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cruise alaska glacier bay

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Alerts in effect, cruise ships in glacier bay.

Last updated: November 16, 2023

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Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve PO Box 140 Gustavus, AK 99826

907 697-2230

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  • Alaska Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay

see glaciers up close

  • Ports of Call

It's apparent that the Glacier Bay region was made to be experienced by ship. For starters, Glacier Bay itself is 1,300 square miles of icy-cool waters bordered by amazing views of snow-capped mountains, fjords, coastlines… not to mention the namesake frozen-in-time glaciers. Bring a light jacket and enjoy panoramic views of Alaska’s Glacier Bay from the comfort of your ship. However, this vacation doesn’t end there — you’ll also stroll the streets of perennial Alaskan favorites like Skagway, Ketchikan, plus fan-fave (and state capital) Juneau.

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mountain top view of a scenic alaskan river

Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord

cruise around alaskan mountains of tracy arm fjord

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Kayak shore excursion on a Glacier Discovery cruise

Alaska Glacier Discovery

Get face-to-face with frozen giants. Wait breathlessly for ice to thunder into the sea. Each Glacier Discovery itinerary showcases two pristine wilderness areas, home to some of the best glaciers in Alaska. Northbound sailings feature both Glacier Bay and College Fjord. Southbound sailings cruise Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. Find countless adventures in three charming ports. Reel in salmon in Ketchikan, soar 1,800 feet up on the tramway in Juneau, ride the rails to a gold rush camp in Skagway.

Map of Alaska Glacier Cruise

A 7-day one-way cruise north- or southbound from Vancouver, B.C., or Whittier, Alaska.

Ports of Call on This Cruise (Northbound)

  • Vancouver, BC
  • Scenic Cruising the Inside Passage
  • Glacier Bay

College Fjord

Ports of call on this cruise (southbound), hubbard glacier, ships sailing this cruise, nieuw amsterdam.

Northbound and Southbound Glacier Experience cruise itinerary maps

Why Take This Cruise?

Cross glaciers off that bucket list. Twice. Two glacier cruise opportunities increase your chance to witness ice calving, one of nature’s greatest spectacles.

EXC Talks presentation aboard a Holland America Line cruise ship

Glacier Bay National Park

Alaska's glaciers at sunset

Alaska Glacier Discovery Ships

Travel in high style to the Last Frontier. Nieuw Amsterdam is an homage to New York City, featuring an outstanding art collection, ambitious design and exceptional onboard experience. Named “Best Cruise Ship Overall” at the Travvy Awards.

Discover the great outdoors on a ship named for the Northern compass point. Outfitted with museum-quality art, from 19th-century oils to photographs. Enjoy our exclusive Alaska programming, Alaska Up Close on board.

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CLICK HERE for All 2024-2025 Cruise Destinations & Pricing. Contact Us to Book or Contact Your Travel Advisor.

UnCruise Adventures

Glacier Bay Adventure Cruise with 2 Days in Glacier Bay

Roundtrip juneau from $4,400 on board wilderness discoverer.

cruise alaska glacier bay

Explore Glaciers, Native Cultures, and Scenic Beauty

Two days in Glacier Bay National Park offer an up-close look at glaciers, old-growth forests, and sea life. Hike remote coastlines and take in diverse birding at South Marble Island.

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • TWO full days in Glacier Bay National Park
  • Tidewater glaciers: Margerie, Grand Pacific, Lamplugh, Reid Glaciers, and the twin Sawyer Glaciers
  • Explore the shores and fjords of Tongass National Forest and Tracy Arm Fjord.
  • Kayaking and tide pooling in Keku Islands Park
  • Bushwhack and hike in old-growth forest and glacial outwash fields
  • Visit Neka Bay on Chichagof Island. Known for great bushwacks and kayaking
  • Visit Glacier Bay Headquarters and Lodge at Bartlett Cove.
  • Whale watching in Frederick Sound, Stephens Passage, and Icy Strait
  • Search for wildlife—bears, sea lions, seals, porpoises, eagles, and more
  • Birding at South Marble Island—puffins, oystercatchers, cormorants, and kittiwakes
  • Natural history narration from expert onboard guides
  • More exploring at Hobart Bay
  • B=Breakfast L=Lunch D=Dinner

cruise alaska glacier bay

Your day-by-day details

Day 1 juneau embarkation.

Arriving in Juneau, you will be transferred from the airport to our hospitality area. After a day of exploring Alaska’s Capital City of Juneau, you'll board your small adventure ship. Your crew greets you with Champagne and smiles. Set sail for a week of scenic channels and secluded wilderness as you embark on a w. (D)

DAY 2 Icy Strait & Neka Bay

Kick start the morning with on-deck yoga stretches and a strong cup of coffee. Energized and snug in your kayak, glide around in remote bays off of Icy Strait through giant bullwhip kelp that can grow to over 100 feet long. Join the gang in a skiff to a rocky outcropping to watch sea lions play. Or, step into mud boots for a forest hike with your top-notch, naturalist guides who have plenty to share about everything Alaska—marine biology, plants, and even geology. Neka Bay is also known for terrific bushwhacks and enjoyable Kayak adventures. On board, soak it all in as you soak in the hot tub. (BLD)

DAY 3 Glacier Bay National Park

Welcome to Glacier Bay National Park. Enjoy breakfast and then step shoreside in Bartlett Cove – the park headquarters- where park rangers, interpretive sites, a trail hike, and Xunaa Shuká Hít - the Huna Tribal House – await your discovery. Less than 1% of visitors to the park get the chance to step on land in the park – and this afternoon you will have the option to bushwhack, kayak, skiff, or walk the shores of Beartrack Cove – a stunning welcome to the expansive wilderness of Glacier Bay National Park. After dinner, get out on deck for sunset and bring your cameras, the snow-capped Fairweathers are the largest mountains in Southeast Alaska and are just begging to be photographed.

DAY 4 Glacier Bay National Park Continued

It’s 6:00 am. You were told this was going to be an early morning, and your alarm clock is the metallic sound of ice sliding past the hull of the ship. Grab a cup of coffee (let us grab it for you) and a warm jacket; directly off the bow is either Johns Hopkins Glacier or Margerie Glacier, depending on the season and ice condition. The quiet of the morning is only interrupted by the thundering crash of the glacier as 10 story-buildings of ice crash into the sea in the soft light of sunrise. Grab a pastry and a big breakfast, today is going to be a banner day. The captain drops the anchor deftly at Lamplugh Glacier – the morning is your choice of how you want to experience the glacier. Kayaks, ridge hikes, and ice garden explorations are all at your fingertips. The afternoon is spent singularly focused on the wildlife of the park. Get your binoculars out and spot Mountain Goats at Gloomy Knob and Tufted Puffins at the birder’s paradise of South Marble Island. This is our final day in the park – take it all in.  

