Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise
WHY WE LOVE THIS ADVENTURE
By ship and shore, you will see the wild and marine life that call Alaska home – puffins, sea lions, porpoises, humpback whales, and bear.
LESS IS MORE
Fewer passengers on-board means that expeditions are made up of small groups and the crew can devote more attention to their guests.
Visit an ever-changing landscape at Margerie Glacier, where glaciers actively calve into the inlet, a beautiful and powerful reminder of the forces that shape the area.
You will learn about the rich legacy of Alaska and glaciology from your knowledgeable crew and a visiting National Park Ranger on an exciting day in Glacier Bay National Park.
No hidden fees for excursions gives you the option to kayak, paddleboard, hike, or hang out on-board and enjoy the view.
The smaller size of this ship gives you a unique perspective as you glide past magnificent glaciers and explore pristine waterways that you would never experience on a bigger ship or by land.
Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise
Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise Inquiry Request
This sample itinerary is only a guideline; variations may occur to maximize your experience.
Day 1 – Juneau, Alaska- Embark
Accompanied by your new travel companions, the captain and crew welcome you aboard then set sail bound for Icy Strait!
Day 2 – Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay has a wow-worthy list of titles—National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Biosphere Reserve. At 3.3 million acres, add Endless Adventure Playground to the list. Head for the Glacier Bay outback. These are places most visitors never see. Dundas and Taylor Bays are in the southernmost reaches of the park. It’s less windswept tucked into a bay, but no less wild. Kayak around sea stacks. Or comb for critters if the tide is right. In far reaches, share the beach with sharp-eyed eagles and bears. Skiff deep in Dundas and make for the hills. A bushwhack into the forest gets your heart pumping. Paddle through kelp in Taylor Bay. Backstroking sea otters hardly bat an eye at your boat. Your bartender has an Old Fashioned ready. Perfect timing too. It’s happy hour and time to swap stories of this big day with your shipmates.
Day 3 – Glacier Bay National Park
An early morning pick-up. A National Park ranger comes aboard to share expert insight. Plus off-the-map places in bay that most visitors pass by. Have your binoculars handy—South Marble Island is a birder’s slice of heaven. Puffins scoot through the water. Guillemots and gulls chatter up the airwaves. The snoozing sea lions don’t seem to mind. Cruise to the far end of Tarr Inlet where Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers calve into the water. Backed by knife-edged peaks, pull into narrow Tidal Inlet. Bears like to forage along this shoreline. Mountain goats too. Back at Bartlett Cove, if time and daylight allow, take a forest hike around the park’s HQ, and say farewell to your ranger.
Day 4 – Chatham Strait
Chatham Strait stretches for 150 miles in the Tongass National Forest. Options aplenty, your captain navigates to the best. Anchor in a remote Chichagof Island inlet. Backpacks loaded and adventure toys lowered (skiffs, paddle boards, kayaks), it’s time to go play. Energy flows as you hike up through moss-covered trees. Stick to the water and don’t forget to look above and below the surface. A nosy seal could be watching your every stroke. Beachcomb rocky shores. Tiny creatures cling to rocks. Tonight, take a nightcap to the sun deck and watch the sky.
Day 5 – Kuiu Island
Salmon streams dot the coastline—where there’s salmon, there are bears. Kuiu Island is home to one of the world’s densest populations of black bears. Scope the intertidal zones of Saginaw Bay for them from a kayak or skiff. Eagles fish here too, their white noggins give away their perches. Kayak along the Keku Islands or take the pace down a notch checking out tide pools and abundant life in the intertidal zones. It’s remote, and remarkable.
Day 6 – Frederick Sound
Humpbacks beeline it here each season to feast in the krill-rich waters. After your breakfast, look for whales eating theirs. Chances are high they will be—time to hang and enjoy the show. Based on wind and weather, your expedition team has the lineup of adventures all mapped out. Cruise past Five Fingers Lighthouse, Alaska’s oldest light station and The Brothers Islands, where sea lions nap on rocky nobs. Paddle into the deeps of Port Houghton or Windham Bay or head ashore for a hike. When a bear takes notice, they generally scram. But carrot-billed black oystercatchers give you a talking-to. Tonight, toast another big day in Alaska.
