Prince William Sound, a Sound you won’t forget – Valdez pt. 2

Prince William Sound is ringed by the coastal mountains of the Chugach Range, and situated in the midst of the Chugach National Forest.  Within its 2,700 miles of coastline lies Valdez at the north shore edge.  When hearing reference to Prince William Sound, the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster most likely comes to mind.  Today the port waters have recovered and wildlife flourishes.

That’s Val DEEZ
Prince William Sound
Shimmering beauty

The Sound is a premier fishing destination for Salmon and Halibut, and in fact the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby was underway during our visit.  The winner was a tourist from Anderson, California, and she took home $1,000 for her 15.22-pound Silver Salmon!

One way to enjoy and be amazed by the Sound’s shimmering beauty is to take a guided tour.  We can’t seem to get enough of glaciers, so we booked the Meares Glacier excursion. It wasn’t so much the destination we were seeking, but rather being able to smell the sea air and get another vantage point for viewing mountains, glaciers and wildlife.

Valdez, Alaska
Leaving Valdez
Otters in Alaska
A group of otters is called a “raft”. This is probably the largest raft of otters we have seen, and it’s a good sign that the otter population is doing well after almost being wiped out by hunters years ago

Since we had been on a similar cruise at Kenai Fjords National Park, we can’t help but compare the calving activity of the glaciers.  We were fortunate to see plenty of calving of the Aialik Glacier during our Kenai Fjords tour.  However, the wildlife that make Prince William Sound their home are abundant and the scenery is without equal.  It was quite a challenge going through hundreds of pictures to pick the right ones – they were all beautiful!

Sealed with a kiss
Talk about a wet kiss!
Humpback Whale
A rare “fluke shot” of a Humpback Whale’s tail as it does a “deep dive”, which means it will be submerged for at least several minutes.
Seal near Meares Glacier
You talking’ to me?
Meares Glacier
We were interested to learn that fairly large icebergs completely melt in only a day or two. With that in mind you get an idea of how fast the glacier is dropping all of this ice into the ocean
Female Harbor Seals resting on ice
Female Harbor Seals resting on ice
A closer look at the Kittiwakes
A closer look at the Kittiwakes
Steller Sea Lions
Steller Sea Lions
Columbia Glacie
Columbia Glacier is the second-largest tidewater glacier in America. It has been retreating since 1980 and in 2002 it had retreated 7.5 miles
Meares glacier
The Meares glacier is about 6 miles long and 1 mile wide where it meets the water. The face is approximately 250 feet high
Black -Legged Kittiwakes hanging out on ice
Black -Legged Kittiwakes hanging out on ice

For those who are fans of the documentary/Real TV series “Deadliest Catch“, two of the fishing vessels featured there – the Kodiak and the Cornelia Marie – were docked at the Sound for the summer.  It’s off-season for the Alaskan crab fishermen, and during this time they are contracted to buy fish from small operations and take them to commercial plants for processing.

Valdez, Alaska
Cornelia Marie, one of the fishing vessels featured on “Deadliest Catch”

In our opinion, a visit to Alaska just isn’t complete without a trip to Valdez to enjoy the gorgeous calm waters and wildlife of Prince William Sound!




  1. Oh the memories! If you go to Bayside RV Park at 5pm (it is just as you come into town on the left) the lady there feeds the eagles. They come flying in right on time for the herring. Great photo ops.

    We are now in Seattle and are wishing we were there with you! Good Times.

  2. Awesome Mona Liza! I love coming to this site when I have some free time at work or get tired of UAT. haha.

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