Alaska Cruise Departure Ports

San Francisco, California – Cable cars, the Golden Gate rising from the fog – welcome you to San Francisco, undoubtedly the most cosmopolitan and romantic city in the United States. It’s a location where cable cars rise up steep hills to expose magnificent vistas and winding streets meander past candy-colored Victorian homes. With so many sights you may want to prepare for a few extra days to take it all in.

The renowned Golden Gate Bridge, opened in 1936, spans the channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific. World-famous Fisherman’s Wharf dates back to the 1800s and is to this day still used by area fisherman. Head to Pier 39 to watch sea lions bask on Seal Rock.

San Francisco receives an Excellent rating in accessibility. This acknowledgment is due in large part to the overall accessibility of the Bay Area’s public transportation networks and the excellent accommodations available at tourist attractions. Disabled wheelchair users can ride trains, city buses and most street cars without having to leave the comfort of their chair. These same individuals can easily access the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and sightseeing ferries in their wheelchairs. San Francisco boasts a cultural sense of inclusion for all persons, regardless of physical ability, and this is carried throughout with the accommodations available at hotels, museums, restaurants and other public places.

San Francisco might be among the hilliest cities in the USA, however this does not imply that it is not accessible for wheelchair travel. Power wheelchairs will have more freedom to explore the inner communities of San Francisco, but those utilizing manual chairs might have to be pushed. There are, nevertheless, a couple of locations in San Francisco that are reasonably flat, making it easier for some to explore San Francisco.

Seattle, Washington – Seattle is the cosmopolitan crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest. The city sits on the slip of land between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, with the Olympic and Cascade Mountains serving as a spectacular backdrop. The Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the Downtown Waterfront are just a few of the famous landmarks of Seattle.

Seattle is a young city. Settlers first landed at Alki Point in 1851 and named the area after Sealth, after the Suquamish Indian chief who befriended them. “The Emerald City” has a legacy of vision and strength and was rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1889. Seattle has hosted two World’s Fairs (1909 and 1962) and is the birthplace of two modern marvels, Boeing and Microsoft.

Cruise passengers with afternoon flights or an overnight stay in Seattle will enjoy the city’s variety of vacation sites. Travelers with disabilities will find Seattle to be among the country’s most accessible vacation destinations. The city offers wheelchair-friendly hotels and attractions that can be easily enjoyed with careful planning.

Seward, Alaska – Seward is a primary end point for north-bound cruise ships. Cruise ship passengers disembark and often take the train or bus farther north to Anchorage, Denali, or other Alaskan attractions.

Best known for its beautiful parks and mountain scenery, there is nearly an endless variety of outdoor activities to enjoy in Seward. There’s no shortage of enjoyable pastimes in Alaska’s City of Seward with monster halibut weighing over 300 pounds caught each year in nearby waters.

Vancouver, British Columbia – Positioned between the snow-dusted North Shore Mountains and the rich, blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver blends big-city sophistication with small-town charm. Don’t miss Queen Elizabeth Park – a 130-acre civic arboretum accented with sculptures by modern artist Henry Moore.

Famous for its mild climate, rich nature and vivid arts scene, Vancouver is known around the world as one of the best places to live. Environmental group Greenpeace was established in Vancouver.

It seems unlikely that a character named “Gassy Jack” Deighton would be responsible for one of the most beautiful cities on the continent. But that’s history for you.

During the gold rush, Gassy Jack saw a chance to make money from the hordes of miners on their way to the Yukon. The saloon he built became the focus of the shanty town known as Gastown. From that ragtag group of shacks, modern Vancouver was born. The provincial government persuaded settlers to change the name of the town to Vancouver, after Captain George Vancouver, who sailed the region’s waters in 1792.

Canada’s third-largest city, Vancouver is a cosmopolitan place with a European feel and a personality all its own. It’s a community with a rich ethnic mix – including the second-largest Chinatown in North America – and stunningly beautiful parks.
Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, the westernmost of Canada’s 10 provinces, has a reputation as being one of the most accessible cities in the world for travelers with disabilities. Whether using wheelchairs, white canes, seeing eye dogs or hearing aids, Vancouver leads the way in making the area a more livable place for people with disabilities.

This diverse city in southwest British Columbia, Canada, features some very accessible attractions and a great public transportation system. Buses are equipped with ramps for wheelchairs and the Sky Train and SeaBus are also accessible. If you’re driving a car, the city has increased the number of parking places for people who need disability access. If you have a disabled parking permit, it is valid in Vancouver.

Vancouver also features innovative housing, and recreational opportunities. For disabled visitors, most attractions and many recreational sites are fully accessible.

Whittier, Alaska – Whittier, approximately 65 miles southeast of Anchorage, lies nestled at the base of the Chugach Mountains bordering Passage Canal. Established as a World War II port for cargo and troops of the Alaska Command, Whittier remained activated until 1960. Today, Whittier’s economy and its 290 residents rely largely on the fishing industry, the port and, increasingly, on tourism.

Once accessible only by boat or via a war-era railway tunnel, The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel was recently enhanced to accommodate highway traffic as well, making it the longest highway/rail tunnel in North America at 2.5 miles.

Named for the poet John Greenleaf Whittier, the community is also the gateway to spectacular Prince William Sound, with its magnificent tidewater glaciers and abundant marine life.

A Note About Shore Excursions

Even though the destination may be accessible, the transportation to the site may not be.  If you must travel on a standard tour bus, there is not a wheelchair lift and you must be able to climb stairs to get into the bus.

Select a Port of Call

Select a Port of Call to see information of the port and related shore excursions while focusing on accessibility for the disabled cruiser.