Day 7 – Endicott Arm / Dawes Glacier
Snow-covered mountains. Glacier-carved valleys. White thunder of calving ice. It’s an impressive Wilderness Area. Skiffing up Endicott Arm, harbor seals pups laze around on icebergs. If the tides are right, slip into Fords Terror. The fjord’s steep walls are streaked with waterfalls. Choked with ice, at the end of the arm, meet Dawes Glacier. Blue ice marches down from the Coast Mountains. With a sharp crack, a calving slice makes a mega-splash. Tonight, celebrate with a festive Farewell Dinner and “photo journal” from your expedition team.
Day 8 – Juneau – Disembark
After a delicious breakfast, wish your travel companions fair winds. You’ll be transferred to the Juneau airport for your flight home.
After meeting your fellow travelers, you will set sail from Juneau, Alaska headed toward the Icy Strait, a scenic channel with glacial melt and an abundance of marine mammals.
The last night on the ship, you will have a special farewell dinner, and the next morning after breakfast, you will disembark and be transferred back to the Juneau Airport for your flight home.
All on-board meals; premium spirits, wine, and beer; non-alcoholic beverages; exclusive transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark days; entry fees to national parks/preserves; all adventure activities and equipment from the boat; and wellness offerings, including hot tubs, fitness equipment and yoga mats. On some trips, a complimentary massage is also included.
You will find Alaska’s summer temperatures surprisingly pleasant. Daytime highs for June – August range from 60°F – 80°F. Nighttime lows are refreshingly cool, dipping into the 40’s – 50’s. May and September are usually 5° – 10° cooler. During this time of year, expect a few days of cloudy weather and rain, but also some clear days. Look forward to long daylight hours and enjoy the beautiful light change on the landscape.
This is a small-scale cruise and depending on the dates you select, your vessel will have between 36 -84 guests and a generous guest to guide ratio of 3-2 guests for each crew member. This means that you will have plenty of opportunities to learn about the local ecology and culture of the area, as well as have expert instruction for all your adventure activities.
Your vessel will depend on which launch date you choose. All ships offer ample vantage points for taking in the sights. Ships carry all the adventure equipment for guests including kayaks, paddleboards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles, and more. All cabins are equipped with a TV and DVD, iPod docking station, air conditioning, private bath with shower, and generous closet space. Your vessel will include a fully stocked bar and cozy library to sit back and relax and is also equipped with a hot tub, sauna and fitness area suite to enjoy.
You can look forward to a delicious daily menu filled with meals that include locally sourced ingredients, such as fresh Dungeness crab or Alaskan prawns. For breakfast – you can choose from an early riser breakfast with fresh baked pastries and fruit or a full breakfast with hot, cold, and specialty dishes. For lunch – you will find a range of salads, sandwiches, and homemade soups. For happy hour – enjoy a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres in the lounge. For dinner -choose from several entrées including fresh, local seafood and meat or a vegetarian dish with a chef-selected wine pairing. Be sure to leave room for an indulgent dessert, such as tiramisu.
Travel in Alaska is often characterized by its cool, humid climate. We recommend investing in good rain gear, quick drying base layers, warm socks, and a solid pair of calf height rain boots with a good rubber sole. Every adventure is better with the right gear!
Flexible, Fun & Full!
Your days will be filled from the moment you wake until you retire to your cabin with opportunities for group meals, off-ship outings, and presentations in the evening. You can choose to participate in the activities and presentations each day or sit them out, but one thing is for sure, this cruise will keep you moving!
We’ve been connecting our clients to water adventures around the world since 1987. We partner with select outfitters who share our values and are pros at creating exceptional experiences. There is no fee for our service; we earn our commission from the outfitters we represent, and the cost of your expedition is the same as booking direct.
Length: 7 nights
Price: $3,995 – $12,295 per person; $250 for port taxes & fees; Kids ages 8 to 13 save $500 per child
Season: April – September
Min. Age: 8 years
Activity: Expedition Cruise
Adventure Level: Mild
Overview of Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise