Glacier Bay National Park Cruises

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Glacier Bay National Park Cruises

Adventure Cruises in Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park Cruises are a great way to explore the beauty of Alaska’s UNESCO-listed Glacier Bay National Park. Located in the southeastern part of the state, the 65-mile stretch of national park can be found within a coastal route called the Inner Passage.

Adventure cruises to Glacier Bay National Park let you observe the local wildlife and landscapes at close range and join in with a host of thrilling activities. Fuel your spirit of adventure with kayaking or paddling a skiff in the icy waters and hiking through the remote wilderness. Relax in an outdoor hot tub after an exciting day, or sample a mud bath.

Top things to do and see in Glacier Bay National Park

Cruises to Glacier Bay National Park combine nature and wildlife, dramatic landscapes, adventure activities, relaxation, and the chance to explore remote villages and see the local way of life. Cruise itineraries generally combine a variety of experiences so that you can enjoy the very best of Glacier Bay National Park. Top things to enjoy on cruises around Glacier Bay include:

Glaciers - Stunning glaciers surrounded by snow-capped peaks and verdant forests will take your breath away. Admire these huge natural wonders, and watch as the landscapes gradually change, with huge blocks of ice calving away and crashing into the waters. The Marjerie Glacier is a particularly exceptional spot for witnessing the majesty of nature. John Hopkins Glacier is incredibly photogenic, while McBride Glacier is a terrific place for kayaking.

Wildlife - An abundance of wildlife calls Glacier Bay National Park home, and small ship cruises let you get even closer to an array of fascinating creatures. Watch as whales and seals glide through the icy waters while sea lions and sea otters frolic nearby, look to the skies, see eagles soaring above, and see bears, deer, wolves, and moose roaming on dry land. Other animals that populate the area include squirrels, weasels, foxes, ermines, marmots, and minks.

Guided Tours - Take a narrated guided tour of the national park to learn more about the area’s history, ecology, and biology to appreciate the glorious sights better. The experienced and knowledgeable guide can answer any questions for a truly fulfilling experience.

Culture - Meet the Huna Tlingit, a community that inhabited Glacier Bay for many years. Discover more about their ways of life and ancestry and be fascinated by their traditions and cultural practices. While the group no longer permanently lives in the area, having been forced to relocate after natural disasters, they still retain strong historical ties to the area. The Huna Tribal House provides a great overview.

Top Tips for Visiting Glacier Bay National Park

  • Don’t forget to take your camera on your cruise around Glacier Bay National Park; there are so many spectacular sights that you will want to capture! Long-range lenses are ideal for snapping distant wildlife, while wide-angled lenses are perfect for landscape shots. You will probably also want to take a tripod.
  • Warm clothing is recommended, and dressing in layers is strongly advised. Make sure you have a change of clothing easily to hand following adventures, like kayaking and boating, on the waters.
  • Don’t forget to take rain gear on your land outings.
  • Binoculars are recommended to see wildlife from a distance.
  • Glacier Bay National Park has some excellent hiking opportunities; pack sturdy and broken-in hiking boots.
  • Pack a bathing costume to enjoy hot tubs under the stars.

Best time to cruise Glacier Bay National Park

The best time to visit Glacier Bay National Park is summer when the temperatures are slightly warmer, humpback whales return to the area after the winter, and seal pups float on blocks of ice. Summer is also when you may be lucky and glimpse the spectacular Northern Lights.

April to June are typically the driest months, while Glacier Bay generally experiences the most rainfall in September and October. Plan ahead and book your Glacier Bay National Park cruise in advance to avoid disappointment.

While winter is usually cold and foggy, there is still plenty to enjoy on a cruise around Glacier Bay National Park.

Where do Glacier Bay National Park cruises depart from?

Your Alaska small ship cruise to Glacier Bay National Park will usually depart from the state capital of Juneau, Sitka, or Ketchikan. Juneau has no road access; visitors typically arrive by sea or fly into Juneau International Airport (JNU). Sitka, the former state capital, is best reached by flying into Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (SIT), and you can also fly into Ketchikan International Airport (KTN), from where you need to take a short boat ride to reach the cruise departure point. Flights to each Alaskan airport are available from a selection of US airports.

Some Glacier Bay National Park cruise itineraries can also depart from Seattle, in the mainland US state of Washington.

Our reservations team is available to help arrange your next Alaska adventure cruise to Glacier Bay National Park. Book online today.

Glacier Bay National Park Reviews

  • Rating 9.4 out of 10
  • 9.4 Superb
  • Rating 10.0 out of 10
  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • mireille T
  • Flag of United StatesUnited States

Very impressive, it is gigantic.

Cruising Glacier Bay National Park in July on the Safari Endeavour
  • Rating 10.0 out of 10
  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Brenda B
  • Flag of United StatesUnited States

We chose the ice garden walk. It was very nice. We were able to get close to the ice and good views of the area. I like that they had several choices for everyone.

Cruising Glacier Bay National Park in April on the Wilderness Legacy
  • Rating 7.6 out of 10
  • 7.6 Good
  • Edward M
  • Flag of United StatesUnited States

Weather was cold and wet that day unfortunately.

Cruising Glacier Bay National Park in September on the Alaskan Dream
  • Rating 10.0 out of 10
  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Andrew G
  • Flag of United StatesUnited States

remarkable kayak to the glacier

Cruising Glacier Bay National Park in August on the Safari Endeavour

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