DAY 5 Chichagof Island

Enjoy the top deck for a sunrise or morning stretch. Meander through glacier-carved fjords along the Chichagof coast. Then anchor. It’s a prime time to lower the kayaks and skiffs. Camera in hand, set off on land and sea explorations. Closer inspection by skiff, moss-dripping trees run right down to the water. Any bears in there? With one of the world’s largest populations of bears, it’s possible. Go searching for giant trees and tidal pools. Hiking in the Tongass, it won’t take long to find them. Your eagle-eyed guides lead the pack—and pull up the rear. (BLD)

DAY 6 Keku Islands Park and Whales of Fredrick Sound  

Hang out and enjoy the show. You may find yourself in 'whale soup' surrounded by feeding humpbacks swimming these abundant glacial waters. Based on wind and weather, your expedition team has the lineup of adventures all mapped out. Cruise past Five Fingers Lighthouse, Alaska’s oldest light station and The Brothers Islands, where sea lions nap on rocky nobs. Paddle into the deeps of Port Houghton or Windham Bay or head ashore for a hike. Somewhere nearby, carrot-billed black oystercatchers are saying hello. Tonight, toast another big day in Alaska. (BLD)

DAY 7 Tracy Arm & Sawyer Glaciers

Take an early peek out your window. Fjord cliffs reach skyward. Floating ice. And deep u-shaped valleys. There’s no abracadabra here. Mother Nature’s magic is real. Cruise past harbor seals and their pups lounging on chunks of ice. In classic fjord form, Tracy Arm delivers with the cotton candy blue Twin Sawyers glacier of its furthest reaches. Tides permitting, your skiff driver knows the ropes and guides you along. It’s a mashup of towering walls, temperamental currents, and the Coastal Mountains. So many waterfalls. Mountain goats show off fancy foot work on the cliffs, so keep your eyes open. Finish your week with Captain's dinner and post-dinner cocktials watching the week's “photo journal” by your crew. (BLD)

DAY 8 Juneau Disembarkation

Linger over breakfast this morning cruising into Juneau. Wish your crew and new friends goodbye. Then it’s off to the airport or begin your UnCruise hotel stay or land tour. (B)

Passport required (non USA citizens). Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur to maximize your experience.

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cruise alaska glacier bay

The 9 best Alaska cruises for every type of traveler in 2024

Fran Golden

Even with a season that only runs from April through October, Alaska draws roughly 40 big cruise ships and dozens of smaller cruise vessels each year, making it one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world after the Caribbean and Europe. The best Alaska cruises range from off-the-beaten-path voyages on vessels carrying fewer than 100 passengers to weeklong jaunts through the Inside Passage aboard megaships that hold thousands.

It can be hard to figure out which cruise ship will deliver your idea of a "bucket list" experience in The Last Frontier. A lot comes down to your travel style, preferences and budget.

Some travelers demand luxury Alaska cruises , while others don't mind going less fancy if it means close encounters with bears and other creatures in the wilderness. Some look for romance, while others want to introduce the kids or grandkids to glaciers and eagles, gold panning and sled dogs.

For cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

The good news is there's a ship in Alaska for you no matter your taste or style. Here's a beginner's guide to the best Alaska cruises to help you narrow down your choices.

Best for megaresort fans: Ovation of the Seas

cruise alaska glacier bay

Royal Caribbean is known for its floating megaresorts, which carry thousands and are big on amenities, glitz and a certain amount of glamor — think flashy casinos, high-tech shows and lavish spas. Dining and drinking venues number in the dozens, while amusement park features thrill the kids and adrenaline-seekers.

The line always stations one or two Quantum-class ships in Alaska for the season. On the 4,180-passenger Ovation of the Seas, you can order a drink from a robotic bartender, try simulated skydiving or surfing experiences, and take a ride in a glass capsule that travels high above your ship on a mechanical arm — a weird and wonderful way to see the Alaska scenery. Adults can linger in the glass-walled Solarium, relaxing in the indoor pools and whirlpools, while their kids zoom around the SeaPlex in bumper cars.

Ovation of the Seas sails round-trip from Seattle on seven-night cruises, but the exact itinerary varies by week. The ship cruises Endicott Arm for scenic views of Dawes Glacier and typically visits three Alaska ports and Victoria.

Related: A beginners guide to picking a cruise line

Best for land and sea adventures: Koningsdam

cruise alaska glacier bay

Holland America Line has offered Alaska cruises for 75 years and is clearly a market leader. The line tops the list in terms of cruises, as well as cruise tours, which combine time sailing with overnight stays on land. The company operates its own lodges, rail cars and motorcoaches for exploration of Alaska's interior and beyond.

Related: The coolest things to do on an Alaska cruise

The line will send six ships to Alaska in 2024, with tour offerings to Denali, Fairbanks and Anchorage. However, it's the 2,650-passenger Koningsdam that offers some of the most interesting cruise tour itineraries out there.

The ship offers nine- to 14-night cruise tours that head into the Canadian Yukon, following the route of the Klondike Gold Rush from Alaska to northwestern Canada. You'll sail from Vancouver to Skagway, with a stop in Glacier Bay National Park then travel to Whitehorse and Dawson City in the Yukon before continuing on to Fairbanks (the gateway to Arctic Alaska), Denali National Park (home to North America's largest peak) and Anchorage.

On board, enjoy live music at Billboard Onboard and B.B. King's Blues Club, play a game of pickleball on the outer deck or enjoy fine dining at numerous restaurants serving sushi and Asian cuisine, steak, seafood, Italian fare and Dutch treats.

Best for families: Disney Wonder

cruise alaska glacier bay

If you're traveling with young kids in Alaska and want an activity- and entertainment-packed experience, make a beeline for Disney Cruise Line and its Alaska-based Disney Wonder. The ship has an extensive children's program, high-quality entertainment, and such activities as water slides and play areas.

Cabins are designed with families in mind and include split bathrooms (one with a toilet and sink, the other with a shower/tub combo and sink), as well as sofabeds and bunks to sleep four in a cabin. Disney-themed restaurants and attentive wait staff take the stress out of family mealtimes.

Bonus: Everyone's favorite Disney characters will be on board for shows and meet-and-greets. Goofy might even make an appearance as you admire soaring eagles, blue icebergs and glaciers.

Related: 5 best cruise lines for families

Best value Alaska cruise: Radiance of the Seas

cruise alaska glacier bay

When cruise lines send a fleet of ships to Alaska for the summer, the older, smaller ships tend to offer more reduced prices than you'll find on the lines' larger and newer ships.

Royal Caribbean's 20-year-old ship Radiance of the Seas mainly sails weeklong, one-way cruises between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska, with prices below $100 per person, per night, for inside and outside cabins on many departures.

However, its late-season September 2024 sailing from Seward to Vancouver is the cheapest Royal Caribbean Alaska cruise of the season. At the time of this guide's posting, it started at just $456 per person for an inside cabin. (Generally, you'll find better deals from April to early June and in September than you will in the height of summer.)

Related: Best time to cruise Alaska

The ship might not have all the crazy attractions of its Alaska counterpart Ovation of the Seas, but it still offers kids clubs, outdoor movies, indoor adults-only solarium, rock-climbing wall, themed parties and multiple dining venues — making it a great value for the price.

If you're looking for other surefire ways to save, inside and ocean-view cabins are often much cheaper than balcony cabins on Alaska cruises. Those private verandas are highly desirable, with everyone seeking views of the wilderness, snow-capped peaks and glaciers. As those reserves get low, the prices tend to get higher.

Bargain seekers should either book early for these accommodations or choose inside, outside or guarantee cabins (where you don't pick your room location) to save more.

Best for Alaskan adventure: Wilderness Legacy

cruise alaska glacier bay

If adventure is what you crave on an Alaska cruise, you should seek out the small ships of UnCruise Adventures. All of the line's itineraries boast an active component, but its "Wild, Woolly and Wow" itinerary claims to be "the most active back country itinerary" of UnCruise's 2024 Alaska cruises.

A day aboard the 86-passenger Wilderness Legacy might start out with a hike to a glacial lake followed by an early-evening kayak adventure in Thomas Bay. Or, you might enjoy a bit of scenic cruising by LeConte Glacier (where the big ships don't go) then continue the fun with hiking and biking the trails of Ideal Cove. Guided skiff tours will take guests in search of Alaskan wildlife in remote bays and secret coves.

