Prince William Sound, an irregular inlet in the Gulf of Alaska, has the densest concentration of tidewater glaciers in the world. The 10,000 square miles of protected waterways provide calm waters, ideal for sightseeing cruises and boating. Mountains rise up to 9,000 feet from the water’s edge along some of it’s 3,800 miles of coastline. Of its 150 glaciers, 17 are tidewater glaciers which calve ice into sea.
An abundance of marine and coastal life inhabits the area. Bald eagles, marbled murrelets and black-legged kittiwakes are some of the 200,000 birds living in Prince William Sound during the summer. Black and brown bear, moose and mountain goats populate the land. Marine mammals including whales, stellar sea lions, harbor seals and sea otters live in the icy waters.
By road, you can reach Prince William Sound via a tunnel roadway to Whittier, a one-hour drive from Anchorage, or via the Richardson Highway to Valdez, Prince William Sound’s largest port.
Prince William Sound was originally named Sandwich Sound, after the Earl of Sandwich, by Captain James Cook in 1778. It was later renamed by British navigator George Vancouver to Prince William Sound after the third son of King George, Prince William, who became King William IV.