Glacier Bay Alaska on your cruise ship itinerary
Cruising Glacier Bay Alaska
Glacier Bay is one of the greatest of the United States National Parks. Unlike most parks, nearly all of the 500 thousand visitors each year arrive onboard cruise ships. While that sounds like a huge number of people, there is actually very limited access and only a small percentage of Alaska cruisers have the opportunity to actually enter and cruise inside Glacier Bay.
The National Park Service permits only two cruise ships per day entry into the park and the cruise ship company pays a large sum for their permit as well as approximately $50 per person entry fee. Prior to entering the park, one or more park rangers are delivered to the ship by skiff to escort and narrate to the guests.
Visitors may also enter Glacier Bay on foot or by kayak but at 130 miles round trip, the most common way to see the area is on a cruise ship.
The most magnificent sights within the park are the glaciers, of course, as well as the wildlife. Over two hundred humpback whales make their home in Glacier Bay, as well as brown and black bears, river and sea otters, mountain goats and various birds. Eagles are so common that there is an
eagle’s nest on average every single mile of shore line.
While we were cruising in Glacier Bay this week (June 2014), we saw not only humpback whales but orca whales too.
When choosing the cruise that’s right for you, be sure to check the itinerary for Glacier Bay if you want to see these magnificent glaciers up close. I would be happy to help you plan the vacation that’s right for you.