Big ships can only offer deckside viewing of the marvels of Glacier Bay, but UnCruise Adventures sends its ships to the rarely visited outback. In Fern Harbor, Dundas Bay or No Name Cove, passengers can get up close to the natural wonders with birding expeditions, paddleboarding, beach walks, and more hiking and kayaking.

The seven-night itinerary sails round trip from Juneau.

Best for multigenerational groups: Discovery Princess

cruise alaska glacier bay

Alaska has become a hot spot for multigenerational family travel, with grandparents taking their kids and grandkids of all ages on a memory-making holiday. Princess Cruises is a line that offers something for everyone, and its Alaska-based Discovery Princess is our top choice for family reunion groups.

The two-year-old Discovery Princess sails round trip to Alaska from Seattle, a convenient U.S. home port for families to fly or drive to. Its "North to Alaska" program will delight kids with sled dog puppies in the ship's Piazza, and lure their parents and grandparents with local seafood on restaurant menus and onboard cultural programming with Alaska residents.

While the kids enjoy Discovery Princess' spacious children's and teens' clubs, the adults might linger over a craft cocktail or enjoy a massage in the onboard spa. The family can come together for meals in a variety of casual and fine dining restaurants, and enjoy original production shows as the ship sails between ports.

Best for luxury lovers: Seabourn Odyssey

cruise alaska glacier bay

If you envision sipping Champagne as you watch a glacier thunderously calve into the sea, consider booking an all-inclusive luxury cruise on a Seabourn ship.

The 450-passenger Seabourn Odyssey throws a dash of adventure into its luxurious surroundings. In addition to offering passengers complimentary Champagne and caviar and housing them in spacious suites, the ship boasts an onboard expedition team and does a posh version of expedition cruising in Alaska, using inflatable Zodiac craft and kayaks.

Seabourn calls its program Ventures by Seabourn. Experts onboard these sailings include naturalists, biologists and other scientists who are members of the expedition team. They lead the outdoor activities and provide passengers with a deeper insight into Alaska. Once guests finish communing with nature, they can indulge in gourmet cuisine in multiple restaurants, enjoy a complimentary cocktail or relax in an upscale spa.

Seabourn Odyssey sails both one-way itineraries between Vancouver and Juneau and round-trip itineraries from Vancouver. It visits popular Alaska ports like Ketchikan and Sitka, as well as less-touristed destinations like Wrangell, Prince Rupert (a port city in Canada) and Rudyerd Bay. Note that the ship is departing the cruise line after its Alaska season, so this is your last chance to sail on the elegant cruise ship.

Related: The 4 best luxury cruise lines for elegance and exclusivity

Best for off-the-beaten-path travel: National Geographic Quest

cruise alaska glacier bay

If you're looking to get away from the mega-cruise-ship crowds, the best Alaska cruise for you might be with Lindblad Expeditions. The 100-passenger National Geographic Quest (and its twin, National Geographic Venture) frequents off-the-beaten-path destinations in Alaska on weeklong itineraries between Juneau and Sitka.

Guests can explore the small fishing town of Petersburg or search for orca and humpback whales in Frederick Sound. Lindblad has special permits to bring passengers into the wilderness of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and the Tongass National Forest, beyond what the big ships can offer. A hike on Chichagof Island is the perfect opportunity to spot bald eagles in the wild.

One day is even dedicated to serendipitous exploration. The ship's captain has the flexibility to seek out the best remote islands and bays for beachcombing, tide pooling, hiking and kayaking adventures.

As long as you don't mind a mellower environment where lectures and impromptu guitar singalongs replace casinos and show productions, you'll be right at home as you deeply experience coastal Alaska.

Best for solo travelers: Norwegian Bliss

cruise alaska glacier bay

Solo travelers don't always have to pay double to cruise Alaska on their own. Several ships feature cabins designed and priced for one. Several Norwegian Cruise Line ships feature cozy studio cabins designed and priced for one person, and the 4,004-passenger Norwegian Bliss offers 82 solo rooms on its round-trip Seattle cruises to Alaska.

These solo cabins get our vote because they're located in a complex where a private lounge encourages mingling. Lone travelers can also meet their shipmates while waiting to hop into a race care on the ship's go-kart track, at a showing of "Jersey Boys" or over a muddled drink at the Sugarcane Mojito Bar.

The ship sails seven-night cruises from Seattle, visiting Dawes Glacier, Sitka and Icy Strait Point, as well as Juneau, Ketchikan and Victoria, British Columbia.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A beginners guide to picking a cruise line
  • The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • 15 ways cruisers waste money
  • 15 best cruise ships for people who never want to grow up
  • The ultimate guide to what to pack for a cruise

Alaskan Dream Cruises

2024 Alaska’s Glacier Bay & Island Adventure

$4,895* per person

Journey through Southeast Alaska’s most abundant wildlife areas and stunning glacial fjords on our 7-night, 8-day Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Island Adventure. Kayak, hike, and explore by skiff in wilderness bays, Frederick Sound, and other remote destinations. Experience local Southeast Alaska culture in a rarely visited Alaska Native village and charming fishing town. You’ll disembark having explored the True Alaska few travelers get to experience.

7-night | 8-day

  • Dates & Prices 2024
  • Accommodations

Owner's Suite

  • Departure May 12, 2024

cruise alaska glacier bay

  • Route Sitka to Juneau
  • Owner's Suite $6,895
  • Vista View $6,995
  • Departure May 19, 2024
  • Route Juneau to Sitka
  • Departure May 26, 2024
  • Departure Jun 2, 2024 Low Inventory
  • Departure Jun 9, 2024 Low Inventory
  • Departure Jun 16, 2024 Low Inventory
  • Departure Jun 23, 2024 Low Inventory
  • Departure Jul 7, 2024 Low Inventory
  • Departure Jul 14, 2024 Low Inventory
  • Departure Jul 21, 2024 Low Inventory
  • Departure Jul 28, 2024 Low Inventory
  • Departure Aug 4, 2024 Low Inventory
  • Departure Aug 11, 2024
  • Departure Aug 18, 2024
  • Departure Aug 25, 2024
  • Departure Sep 1, 2024
  • Departure Sep 8, 2024

Explore beautiful Sitka—the only community in Southeast Alaska that faces the open ocean waters of the Gulf of Alaska. Visit sites that highlight the community’s rich culture, history, and biodiversity. Embark for the winding narrows north of town while searching for bald eagles, sea otters, bears, whales, and other wildlife.

View the world’s tallest totem pole, a carving demonstration, and experience the inspiring culture of the Tlingit in the Alaska Native village of Kake. Later, explore the Alaska wilderness in picturesque Frederick Sound—an area humpback whales and other wildlife frequent. Humpbacks are famous for behavior that lends itself to incredible viewing and photography, such as tail lobbing, lunge feeding, pectoral slapping, breaching, and graceful dives that showcase their massive flukes. Other opportunities for in-depth exploration may include the protected waters or shores of Security Bay, Skanax Bay, Pybus Bay, and The Brothers islands.

Home to a little over 2,000 permanent residents, Wrangell is the only town in Alaska to have been under the jurisdiction of three flags and ruled by four nations- the Tlingit, Russia, England, and the United States. Enjoy several options to explore this colorful history, including a guided tour and a trip to the Wrangell Museum. Visit the intriguing state historic park, Petroglyph Beach, which contains the highest concentration of petroglyphs in Southeast Alaska.

