy task. For the best shuttle transfer transportation service between Seward and Anchorage Alaska, Anchorage to Seward, Whittier to Anchorage or Anchorage to Whittier you should consider alaskacruisetransfer.com. With our company you can experience a variety of different bus transfer and tour options between these areas as well as some standard transportation between Seward, Whittier and Anchorage Alaska.

When you choose our company for your shuttle bus transfer or tour transportation between Seward and Anchorage, Anchorage to Seward or Whittier to Anchorage, Anchorage to Whittier, you can count make sure you are traveling with the most reputable company and a leading Alaska cruise bus transportation provider.

We are the only company in the area that uses modern, coach style buses with restroom on board, you will travel in style, comfort, and safety if you choose our company to transfer you or your important group from Seward cruise ship terminal or Whittier cruise ship terminal to Anchorage airport or hotels or from Anchorage to Whittier or Seward cruise ports.

Your safety and comfort is our priority and we want you to be wise when choosing your bus transportation company and inquire about their equipment to avoid an unpleasant surprise.

Our Anchorage to Seward or Anchorage to Whittier wildlife bus transfer will pick up at area hotels, airport and some car rentals and will break the long drive with a scenic and convenient stop at the wildlife center and picture stops so you can enjoy the sights and take some pictures home. The wildlife center stop makes this shuttle transfer enjoyable where you can get out of the bus for a short while, take pictures, grab a snack, and stretch your legs.

Our friendly and attentive drivers/guides have many years experience in customer service and will meet you with a smile, caring attention to your needs, and a friendly interaction when appropriate. We make your transportation service provider between Whittier cruise ship terminal or Seward cruise ship terminal and/or Anchorage airport, hotel stress free and reliable.

Alaska Cruise Transportation Terms and Conditions

  1. Privacy Policy

All information that you provide to us is confidential. We do not sell lists or give out your information to anybody. WE WILL NEVER GIVE OUT CUSTOMER INFORMATION WITHOUT THE CUSTOMER’S EXPRESS CONSENT.

  1. Cancellation policy

Shared Bus Service Reservations:

You can book early and lock in our early bird sale prices and rest assured that you can change or cancel your booking for any reason without penalties up until 45 days prior to travel.

It is advised to book early as our regular prices are usually 25% higher the closer it is to the date of your travel or summer months, in addition we do get full on selected days as we have limited seats.

Our family friendly policy allows you to cancel with a full refund due to serious incidents which are limited to medical emergencies, family emergencies, and/or missing the cruise ship due to inability to enter the country because of customs problems at any time even if it is less than 45 days prior to the date of travel.

Charges and Cancellation Dates for Shared Bus Service

You can change or cancel your reservation with no fees or penalties up until 45 days prior to your travel date.

  • 10% fee is charged between 45 and 31 days,
  • 50% fee is charged between 30 and 15 days prior to travel.
  • All reservations are non-refundable within 14 days of travel.
  • Medical emergencies are exempt and are refundable at any time (for the person who is sick and his/her immediate family).
  • Please consider purchasing travel insurance to cover yourself in the event of any unforeseen circumstance. For more information on travel insurance, or to change or cancel an existing reservation, the best way is to email us info@alaskacruisetransfer.com

Payment and deposit policy

There is no commitment and no payment required before January 1 of your travel year, after that we will place a charge on your credit card.

We charge the full balance at the time of reservation if the balance is less than $250, if the balance is more you are welcome to put 30% deposit at the time of reservation. The remaining balance will be automatically charged to your card within 45 days prior to your transfer. We accept Visa and Master Cards.

Private Bus Reservations:

We require 30% deposit at the time of booking which is refundable up till 60 days prior to travel. We will charge the remaining 70% balance to your credit card 30 days prior to the travel day. Cancellations with less than 30 days are non-refundable for private bus reservations for any reasons.

Special arrangements or circumstances

Please let us know, if you require special arrangements, and we will try to accommodate your needs. We will consider all the circumstances if you contact us, however we are not responsible and will not issue a refund for services delayed or not rendered due to airlines or cruise line non-performance, Mother Nature, acts of terrorism or to other circumstances not mentioned in the above which are beyond your or our control.

In no event shall Alaska Cruise Transportation or its employees, directors, agents, or any other representatives be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, punitive or other damages (regardless of the form of action) arising out of (i) use of the service by any person, including but not limited to any damage caused by any reliance on, or any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions in, any information and content accessed over the service, (ii) any use or inability to use the service for whatever reason, including but not limited to communications failure or any other failure with transmission or delivery of any information accessed through the service, or (iii) any goods or services discussed,  purchased or obtained, directly or indirectly, through the service, in each case even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

Welcome to our site, we hope you have found what you are looking for in our company.

We are a locally owned and operated business. Our business is 100% oriented and designed for our most important cruise ship passengers. This is all we do and we do it best and we would like to keep it this way. All of the services we offer, our schedule, our equipment are designed for cruise ship passengers. With us, you do not have to worry about missing the ship or not being able to get on the bus after you get off the ship. We are directly coordinated with cruise ship schedule.

Our company was created to provide alternative transportation services for cruise ship passengers at affordable rates. We offer convenience of different drop off and pick up locations. We offer most popular day tours and transfers on the way to Anchorage or to the cruise ship terminal. Don’t waste time at the airport or hotel, enjoy the sights with most scenic stops on your way in our modern buses with lots of leg room, large windows, and informative narration.

We consider our service as a leading transportation provider for cruise ship ports, we don’t say this lightly as we are very familiar with what other companies offer and we are the only company that offers modern, safe, clean, and comfortable motor coach style buses with restroom on board, large windows, and comfortable seating.

After many years we have implemented 100% satisfaction guarantee for our services. By choosing us you do not have to worry about your transportation choice. We offer professional, on-time service, with informative and fun narration, buses that are modern and comfortable, most popular scenic stops on our tours, friendly drivers, customer service that cares about you and your vacation experience, and management that considers your vacation the most important. We take your vacation seriously as we believe that it might be once in a lifetime experience for many of our customers and we love to be a part of happy memories for many families and couples. We fully understand that we are your transportation link to or from your cruise ship and we take our responsibility seriously.

Because we care about you, we implemented family friendly cancellation policy that allows you to book your transportation services in advance and cancel with a full refund due to serious incidents which are limited to medical emergencies, family emergencies, and/or missing the cruise ship due to inability to enter the country because of customs problems. We will consider all of your circumstances and will work with you to try to accommodate all of your needs. We are always here to listen to your concerns or feedback. Don’t hesitate to communicate with us directly about any of your needs.

We wish you wonderful vacation experiences in our beautiful Alaska!

Management,
Alaska Cruise Transportation