How to see a glacier in Alaska is simple if you are going on an Alaskan cruise. An Alaskan cruise is all about seeing whales, bears, bald eagles and glaciers.
Seeing a glacier is one of the most beautiful historical part of nature you will see. They are formed thousands of years ago and we are lucky we can still see them today. Alaska is one of the parts of the world you can easily visit a glacier.
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How do you see a glacier in Alaska?
How to see a glacier in Alaska is easier than you think, as on most Alaskan cruises you will get to see one while scenic cruising which is scheduled into the cruise. The other ways to see glaciers is by going tours to view from a viewpoint, in a boat, float plane or helicopter.
In Juneau you can visit Mendenhall Glacier from one of viewpoints at the Mendenhall Glacier Park or by going by helicopter and landing on top. There are many tours that can take you to view glaciers in Juneau and Skagway.
Whilst I was cruising Alaska this time I went on a boat tour that took us up close to Dawes Glacier in Endicott Arm Fjord. This was on scenic cruising day, you could see Dawes Glacier from the ship, but not as close. So this why I took the tour.
I know I have written about view glaciers before, but this time was a very different experience because it was sunny! The sunshine changed the whole day and my photos are completely different to the former ones and I’m very happy to share these photos with you.
Endicott Arm Fjord
Endicott Arm Fjord is close to Tracy Arm Fjord and is home to Dawes Glacier and is a stunning location. You can see Dawes Glacier from the ship, but not as close. The sail in is beautiful and we had great weather that makes all the difference.
The fjords are tall mountains, some snow capped others covered in trees, with the odd waterfall in between.
Around the fjords are floating icebergs, some small, some big, so sailing through the fjords is challenging for the cruise ship. Going on a smaller boat that is built for sailing up close to a glacier through the ice is the better option how to see a glacier in Alaska.
Seeing Dawes Glacier up close makes you realised how big the glacier really is, our boat looked tiny. The glacier is thick blue ice wedged in between the fjords that goes back for miles.
Whilst watching the glacier, it is very quiet, until the glacier starts to calve. When a glacier is calving it makes a sound like thunder as the ice shatters into the water below.
I am never quick enough to capture on camera, but I did see Dawes Glacier calve a few times.
This tour is only available from the cruise line and is only available on certain Alaska itineraries. The boats come up to the cruise ship when in Endicott Arm from Juneau and the tour will take you all the way back to Juneau.
How the tour works is you will board the boats like when you board the ships tenders. When everyone has boarded the boats goes full steam ahead through Endicott Arm up to Dawes Glacier. The boat’s crew point out wildlife on the way, when at the glacier the boat rotates and gets as close as it is allowed.
We stayed around an hour and a half at the glacier, then on the way to Juneau we stopped at waterfalls, other glaciers, looked out for whales (we saw a couple). The trip was scenic, but it is a long ride to Juneau.
The whole tour start to finish is six hours. Onboard the boat is a bar that serves soft and alcoholic beverages and some food for an extra charge. There was complimentary coffee, tea, hot chocolate and donuts.
The day we were there we were very lucky it was a sunning day, but it was not hot, you are still at a glacier so it is cold. It was warm in the sun but cold in the shade around 8*C.
What to Wear & Bring
Dress for the cold; hat, gloves, scarf, jacket and bring your camera or smart phone, portable battery to charge your phone and a bottle of water.
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY READING ABOUT OTHER TOURS TO GO ON IN ALASKA:
Have you seen a glacier in Alaska? Which one did you see?
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