There is also an optional opportunity to board a high-speed jet boat and navigate through a maze of glistening icebergs en route to the LeConte Glacier. This excursion is available at an additional cost and is dependent on space/permits.

Discover the charming Mitkof Island fishing town of Petersburg. Founded by Norwegian fishermen in the late 1800s, Petersburg is nicknamed Alaska’s “Little Norway.” Experience this Scandinavian culture with a folk-dance show by local youth at the iconic Sons of Norway Hall. Later, explore the Alaska wilderness on the eastern side of Frederick Sound. Your Captain and expedition team will choose an exciting activity based on the day’s circumstances and weather. Options may include trekking ashore, kayaking, or wildlife viewing in the sound.

Journey through Tracy or Endicott Arm in the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness, a place the famous naturalist, John Muir, referred to as, “A wild, unfinished Yosemite.” Renowned for its glaciers, pristine waterfalls, towering icebergs, abundant harbor seals, and granite cliffs that rise from sea level to 4,000 feet, this wilderness is often referred to by locals as one of the most scenic areas in the state.

End the day’s adventure with a relaxing evening at Orca Point Lodge—our own exclusive day-lodge on Colt Island. Enjoy the beautiful grounds, beach, and marine life touch-tank. Dine on wild Alaska salmon, Alaska crab*, or prime rib from the warmth of the lodge, or nestled next to a beachside bonfire.

*Subject to local processor availability

This remarkable national park fjord extends 65 miles, contains tidewater glaciers, and provides pristine habitat for a wide array of wildlife, including both brown and black bears, wolves, mountain goats, Steller sea lions, and humpback whales. The highlight for many is the Margerie Glacier, which has been known for its dramatic calving displays. Enjoy a stop at Bartlett Cove for an evening rainforest walk and Huna Tribal House visit or kayak paddle.

Transit Lisianski Inlet, a narrow body of water between Yakobi Island and Chichagof Island. These islands are home to dense populations of coastal brown bears and other Alaska wildlife species. Explore the unique boardwalk “road” of Pelican, Alaska during a port call to this small fishing community of just 60 to 70 year-round residents.

Disembark in Alaska’s capital city of Juneau. Transfer to your hotel or the airport is complimentary.

cruise alaska glacier bay

Reverse Juneau to Sitka Itinerary: Day 1: Juneau, Day 2: Lisianski Inlet & Pelican, Day 3: Glacier Bay National Park, Day 4: Orca Point Lodge & Tracy Arm-Fords Terror, Day 5: Thomas Bay, Day 6: Petersburg & Wrangell, Day 7: Kake & Wilderness Bay, Day 8: Sitka (transportation to the airport or your lodging is complimentary).

Note: Cruise information is subject to change without notice based on navigating conditions. Itinerary order is also subject to rearrangement based on permit allocations. Alaskan Dream Cruises is authorized by Special Use Permit to provide guiding & outfitting services in the Tongass National Forest.

Alaskan Dream

At 104 feet in length, the Alaskan Dream’s innovative, streamlined catamaran design allows the vessel to easily navigate narrow channels and passages. All cabins feature extra-large viewing windows. The Vista View lounge faces forward with the same view as the captain, affording spectacular views of the scenery, ports, and wildlife along the way.

  • Passengers: 40*
  • Length: 104 feet
  • Staterooms: 19
  • Cruising Speed: 13 knots

Alcohol is included with Owner's Suite and Vista View bookings *Select cabins can accommodate a 3rd or 4th guest

cruise alaska glacier bay

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Cruising Glacier Bay: 14 Pro Tips for a Memorable Experience

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Planning an Alaskan cruise? Make sure that cruising Glacier Bay is part of your Alaska cruise itinerary, and use our pro tips to make the most of your day.

Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska is a breathtakingly beautiful destination, and one of the best ways to experience this stunning  3.3 million-acre  park is by going on a cruise to Alaska. 

The stunning scenery. 

The extraordinary wildlife. 

The fascinating history. 

The idea is that these glaciers have been around for thousands of years and are disappearing before our eyes. This is one of the many reasons to cruise to Alaska and witness these glaciers. 

We are still in awe from our day at sea cruising Glacier Bay, Alaska. It was one of the most incredible days on our Alaskan cruise, from when we stepped out of our balcony cabin till we saw the last glimpses of the glacier disappearing into the horizon. 

You’ll want to book that balcony cabin. You’ll want to dress appropriately for one of the coldest days on the itinerary. Listen to the Park Ranger’s commentary and attend one of their presentations. Without a doubt, you’ll want to capture the stunning sites you’ll see before you with a good camera or at least witness a closer look with a great pair of binoculars.

We returned from our Norwegian Encore Alaska cruise and are already planning our next Alaska cruise itinerary. We convinced our family to book a group cruise to Alaska for 2025, with Glacier Bay as one of the highlights we look forward to seeing again and sharing it with our family.

featured blog image | cruising glacier bay alaska

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we earn a commission at no extra cost. Please refer to our  full disclosure  for details.

As we mentioned earlier, our day at sea cruising Glacier Bay was one of the most memorable days on our Alaskan cruise. Without preparing for it and knowing a few things ahead of our cruise, we could have easily missed out on some of the best experiences when taking an Alaskan cruise to Glacier Bay.

In this article, we share what cruise lines cruise to Glacier Bay, what to expect on the cruise ship as it sails through the Alaska Inside Passage through Glacier Bay, and tips on making the most of your day in Glacier Bay. 

Table of Contents

Glacier Bay National Park

admiring margerie glacier from cruise ship balcony

Glacier Bay National Park in southeast Alaska is a  UNESCO World Heritage Site  known for its stunning tidewater glaciers and diverse wildlife. It has over 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, rainforests, and fjords. 

Visiting Glacier Bay National Park typically involves taking a cruise ship or smaller vessel, as it is primarily accessed by water. Most major cruise lines offer itineraries that include a day in Glacier Bay, allowing passengers to admire towering ice formations and observe the park’s diverse wildlife.

A park ranger will board the ship during this time to provide a commentary with information that includes park’s history, geology, and ecology that is broadcasted throughout the cruise ship. Presentations are also given in the theater.

Boats often spend a full day in the park, following a  cruise ship route  covering over 120 miles. You’ll visit glaciers like Lamplugh Glacier, Johns Hopkins Glacier, Grand Pacific Glacier, and Margerie Glacier and be wowed by Mother Nature’s extraordinary beauty. However, on your cruise into Glacier Bay, you will likely see Margerie Glacier and Lamplugh Glacier.

Along the way, you’ll likely spot humpback whales, sea lions, harbor seals, and otters playing in the icy waters.

Is Glacier Bay worth seeing on a cruise?

Yes, Glacier Bay National Park is worth seeing on a cruise. It’s home to stunning glaciers, towering mountains, and diverse wildlife, and going on a cruise is the best way to see Glacier Bay. Witness the beauty of the glaciers, hear the thunderous sound of the ice calving, and spot wildlife like humpback whales, bald eagles, and sea otters. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be added to your bucket list.

Tips for Planning and Making the Most of the Day Cruising Glacier Bay

If Glacier Bay is high on your itinerary of things to do while cruising Alaska, you must start planning for it when you decide to book a cruise.

There are many factors to consider, and these tips for planning an Alaskan Cruise that includes Glacier Bay will help you book the right cruise itinerary.

