Glacier Bay in Alaska is one of the highlights of an Alaskan cruise. As seeing a glacier for the first or twentieth time is spectacular.
Sailing around Glacier Bay is classed as a scenic cruising day; the cruise ship will sail around Glacier Bay to see the Margerie Glacier and the Lamplugh Glacier.
Glacier Bay is only accessible by air and water as there are no roads to the park. It is amazing that cruise ships can get so close for us to see them. Smaller boats can even
Not all Alaskan cruises go to Glacier Bay, some may go to Tracy Arm to see the Sawyer Glacier, College Fjord or the Hubbard Glacier. Check your cruise itinerary for details.
What is a glacier?
A glacier is a slowly moving mass or river of ice formed by the accumulation and compaction of snow on mountains or near the poles. The National Geographic Society explains it much better than me with lots of videos.
When do you see the Glaciers?
The Glacier Bay Park Rangers are picked up first thing in the morning, so they can be on
The day starts early (approx. 7 am) to sail through the fjords leading up to the breathtaking Margerie Glacier. The glacier is lodged between the fjords and is very big, 21 mi/34 km long.
The ship will usually stay for around an hour and turn, so if you have a balcony cabin you can stay there comfortably, knowing you will see the glacier whichever side you are on.
The best part of seeing Margerie Glacier is waiting for it to calves, this is when part of the ice falls off the glacier. It makes such a noise, you hear it before you see it! Unfortunately, I was not fast enough to capture it on video!
After an hour there taking in the beauty of the glacier, the ship sails to Lamplugh Glacier, which takes approximately an hour.
Lamplugh Glacier is smaller than the Margerie Glacier, it is 8 miles long/13 km and it is on an angle. Still just as beautiful as the Margerie Glacier.
The ship will turn so the whole ship gets a good view and is there for around 45 minutes. The rest of the day is quite scenic sailing from the fjords and you must keep your eye out for whales, seals and birds.
Where to stand onboard to view Glacier Bay
To get the best view of the glaciers is to stand out on the deck or on the balcony if you have a balcony cabin.
It depends on the weather too, as if it is a glorious day
Respect for the environment in Glacier Bay
We are very lucky that cruise ships are still allowed to cruise around the Glacier Bay National Park, so remember to respect the environment whilst around the bay.
Onboard all paper cups, paper napkins, straws, stirring sticks are not allowed to be used whist in Glacier Bay, just in case, someone throws something overboard or the wind takes them on board.
This is a good time to start using your own coffee cup or water bottle to help the environment on this day and in the future.
Do not feed the wildlife as this can cause illness or disease.
Which Cruise Lines Go to Glacier Bay?
Holland America Line
WEATHER IN Glacier Bay
The weather in Glacier Bay varies from beautiful sunshine to wet and cold, but this will usually be the coldest day of the cruise. Average temperatures between May – September are 38*F (3*C) – 55*F (13*C).
WHAT TO WEAR In Glacier Bay
Wear layers, bring an umbrella, rain jacket, gloves, scarf, hat, waterproof walking shoes/boots, jeans, tees and sweaters.
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Have you been to Glacier Bay? What was your favourite part?
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