10 Glacier Cruises To Take In Alaska For An Enchanting Day Trip
Glaciers are Alaska’s #1 tourist attraction! Tens of thousands of them dot the state and their thrilling size and striking beauty are amazing to witness. Perhaps the most intimate way to experience the awesome scale of an Alaskan glacier is on the water and a huge number of cruises are available throughout Alaska.
Prince William Sound and the Kenai Fjords are full of tidewater glaciers that extend down from mountain peaks and out into the sea. You can the hear the glaciers sizzle as trapped air bubbles slowly escape. Witnessing a tidewater glacier unleash a block of ice ten stories high into the ocean is one of the most dramatic events in all of nature. Cruises are a great way to see marine life as well, such as playful sea otters and harbor seals. Make sure to add a glacier cruise to your Alaskan travels!
1. Hubbard Glacier, Prince William Sound, Whittier
Hubbard Glacier is a valley glacier that meets the ocean near Yakutat, Alaska in Disenchantment Bay. This glacier is one of the more active glaciers in Alaska, regularly calving pieces of glacier that are as large as 10 story buildings. You can't get as close to this one on the ship, but you are likely to see a lot of motion in the ice near the water.
2. The Grand Pacific Glacier, Glacier Bay, Juneau
Grand Pacific Glacier is the largest glacier in Glacier Bay. This giant is located at the northwestern end of the Bay and is the widest glacier in the park, coming in around 2 miles wide.
3. Margerie Glacier, Glacier Bay, Juneau
Margerie Glacier has a steep drop off, and that means that your ship can get up close and personal with this tide water glacier.
4. Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau
The Mendenhall Glacier is near Alaska's State Capital, Juneau. This magnificent glacier is 12 miles long and a tour is among the most popular attractions in the state.
5. Blackstone Glacier, Prince William Sound, Whittier
Prince William Sound has the densest concentration of tidewater glaciers in the world, as well as calm waters for cruising. Blackstone Glacier is only 3 miles from Whittier as the crow flies, but a 4.5 hour cruise from Whittier by boat.
6. Surprise Glacier, Prince William Sound, Whittier
At the end of Harriman Fjord, Surprise Glacier is a 5.25 hour cruise from Whittier. You can see wildlife, and fantastic views of towering blue ice sculptures and floating icebergs that are often covered with harbor seals.
7. Davidson Glacier, Skagway
Approximately a 7-hour journey from Skagway, take a high-speed jet catamaran for an approximately 1-hour cruise to the Davidson Glacier. This is a wonderful cruise to see whales, porpoises and harbour seals.
8. Bear Glacier, Resurrection Bay, Seward
Bear Glacier, a piedmont glacier, is in the absolutely gorgeous Resurrection Bay. Take a day cruise from Seward!
9. Columbia Glacier, Cordova
This glacier in Prince William Sound has been in a "catastrophic" retreat since 1982. This glacier makes for a thrilling trip as every day 13 million tons of ice break off the face of it. Take a seven hour cruise out of Valdez to see this incredible feat of nature.
10. Twin Sawyer Glaciers, Juneau
These two glaciers are nestled in a 27-mile long inlet 50 miles south of Juneau. The narrow passage requires some tricky sailing in an S curve between the 3000 foot high walls, in a channel no more than ½ mile wide!
Find out more about Alaska’s glaciers and glacier cruises
Have you been on a glacier cruise? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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