1. Choose the Right Time of the Year

snow colored mountains reflected against the the bay with chunks of glaciers in the water

The best time to visit Glacier Bay is during the summer months, from June to August, and maybe September if it’s been a warm summer. This is when the most pleasant weather and higher chances of your cruise ship being able to sail Alaska’s Inside Passage to Glacier Bay.

If there is excessive ice in the bay, the chances of the cruise ship canceling its sailing into Glacier Bay are high.

2. Research the Best Cruise Lines and Cruise itineraries for a Glacier Bay Alaska Cruise

Only three major cruise lines are allowed in Glacier Bay: Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line. 

Research each cruise line’s itinerary and choose the one that best fits your travel preferences and budget. Glacier Bay is considered a sea day because you do not get off the ship, but you’ll be cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage and entering Glacier Bay in the early mornings. 

We’ve highlighted some Alaska cruise tips and mistakes in this other article to help you plan your Glacier Bay cruise and avoid common mistakes.

3. Book a Balcony Cabin

cruise alaska glacier bay

No question about it: splurge a little and book that balcony cabin. It is 100% worth it on an Alaskan cruise, and we’d say it is a must. It provides a private space to relax, sit outside with coffee, and enjoy Alaska’s beauty.

On the day the cruise goes into Glacier Bay, you will be happy that you booked a balcony. My husband thanked me continuously that morning, arranging everything and ensuring we had little space.

Our Alaska cruise on NCL had an observation lounge that was always full, and we couldn’t always find seats on days we weren’t in port. I can’t even imagine how packed it was on Glacier Bay Day. We stayed away.

We eventually ventured to the outside decks once we enjoyed our balcony. Most public spaces with seating were taken. You had to stand to look and then worry about blocking other people’s views.

With a balcony, you have guaranteed first-class seats .

4. Pack for the Weather. You’ll Want to Dress in Layers

cruise alaska glacier bay

As we’ve mentioned in other Alaska posts, the weather, in general, can be unpredictable, so it’s important to pack for rainy and cold days and warmer days. We got lucky and had a beautiful clear day when we cruised Glacier Bay, but it was still cold. 

Our day in Glacier Bay was the coldest day of our seven-day Alaska cruise. The earlier in the day, the colder it is. Putting on layers worked out for us. I wore a long sleeve, a fleeced hoodie, and then a fleeced shacket, but I had my water-resistant puffer nearby.

I even had fingerless gloves on and used my electric hand warmers. The knitted hat was a must! And I never wear knitted hats.

By the afternoon, though, as we cruised out of Glacier Bay, the sun was out, and we started peeling off layers. 

You will want to have a rain jacket, in case it rains.

The cruise ship has an observation lounge; you can go inside to see everything from there. Still, I beg you, if you can go outside to see the views without anything tainting the pure beauty of it, DO.

5. Rent or Buy a Good Camera to Bring With You to Take All the Photos and Video You Can

kathy taking pictures cruising glacier bay

You’ll want to capture the stunning beauty of Glacier Bay, so be sure to bring a good camera and perhaps a zoom lens that will let you zoom in to take photos.

Sitting back and enjoying it to its fullest without worrying about taking photos is also an option. However, you will want these memories to look back on for years to come. Your photos will be a tangible reminder of your incredible experience in Glacier Bay. 

You’ll undoubtedly want to share the beauty of Glacier Bay with your loved ones. After all, what’s the point of experiencing something so incredible if you can’t share it with others?

After returning from a trip, I feel we have to open others up to the inspiring beauty this world offers , and maybe they’ll want to book their adventures in the future.

On this trip, we packed and used our Sony A7iii with the Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 (you may want a longer zoom lens), Insta360 x3 , and the iPhone 14 ProMax.

6. Pack Binoculars and Use Them Every Chance You Get

kathy using binoculars during alaska cruise

If there is one must-have item you should pack for Alaska , it is a pair of good binoculars.

Binoculars are essential for any trip to Alaska, especially if you plan on wildlife watching.  When you spot a whale or other wildlife for the first time, you’ll want to get a closer look, and a good pair of binoculars will allow you to do just that. 

When you’re admiring a glacier, binoculars can also come in handy to see the intricate details of the ice formations. You’ll be able to see the deep blue colors of the ice, the crevasses, and the jagged edges up close. It’s a unique experience you won’t want to miss during your Glacier Bay National Park visit.

looking at lamplugh glacier through binoculars

We weren’t sure if we’d use the binoculars, but in the end, we were so happy we decided to buy a pair and bring them with us.

7. Ask the Cabin Attendant for an Extra Blanket to Cozy Up to On the Balcony

I'm sitting on my balcony with the extra blanket while cruising Glacier Bay.

Ask the cabin attendant to bring you an extra blanket at the start of your Alaska cruise. This adds another layer of coziness while sitting on your balcony and cruising Glacier Bay.

8. Set that Alarm and Wake up Early

Sleep in, and you’ll miss it.

Throughout your Alaskan cruise, you’ll want to wake up early and make the most of your days, especially on port days. The day the ship cruises Glacier Bay, you want to set that alarm and get up early to catch the best views along the passage, including the glaciers. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; you don’t want to miss a moment.

As you step onto your balcony and take in the breathtaking views, you look up, and to the side over the railing, and you’ll notice that other passengers have had the same idea. But don’t worry, the atmosphere is serene and peaceful, with everyone silently admiring the beauty of Glacier Bay. It’s a moment of shared wonder.

So, make sure to set that alarm.

Hubby was up early that morning before I was to answer the door for our room service delivery. He stepped outside with his coffee and was amazed by what he saw, encouraging me to drop whatever I was doing and come outside with him.

We had not even reached a glacier, and yet the views along Glacier Bay were captivating. The mountains were a work of art. The ice chunks floated by. The sea otters were taking their early swim. We even saw a few whales.

9. Don’t Leave Your Cabin: Order Room Service Breakfast and Coffee

cruise alaska glacier bay

Order coffee and breakfast room service to accompany your morning in Glacier Bay. This way, you don’t have to leave your cabin until lunch. Even then, you can order room service again if you like.

Note that there may be a small service charge to order room service. Something you need to confirm with your cruise. It is usually a small charge and worth the convenience.

10. Take a Moment and Listen

kathy admiring margerie glacier alaska cruise

Stand outside and listen; you’ll be amazed by the glacier’s calving sound.

If you stay inside, you’ll miss hearing these wonderful sounds. It can be beautifully peaceful one moment and then suddenly interrupted by the thunderous sound of the glacier calving.

While it is a magnificent sound to hear, it’s one of those rare experiences that make you so grateful that you’re here.

11. Turn on the TV to the Onboard Lecture or Attend the Park Ranger’s Morning Presentation

Part of the experience cruising Glacier Bay is the Park Ranger’s commentary. It is broadcast throughout public areas of the cruise ship, and you can turn on the TV in your cabin to listen. Your cruise ship’s newsletter will say what channel the commentary will be broadcast on.

We suggest having it in the background, as the park ranger will give information on Glacier Bay’s history, geology, and ecology. It only enhances your experience, and you’ll appreciate more what you see.

The Park Ranger will also have presentations in an atrium or theater that you can attend to learn more about the park and ask them any questions you may have after the commentary. They also may sell some souvenirs at the end.

Fun Tip: You can also keep a lookout and watch the park rangers board the ship in the early morning. Depending on which side they board, you may have to leave your cabin to see it.

12. Parents Take Your Kiddos to the Ranger’s Children Program

On the Norwegian Encore, they had a Ranger’s Children program where the kids met the Park Rangers and got to become Junior Rangers.

Check your newsletter and watch for fun kid activities that may be taking place on the ship the day you cruise Glacier Bay.

