Alaska Scenic Cruising in Glacier Bay

Alaska Scenic Cruising in Glacier Bay - Lucy Williams Global

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 closer. I did this when visited the Sawyer Glacier, read more here.

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.

(This post may includes affiliate links for more information see my disclaimer).

Alaska Scenic Cruising in Glacier Bay - Lucy Williams Global
Margerie Glacier, Glacier Bay

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. 

Alaska Scenic Cruising in Glacier Bay - Lucy Williams Global
Margerie Glacier, Glacier Bay

When do you see the Glaciers?

The Glacier Bay Park Rangers are picked up first thing in the morning, so they can be on standby to answer questions and run commentary while at the glaciers.

The day starts early (approx. 7am) to sail through the fjords leading up to the breath-taking Margerie Glacier. The glacier is lodged between the fjords and is very big, 21 mi/34 km long.

The ship will usually stay for a round 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 calve, this is when part of 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, that takes approximately an hour.

Alaska Scenic Cruising in Glacier Bay - Lucy Williams Global
Lamplugh Glacier, Glacier Bay

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 deck or on the balcony, if you have a balcony cabin.

It depends on the weather too, as if it is a glorious day anywhere on the top deck outside. If it is raining, the promenade deck as it will be under cover, but outside.

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 is Glacier Bay, just in case someone throws something overboard or the wind takes them onboard.

This is a good time to start using your own coffee cup or water bottle to help the environment on this day and for the future.

Do not feed the wildlife as this can cause illness or disease.


Which Cruise Lines Go to Glacier Bay?

Princess Cruises

Holland America Line

NCL

WEATHER IN Glacier Bay

The weather is 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. 

YOU MAY ENJOY READING:

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BOOK AN ALASKAN CRUISE

TOP 23 PACKING TIPS FOR A COLDER CRUISE

TOP 10 PACKING TIPS FOR AN ALASKAN CRUISE

WHAT YOU MUST SEE IN KETCHIKAN ALASKA

HOW TO GET UP CLOSE TO THE SAWYER GLACIER IN ALASKA

TOUR OF A LIFETIME LANDING ON A GLACIER BY HELICOPTER IN JUNEAU ALASKA

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DAY IN SKAGWAY ALASKA

Have you been to Glacier Bay? What was your favourite part?

I hope you enjoyed reading Alaska Scenic Cruising in Glacier Bay. Please share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest so your friends and family can read too. Sharing is caring!

Happy Cruising!

Love Lucy x

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Alaska Scenic Cruising in Glacier Bay - Lucy Williams Global
Alaska Scenic Cruising in Glacier Bay - Lucy Williams Global

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4 Comments

  1. August 25, 2018 / 5:37 pm

    Great post! Glacier Bay is on my bucket list.

  2. Danilo
    September 4, 2018 / 1:54 am

    Beautiful Blog

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