Dale R. Lindsey Alaska Railroad Intermodal Facility
913 Port Avenue
Seward, AK 99664
If you think your upcoming cruise is departing from Anchorage, you're probably sailing out of Seward, 120 miles away. Many cruise lines list Anchorage as an embarkation port for Alaska cruises because it's the central airport and main hub of activity. However, no cruise ships sail from the actual port of Anchorage -- they either leave from Seward or Whittier, both south of Alaska's capital. As long as you budget a few hours of travel time to the port, Seward is central enough to spend some time exploring Alaska's many attractions before or after your cruise. Seward itself is known as the Gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, and the harbor is located there. As the end of the line for the Alaska Railroad, Seward shares close ties between its port and the railway.
If you're not taking the train as part of an Alaska cruise tour, many cruise lines provide a shuttle from the Anchorage airport to the Seward cruise port. If you're driving a rental, the ride is a simple one, taking about 2.5 hours: From Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, you merge onto AK-1 S from W. International Airport Road and Walter J. Hickel Parkway (this should take about 15 minutes). Once on AK-1 S, follow the road for 82 miles (about 90 minutes). The road will then turn into State Highway 9, which you will follow for an additional 36 miles or 45 minutes into downtown Seward. The address for the cruise terminal is actually at the railroad stop, along Port Avenue.
Most cruise lines offer transfers for purchase. You can also book a transfer through a third-party; some of these include tours on the way.
Most cruise tours with sailings out of Seward will arrange for cruise passengers to take a ride on the Alaska Railroad down to the port, which is the final southbound stop on the railroad. Common departure points for Seward are from Anchorage or Girdwood (a three- to four-hour ride), or farther north from Talkeetna or Denali (seven to 11 hours from Seward). Fares are normally included in your cruise tour package, but if you arrange a one-way ride on your own, prices start from about $105 per person.
Depending on where you are staying, a taxi ride is not a recommended mode of transportation to the Seward cruise port. From Anchorage, cab fare could be close to $400. Taxi services are available in Seward, like Mike's Taxi, but a free shuttle makes most stops between local hotels, the campground and the cruise port.
At the time of publication, rideshare services like Uber or Lyft do not operate in the State of Alaska.
The Park Connection bus system departs Anchorage from the Egan Center at 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., arriving in Seward about three hours later. It's faster than the train by an hour and cheaper too. If you'd rather have someone else do the driving, it's a good option.
There is a Hertz rental car agency in Seward, located near the cruise port at 600 Port Avenue. They also maintain a kiosk within the cruise terminal to assist passengers. A free shuttle service is offered between the cruise ship terminal, the Alaska Railroad depot and the Small Boat Harbor. By special request, Hertz can also arrange to pick up or drop off at in-town accommodations. Keep in mind that one-way rentals can be expensive.
Parking is available in Seward if you need it for a car or an RV. The South Harbor Uplands lot and the Northeast lot, located near the Small Boat Harbor, allow for long-term parking (seven day maximum stay) and accommodate vehicles with trailers. Parking costs $10 per day.
Longshoremen can be hired to serve as stewards at the port. The terminal also offers complimentary use of about 20 airport-style luggage carts.
Check with your cruise line on your specific time of embarkation. The train arrives in Seward at 11:05 a.m. and gives passengers plenty of time to check in, as most ships leave in the evening.
It's best to arrange wheelchair and boarding assistance directly through your cruise line or a third-party company like Scootaround, which serves the port of Seward.
Your best bet for doing a little shopping and dining close to the cruise port is along the area known as the Small Boat Harbor. Here is where you will find sit-down restaurants, like Ray's or Chinook's, souvenir shops and even ice cream. For any forgotten supplies, a Safeway grocery store is located along the Seward Highway, just a 10-minute walk from the Small Boat Harbor.
Public restrooms are located behind the Kenai Fjords National Park Visitors Center at the Small Boat Harbor, and also inside of the cruise terminal.
Wi-Fi isn't provided inside of the cruise terminal, but it's available at local coffee shops, like Sea Bean, and the Alaska Sealife Center Cafe.
Baggage carts and storage are not available in the terminal, although local businesses offer some baggage storage options. Passengers with reservations on the evening train to Anchorage can check in at the train depot beginning at 10 a.m. and drop their bags at that time.
There is ample seating at the cruise terminal, with long wooden benches on the inside of the facility, as well as benches and picnic tables around the outside.
If you plan ahead, there is typically enough time to fit in a day trip to Exit Glacier or a boat trip around Resurrection Bay or Kenai Fjords National Park, before your cruise departs. The summer season gets incredibly busy in Seward, especially around the Fourth of July (Mount Marathon Race) or the second week of August (the Seward Salmon Derby), so if you are planning a stay in Seward, book well in advance.
Updated December 05, 2019