13. Optional: Venture Out to the Ships Bow, AFT, and Other Outdoor Areas

View from the cruise ship's AFT while cruising Glacier Bay.

Eventually, you can leave your cabin to experience what’s happening outside in the other parts of the ship. It’s nice to be in your cabin throughout the morning, but there are other experiences in the public areas while in Glacier Bay. 

And, if this is your first cruise to Alaska, cruising Glacier Bay, you’ll want to find that balance of having that time to take it all in from your balcony but also participate in other activities .

cruise alaska glacier bay

There is also somewhat of a celebratory atmosphere amongst the passengers, mostly of amazement, which is lovely to witness.

  • The bow is usually open for a certain period during the morning in Glacier Bay . This is a rare occasion, as the bow is usually off-limits. If you’ve never been on the bow of a cruise ship, this is a great time to take the opportunity to do so.
  • Photo opportunities to be taken with their on-ship photographers are set up in the bow and the aft of the ship for prime photos.
  • Even if you do not go for the photo opportunities, visit the aft of the ship anyway. We found it the least crowded yet had the most stupendous views .
  • Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate stations are set out throughout public areas. Irish coffee stations for an additional cost. I treated myself to Bailey’s with whipped cream.
  • Treats and bowls of seafood chowder are handed out.

cruise alaska glacier bay

14. Above all, Respect the Environment

With all this said, it’s a gift and a privilege to cruise into these pristine areas and experience the beauty of nature up close. It’s important to remember that we are responsible for protecting these natural wonders for future generations.

  • Don’t toss anything overboard.
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Follow the rules.

Which cruise lines visit Glacier Bay?

These three major cruise lines granted permits to enter Glacier Bay National Park , allowing passengers to witness this unique destination’s beauty while minimizing the environmental impact.

Mainstream Cruise Lines allowed in Glacier Bay:

  • Princess Cruises
  • Holland America Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line

Experiences and Services on the Cruise: What to Expect

What to expect on a cruise while cruising Glacier Bay?

On a cruise to Glacier Bay, passengers can expect maps, park rangers, stunning views, wildlife sightings, and a connection with fellow passengers. The staff is readily available; coffee stations and food are set up for convenience.

This is a big day on a cruise. Even though it is called sea day, it isn’t your typical sea day. This is what you’d call scenic cruising when the cruise ship slowly makes its way through a scenic route, in this case, it’s the majestic Glacier Bay.

cruise alaska glacier bay

On the day you’re cruising Glacier Bay, you can expect:

  • Maps of Glacier Bay and Other Reading Material The night before, you’ll be given a map of Glacier Bay, along with your newsletter and possibly some other reading material to prepare you for It’s great to have the map and follow along with the Park Ranger’s commentary.
  • Park Rangers On Board A Park Ranger from the Glacier National Park boards the ship by boat in the early mornings. They are on the ship all morning and part of the afternoon for presentations and answering cruise passengers’ questions. That is included as part of
  • All Hands on Deck There is always staff around on a cruise, but it feels like all hands on deck the day we are cruising Glacier Bay. They are there to provide you with the best day possible.
  • Coffee Stations and Food Buffets and restaurants typically open on sea day will also be open (check your newsletters). However, since everyone will be outdoors or in observation areas, the cruise ship does a nice job setting up coffee, juice, and water stations and handing out hot chocolate, pastries, and seafood chowder later in the morning. These are small touches that add to the overall experience.
  • Stunning Views of Glaciers and Natural Landscapes One of the primary reasons people cruise to Glacier Bay is to see the stunning glaciers and the untouched beauty of this part of Alaska that you can’t see unless it’s by ship or
  • Public Viewing Decks Open There are public viewing decks; some ships have better public viewing spaces than others. They even open the bow so everyone can get a panoramic view. Perfect opportunity to take photos.
  • Opportunities to See Wildlife You will spot wildlife. We’ve never seen so many whales in our life.
  • A Connection With Fellow Cruise Passengers The shared experience of witnessing these magical moments can create a sense of camaraderie and connection throughout the cruise. One moment, everyone is quiet and in awe, enjoying what’s before them, and the next, someone is shouting, “Whale!” And then a flurry of excitement breaks out.

Glacier Bay Alaska Cruise: FAQs

first views of margerie glacier in glacier bay alaska

What is the best time to cruise Glacier Bay?

June to August are the best time to visit Glacier Bay as it is warmer and has the longest summer days. September can also be a good time, depending on how warm the summer has been. During this time, it is easier for cruise ships to navigate the area.

Do all Alaska cruises include Glacier Bay?

No. Not all Alaska cruises include a visit to Glacier Bay. Only select cruise lines with permits and contracts are authorized to enter the bay, and there is a strict limit of two cruise ships a day .

If you are interested in cruising Glacier Bay, you must research the Cruise Lines that cruise into Glacier Bay, their cruise ships, and Alaska cruise itineraries before booking.

What side of the ship is best for Glacier Bay?

Portside is the best side for Glacier Bay, only because you’ll get first peek at Margerie Glacier. However, the ship will gradually turn so everyone on the ship can admire the glacier from all sides. It will do the same when it reaches Lamplugh Glacier.

Are there any shore excursions in Glacier Bay?

There are no shore excursions in Glacier Bay. Cruising Glacier Bay is technically a sea day because you’re not docking at a port and spending it on the ship.

YouTube video

What wildlife can be seen in Glacier Bay?

Glacier Bay is home to diverse wildlife, including humpback whales, orcas, sea otters, harbor seals, bald eagles, brown bears, moose, and more. Your eyes will be glued to the scenery, looking for any signs of movement as Glacier Bay is teeming with life. 

In advance of your cruise, don’t miss these related articles:

  • White Pass Train and Bus Shore Excursion in Skagway
  • What to Do in Juneau for a Day
  • Seattle, Washington: Cruise Port Guide

cruise alaska glacier bay

Meet Kathy Ava, a food, travel, and cruise writer based in Los Angeles/Pasadena, and the owner and main writer of Tasty Itinerary. With over 20 years of experience planning trips and logistics at her full-time job and for herself, she's become a pro at crafting unforgettable tasty itineraries. She's always on the hunt for delicious, fun travel destinations and cruise itineraries. She firmly believes that life is short and we must make the most of it, so always say yes to dessert.

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Juneau • Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier • Icy Strait & Cross Sound • Glacier Bay National Park • Chatham Strait • Frederick Sound & Stephens Passage

We’re heading to Alaska for the trip of a lifetime!

Olivia is thrilled to partner with Un-Cruise once again for our 8-day/7-night trip in Alaska.   In true expedition style, you’ll wake to the cry of soaring eagles, watch ice thunder from the face of a glacier, and see dramatically cascading waterfalls. You’ll enjoy skiff rides and kayaking in Glacier Bay, whale watching (and maybe experience the whales ‘Bubble-Feeding’) and learning about Alaska’s rich Native American heritage. We’ll even spend two full days in Glacier Bay National Park, accompanied by a Park Ranger. Imagine kayaking along Alaskan glacier icebergs and amongst friendly sea lions. Our small ship will stop at inlets the big ships can’t reach, giving you access to amazing natural wonders. The Naturalists on board will share their knowledge of the area we’re exploring and the wildlife we see.

