Glacier Bay National Park Tours and Cruises (photos)
Set aside a day for a boat cruise of Glacier Bay combining geological drama and ecological wonder, the calving of mammoth icebergs, incredible wildlife viewing, and the rebirth of forests after the last mini ice age. The Gustavus Inn takes you directly to the early morning cruise departure from Bartlett Cove. You set off from the verdant rain forest and islands of the lower Bay and pause in mid-Bay to observe the rich upwelling of nutrients that attract Humpback, Minke and Orca whales. Seals and sea lions haul out on the Marble Islands and up on the cliffs, bird rookeries of horned and tufted puffins, cormorants, gulls and oystercatchers raise and feed their young. You go back in time, forests grow younger, and the land rebounds from glacial retreat.
The comfortable enclosed three deck catamaran has a park service naturalist who provides interpretation throughout the voyage. From the rail or the warmth of the spacious cabin, watch mountain goats roaming the lichen covered slopes and moose and brown bear wandering the beaches. Where the advancing Johns Hopkins and Tarr Inlet glaciers meet saltwater, giant icebergs are calved in thunderous beginnings, humbling onlookers with the magnitude of the ageless geological forces carving this rugged fjord. The tumble of icebergs at the face of the glaciers is the protected home of cliffdwelling kittiwakes and the pupping grounds for thousands of seals. Pause at the confluence of the Marjorie and Grand Pacific glaciers neat the Canadian border and observe their passage through the 14.000 ft Fairweather Range down to sea level, a true Bay of Thunder. We can arrange custom two to three night guided charters into Glacier Bay on a private yacht. We know the boats and the skippers and match them to your party and interests.
If you are in town for the day or just arriving, after lunch daily we take our guests to the Bartlett Cove National Park contact station to enjoy the trails, rocky beach, naturalist guided walk, natural history displays, and bookstore and gift shop at the lodge. The highlight is the guided walk along the tidal shore into the climax rain forest of towering spruce and hemlock and a moss covered forest floor. On the partially handicapped accessible one mile walk, see old glacier moraine, shore birds, occasional moose, bear and whales and a blackwater pond with loons and ducks.