Seward, Alaska Cruise Port Guide

A Seward cruise will show you the very best of Alaska’s wild beauty and cultural diversity. Situated at the end of Resurrection Bay, a long fjord on the Kenai Peninsula, the city is surrounded by towering, snow-capped mountains and dense forests of spruce and hemlock. The Kenai Fjords National Park and the vast glaciers of the Harding Icefield are within easy reach. The town itself is bustling all summer long, the waterfront lined with marinas filled with sailboats and fishing boats. The five-mile stony beach of Waterfront Park stretches in front of the town, and it’s common to spot the blow of humpback whales from the shore.

Cruises from Seward take you to some of the most exciting ports in Alaska, including Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, and Icy Strait Point. You’ll also sail up close to the magnificent Hubbard Glacier, and through the serene waters of the Inside Passage, one of the best places to spot whales and dolphins. What’s more, you could take the opportunity to extend your Alaska cruise by choosing one of Celebrity’s spectacular Cruisetours, combining the dramatic landscapes and abundant wildlife of Denali National Park with a voyage to or from Seward.

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Top Ports on Cruises From Seward


Sleepy Skagway offers a fascinating insight into the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 19th century. It’s here that a makeshift town of bars, bordellos, outfitters, and accommodation for 40,000 prospectors sprang up almost overnight. Follow in their footsteps over the mountains to the goldfields on the vintage White Pass & Yukon Route Railway, which clatters over gorges and tumbling waterfalls. Skagway is also packed with outdoor activities, from dog-sledding to canoeing, rafting, and hiking.

Icy Strait Point

Forested Icy Strait Point lies on Chichagof Island, which is part of the vast Glacier Bay National Park. The port is owned and operated by the local mainly Tlingit community. As it was custom-designed for cruise ships, there’s plenty to do the minute you step ashore. Ride the ZipRider, or spot bears feeding in the Spasski River. Join a whale-watching expedition or paddle a sea kayak. On land, explore miles of pristine forest on foot or by ATV.


Pretty Ketchikan lies at the northern end of the island-specked Inside Passage. The area is famed for its abundance of salmon, which force their way upstream all summer long, creating a spectacular sight and a feast for bears. Walk around enchanting Creek Street, a row of old houses on a stilted boardwalk. In the very early 20th century, this was a strip of rowdy bars and houses of ill repute, but today, you’ll find inviting art galleries and craft shops occupying the old clapboard houses.

Why Sail From Seward with Celebrity Cruises

With its magnificent mountain scenery and abundance of activities, Seward is the perfect place to start or finish an Alaska cruise. It’s an easy and wonderfully scenic drive from Anchorage and is filled with exciting things to do if you decide to extend your stay with a Celebrity Cruisetour, from kayaking to glacier trekking and whale-watching.

After a busy day in port, enjoy the comfort and delicious, world-class cuisine of Celebrity Summit®. Unwind in The Spa, relax in the balmy Solarium, or watch the snow on the mountains turn pink as you raise a glass to the vacation of a lifetime from the Sunset Bar.

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Seward Cruise Port Facilities & Location

Seward, around two and a half hours by road from Anchorage, has a dedicated cruise ship terminal, just beyond the Small Boat Harbor. There is seating in the terminal, as well as restrooms. For shops, places to eat, and cafés with Wi-Fi, you’d have to walk 10 minutes to the waterfront at the Small Boat Harbor, which has everything you’d need.

A free shuttle bus, operated by Seward City Tours and calling at various points of interest, stops at the cruise terminal and operates between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. from May to September. The very pleasant walk from the cruise terminal to the furthest point of the downtown area takes around 30 minutes.

Top Sights & Attractions for Seward Cruises

Kenai Fjords

Seward is the gateway to the magnificent Kenai Fjords National Park, a pristine area of rocky islands and forested shoreline. The waters are teeming with wildlife, from humpback, gray, and minke whales to sea otters, sea lions, puffins, and harbor seals. Cruises through the fjords sail close to the shoreline, where you may spot bears foraging on beaches and mountain goats perched on the rocks. A cruise also offers a chance to get close to the towering, blue-white face of the Holgate Glacier.

Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier, flowing from the massive Harding Icefield, is one of the few glaciers near Seward that can be reached by road, which means it’s possible to embark on a spectacular hike from here. The four-mile uphill trail takes you over the glacier’s rocky moraine and past rushing streams of ice-cold meltwater. It’s possible to hear the glacier groaning and cracking as it edges toward the sea. The views from the top of the Kenai Mountains of endless forest are breathtaking, too.

Mount Marathon

Mount Marathon looms behind the downtown area of Seward and is famed for its grueling annual race to the summit and back every July 4. The mountain can be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace via three hiking trails to the top through the spruce forest and a lush, rock-tumbled glaciated valley. The views up here are magnificent, with jagged mountains and glaciers all around, and Resurrection Bay stretching away below. There’s a chance of spotting eagles wheeling overhead, too.

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Top Things to Do in Seward, Alaska

Visit the Alaska SeaLife Center

The Alaska SeaLife Center is an aquarium and Alaska’s only permanent marine mammal rehabilitation center. You’ll see dozens of native Alaskan species up close, from salmon to giant octopus, king crab, and colorful sea stars. There are Steller sea lions as well as ringed and spotted seals in residence, including cubs that have been orphaned. Book an animal encounter and get closer to the various species under the guidance of an expert.

Stroll Along Waterfront Park

An informative stroll with expansive views, Waterfront Park lies just along the shoreline north of the Alaska SeaLife Center. Following the promenade will take you past numerous points of interest. Look for the Founder’s Monument, which marks the spot where the town’s first settlers arrived in 1903, and the marker for the original start of the grueling Iditarod Trail. You’ll end at the sparkling Small Boat Harbor, the waterfront lined with tempting cafés and restaurants.

Drive a Team of Sled Dogs

Seward was the original starting point for the legendary Iditarod Trail, and dog sledding is alive and well here. Visit the Seavey family’s kennels, which have produced multiple Iditarod champions, and meet the summer’s litters of adorable puppies. Then take a sled ride out into the forest on a wheeled summer sled, racing along trails at the base of Resurrection Mountain, helping to keep these enthusiastic, muscular dogs fit for the coming winter season.

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