Juneau • Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier • Icy Strait & Cross Sound • Glacier Bay National Park • Chatham Strait • Frederick Sound and Stephens Passage

Explore Your Itinerary

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Two days in Glacier Bay National Park
  • Kayak, paddleboard, hike, and skiff in Glacier Bay
  • A National Park Ranger joins you for your day in Glacier Bay
  • Whale watching in Icy Strait, Frederick Sound, and Stephens Passage
  • Explore scenic coves and fjords of Chichagof and Baranof Islands
  • View stunning glaciers and listen for the 'white thunder'—Dawes, Grand Pacific, Margerie, Lamplugh 
  • Experience Fords Terror Wilderness Area
  • Captain’s Choice exploration of remote 'not-in-the-guidebook' places
  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board the Un-Cruise Wilderness Adventurer  ship
  • All meals and alcoholic beverages on board the ship
  • Daily excursions
  • Transfer from airport to hospitality room at convention center in downtown Juneau and ship upon arrival August 6, and to airport or hospitality room on August 13 only.
  • Services of Olivia cruise director, Un-Cruise expeditions leader, naturalist staff, and the ship’s EMT
  • Use of adventure gear including kayaks, paddle boards, skiffs, hiking poles, wet suits and snorkel equipment, and yoga mats
  • Gratuities to ship’s crew and naturalists
  • Glacier Bay National Park entrance fee, port charges and service taxes (subject to increase)  
  • Olivia assistance throughout

Explore Your Ship

Our Travel Consultants can be reached at USA or Canada: 800.631.6277 or International 415.962.5700 , option 1.

cruise alaska glacier bay

Payment Plans Available

Olivia is happy to offer a 6-month interest free payment plan (20% deposit and 5 installments) and accepts VISA, MasterCard and Discover.

LEARN MORE ▸

cruise alaska glacier bay

Book Now. Pay over Time.

Olivia is also happy to offer low monthly payments when you finance through Uplift.

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In Alaska a group of kayakers float in green and yellow kayaks next to a white iceberg and in front of an icy teal glacier.

Alaska’s Glacier Wilderness with Glacier Bay

cruise alaska glacier bay

  • Rates & Dates

Accommodations

  • Expert Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Extend your trip
  • Travel Guides

Spend 8 days circumnavigating Admiralty Island in Alaska’s Inside Passage. Cruise through the largest national forest in the United States (Tongass) where black and brown bears, mountain goats and bald eagles make their home. View Alaska’s massive glaciers and glide around in the remote bays of Glacier Bay National Park, with a full day dedicated to exploring this famed national park. In the still of the Southeast Alaska evening, watch bears ambling along wild shorelines. And in the swirling currents below, humpback whales forage in the bountiful waters along the sheltered shoreline. Meet Alaska and its wildlife at eye level, by boat and foot. 

Kayak, stand-up paddleboard, skiff, hike and beach excursions offer opportunities to explore the wilderness up close while an unhurried schedule means more time for wildlife viewing. This recipe for adventure makes this itinerary a prime selection for our Alaska family cruises . Onboard naturalists and expedition leaders offer daily insights and guided nature walks. Book this Alaska glacier cruise for superior service, fine cuisine and intimate experiences that only an Alaska small ship cruise can offer.

The 8-day Alaska’s Wilderness with Glacier Bay cruise (formerly Alaska’s Glacier Country) begins and ends in Juneau. Passage is aboard the 22-guest Safari Quest . This vessel features first-class accommodations for an itinerary filled with authentic exploration and the glaciers travelers come to Alaska to see. The Safari Quest is the perfect basecamp for  Alaska luxury cruises  due to her private balconies and included fine spirits, wines and microbrews. The Safari Quest is also a favorite among AdventureSmith’s many  Alaska yacht charters  for private cruising due to her small size.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Alaska trips , small ship Alaska cruise options and  Glacier Bay cruise and  Inside Passage cruise  itineraries.

Alaska's Glacier Wilderness with Glacier Bay Itinerary

Spend 8 days circumnavigating Admiralty Island, cruising roundtrip from Juneau, Alaska. Explore while sailing on first-class accommodations an itinerary filled with incredible scenery and glaciers.

A red line on a green and blue map of the coastline of Alaska showing the route map of the Alaska's Glacier Country Cruise, roundtrip from Juneau

Hello, Juneau! First settled in the gold rush days, Juneau welcomes with both small town charm and towering glaciers. Toast to the riches of Alaska while sailing west toward Icy Strait.

Safari Quest

Kickstart the morning with on-deck yoga stretches and a strong cup of coffee. Energized and snug in your kayak, glide around in remote bays off Icy Strait through giant bullwhip kelp that can grow to over 100 feet long. Join the gang in a skiff to a rocky outcropping to watch sea lions play. Or step into mud boots for a forest hike with your top-notch, naturalist guides who have plenty to share about everything Alaska—marine biology, plants, and even geology. On board, soak it all in with views from the hot tub. Tonight, your ship sails into Glacier Bay National Park with a special early-entry permit only available on this itinerary.

breakfast, lunch, dinner

You’re in for a real treat. Have your binoculars handy—South Marble Island is a birder’s slice of heaven. Puffins scoot through the water. Guillemots and gulls chatter up the airwaves. The snoozing sea lions don’t seem to mind. More thrills and chills await as you cruise to the far end of Johns Hopkins Inlet or Tarr Inlet where glaciers calve into the water. Backed by knife-edged peaks, bears forage along the shoreline of Tidal Inlet. Mountain goats too. Back at Bartlett Cove, if time and daylight allow, take a forest hike around the park’s HQ.

Safari Endeavour, Safari Quest

At Admiralty Island National Monument, kayak, skiff, and weave in and out of the bays and islets keeping your eyes out for Alaska brown bears and nesting bald eagles. Tlingit call the island Kootznoowoo, meaning “Fortress of the Bear”, and Admiralty Island has a higher density of bald eagles than all the other states combined. After another big day, pop up to the bridge to look over charts with your captain and mates.

Humpbacks beeline it here each season to feed on krill, zooplankton and herring. Watch for whales feasting in these abundant glacial waters. Hang out and enjoy the show. Based on wind and weather, the expedition team has the lineup of adventures all mapped out. Cruise past Five Fingers Lighthouse, Alaska’s oldest light station, and the Brothers Islands, where sea lions nap on rocky nobs. Somewhere nearby, carrot-billed black oystercatchers are saying hello. Tonight, toast another big day in Alaska.

Humpback and orca are frequent visitors of this Southeast passage. A misty spout is a sure sign they’re in the neighborhood. Your captain navigates Wyndham Bay and Stephens Passage. And you’re in for a boot-sucking, paddle-smacking day of adventure with your guide team. The routes are all picked out. Make your choice and make your move. Slip off the kayak launch and take it slow spotting sea stars and shore birds. Hard chargers take a long wild paddle to the salt chuck at the back of the inlet. Or, hike into the Tongass National Forest. It’s a landscape of hanging waterfalls and shades of green.

Skiffing up Endicott Arm, harbor seals laze around on icebergs. If the tides are right, slip into Ford’s Terror, the steep walls of this narrow opening streaked with waterfalls. Back in the Arm, gasp at the deep glacier-carved valleys. At the end meet the piece de resistance: Dawes Glacier. Blue ice marches down from the Coast Mountains. With a sharp crack, the white thunder of a calving slice makes a mega-splash. Tonight, celebrate with a festive farewell dinner and photo journal from the expedition team.

Enjoy fresh baked pastries over one last breakfast. Both crew and new friends wish heartfelt goodbyes. This morning, transfer to the Juneau airport or begin your hotel stay or land tour.

