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Anchorage is Alaska's largest port city, located in Southern Alaska, between Turnagain and Knik arms of Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains. To the south is Kenai Peninsula and to the north is Denali National Park (aka Mount McKinley).
Anchorage AK serves as Alaska's hub for communications, transportation, and finance. The city has a population of around 300,000, ranking it Alaska's largest, containing over 40% of the state's total population. The city was founded in 1914 as headquarters of Alaska Railroad (Seward and Whittier) and via Anchorage to Fairbanks (north). With a population of around 32,000 (metro over 100,000), Fairbanks is ranked Alaska's 2nd most populous (after Anchorage).
The local economy is based on tourism and air freight. In 1964 the city was devastated by an earthquake (aka Good Friday earthquake) and much of the downtown area had to be rebuilt. In 1968 was discovered the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field resulting in a boom in construction and oil companies setting up offices in the city.
Anchorage is the cruise port to Fairbanks. The distance between both cities is around 580 km (360 ml). Travel time is 7-8 hours (by car and bus), 12 hours (by train) and 1 hour (by air). Train travel is the longest on Alaska Railroad. Being the most expensive, this is also the best way to enjoy the region's spectacular scenery as there are special glass-domed rail cars. From Anchorage are offered (as shore excursions) plane tours to Fairbanks.
The most popular tourist attractions in Anchorage include Resolution Park, Museum of History and Art, Elderberry Park, Native Heritage Center, Earthquake Park, Eklutna Historical Park, Eagle River Nature Center, Portage Glacier. Also very popular are boat tours (via Seward) to Prince William Sound's glaciers or Kenai Fjords Park. Bus and plane tours are offered to Denali National Park.
Port Anchorage handles around 95% of all goods shipped to Alaska. Cargo ships from the US container shipping companies Horizon Lines and TOTE Maritime arrive twice per week from Port Tacoma (Washington). Along with handling cargoes, the port also serves as a jet fuel storage facility delivered from Alaskan refineries and used by the local US military base JBER (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson) and TSAIA (Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport).
Anchorage cruise terminal
Many cruise ships to Anchorage actually dock in Whittier (visited on 7-day itineraries from Vancouver BC) and transport their passengers to Anchorage on bus excursions. Whittier is approx 100 km (60 ml) from Anchorage, accessible by road and train.
At Port Anchorage, passengers can use bus shuttle service (usually complimentary), taxis and rental cars downtown. Shore excursions (by train and bus) also leave from the cruise terminal.
Anchorage tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Fairbanks City tour
Port Anchorage cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Anchorage, Alaska. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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