Accommodations aboard vessel; onboard meals; premium wine, beer and liquor (excludes super-premium wines); non-alcoholic beverages; transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embarkation/disembarkation day; entry fees to national parks/preserves; all from-the-vessel activities and equipment; exclusive activities and shore visits; wellness amenities; presentations by onboard expedition/heritage guides and guest experts.

Airfare to and from your home city; discretionary gratuities to vessel’s crew; travel insurance and insurance of any kind; optional excursions and land tours; excess baggage charges; items of a personal nature; taxes and port fees of $375 (2024 & 2025).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a nonrefundable deposit of $250 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure: 91 days or more – 100% of deposit (transferable to another traveler) 90 to 61 days – 66.67% of total trip cost 60 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’  Terms and Conditions . Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Alaska’s Glacier Wilderness with Glacier Bay cruise begins  and ends in Juneau, Alaska (JNU). Plan flights to arrive to Juneau by 3:00pm on Day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Juneau no earlier than 11:30am on Day 8.

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most any expedition to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include whale watching, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, morning yoga and stretching, land treks, glacier viewing, wildlife observation and polar bear plunges. Limited quantities of hiking poles, binoculars, mud boots and rain gear are available on board. To ensure availability and fit, we encourage you to bring your own gear.

Room Configuration

In addition to any listed Single cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy at 150-175% of the per-person listed rate; special triple-occupancy rates may also be available in select cabins. Call AdventureSmith for more details, as availability and rates vary by ship and cabin category.

Families & Children

The Safari Quest requires children passengers to be over 13 years of age. Aboard other ships, kids 8 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates; exceptions for children 7 years and under may be allowed with special pre-approval. Save $500 per child, ages 8 to 17, with the exception of holiday departures.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details.  Learn more about travel insurance  or  get a free quote .

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Cruise Rates & Dates

The Safari Quest is an AdventureSmith favorite for private charter. Contact us for charter pricing and details.

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

The 22-guest exclusive Motor Yacht Safari Quest cruises Alaska's Inside Passage, Prince William Sound and British Columbia and offers stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking. Unique among yachts, the Safari Quest’s size enables her to cruise areas restricted to traditional small ships.

Current Deals on This Trip

Save $500 per person when you book a select 2024 Alaska Cruise aboard Safari Quest, Wilderness Discoverer, Safari Endeavour or Wilderness Legacy.

Spring savings! Book your select April-May 2024 Alaska cruise to receive 15% off per person.

Reviews From Our Experts So You Know What To Expect

All you need to know before you take an Alaska UnCruise. Read this review to hear from an expert’s eye what sets this operator's cruises apart from others in Alaska.

Hear It From Travelers Who Have Explored With Us

A very charming vessel and we very much enjoyed being among her passengers. The meals were excellent and the dining room staff was most accommodating. Arielle did a wonderful job helping us to find our 'perfect trip', answered all of our questions promptly and corresponded with us in a friendly yet professional manner. From the moment we arrived at the Anchorage airport it was apparent we were in competent hands.

Relatives who've been to Alaska told us it's a 'must do' so we did! We met many interesting people on the Inside Passage trips. Altho' seniors were somewhat in the majority on our Denali trip, there were also middle-aged, younger persons and some children on the S.S. Legacy [now named Wilderness Legacy].

Accommodations Review

We were very pleased with our cabin on the S.S. Legacy although it was showing a bit 'wear and tear'. The S.S. Legacy is a very charming vessel and we very much enjoyed being among her passengers. And no wifi added to the nostalgic feeling!

Meals Review

The meals on the S.S. Legacy were excellent and the dining room staff was most accommodating in meeting special requests; ie smaller portions.

Crew & Guides Review

We were impressed by the friendliness and professionalism of all staff. The knowledge of the guides in regard to wildlife, marine life, faun, and flora was exceptional indeed.

Transportation Review

From the moment we arrived at the Anchorage airport it was apparent we were in competent hands. The founder of Uncruise even welcomed our group personally when we arrived in Juneau and were waiting to embark on the S.S. Legacy.

AdventureSmith Explorations Review

Arielle did a wonderful job helping us to find our 'perfect trip', answered all of our questions promptly and corresponded with us in a friendly yet professional manner. Our experience was nothing but positive with regard to both AdventureSmith and Uncruise.

Traveler Advice

Travel light.

Featured in this Traveler Review

  • Wilderness Legacy
  • Arielle Lightcap
  • UnCruise Adventures

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

Choose from a variety of other  AdventureSmith   Alaska trips to extend your journey, or opt for a pre- cruise  extension with your fellow passengers on this cruise. The Denali & Talkeetna Wilderness Rail Adventure is a pre-cruise escorted land tour featuring wilderness lodge stays in Denali National Park and Talkeetna Mountains, and hotel overnights in Anchorage. This tour takes you through the Talkeetna Mountain and Denali National park by rail, visits the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and provides opportunities for wildlife viewing, hiking, kayaking, and river rafting or flightseeing (added cost). This land package aligns with Friday cruise departures. Alaska’s Glacier Country cruises departing on other days require additional hotel night(s).

Spend 3-4 nights at a remote backcountry lodge situated 90 miles inside Denali National Park. Unbeatable wildlife viewing, landscape photography, guided hikes, fishing, dog sleds and an Alaska railroad ride can be customized to complement any Alaska small ship cruise.

This premier Denali National Park base camp, in view of Denali, is located near Wonder Lake at the end of the 92-mile Denali Park Road and offers expert guided explorations and unique hikes.

The Within the Wild luxury Alaska adventure brings travelers into the Alaskan backcountry without sacrificing comfort. Enjoy remarkable helicopter- and floatplane-assisted adventures, hiking, sportfishing and a wellness program with massage and yoga.

Planning Your Trip to Alaska

When is the best time to visit Alaska? Consult this month-by-month guide for help planning your Alaska travel with tips on everything from weather, wildlife, daylight and the benefits of each month.

From classic grizzly bears and glaciers to float planes and totem poles, this Alaska bucket list of must see and dos is designed to be do-able by the average traveler. No extreme fitness or special access required, just a ticket to Alaska and a readiness for adventure.

Our guide to whale watching Alaska from small overnight ships will help you plan and prepare, with tips on whale types, visitor sites and packing tips. Maximize your chances of close encounters with whales in Alaska.

Trips You Might Also Like

This 8-day cruise between Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska, features a visit to Misty Fjords National Monument and many opportunities to explore the back passages and narrow waterways of the most remote areas of Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage. Board 76-guest Wilderness Discoverer to view massive glaciers and fjords and experience true Alaskan wilderness.

This 8-day cruise between Juneau and Sitka, Alaska, includes a visit to Glacier Bay National Park and emphasizes exploration in nature with hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and skiff tours suited to varying activity levels.

Enjoy 2 days venturing farther than 99% of visitors into Glacier Bay National Park. Plus, Tracy Arm, Frederick Sound, Icy Strait and Chatham Strait. Choose between two 76- & 84-guest Wilderness expedition ships as your home base.

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Alaska Hubbard Glacier Mountain Blue Ocean

GO BACK TO GUIDES 

Our Family Alaska Cruise

By Candyce H. Stapen | Published on February 5 2024

On our family Alaska cruise, we stood on the deck staring in amazement at the sheer size of Hubbard Glacier — a cool icy blue in the sunlight — which stretched for miles and was backed by gloriously snowcapped mountain peaks. After dreaming of this moment for months, cruising past this dazzling sight on our first full day onboard Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas®  reinforced that our family Alaska cruise was the best choice for us.

Not only were my husband and I awestruck by Alaska's natural wonders, but so were Alissa, our teen daughter, and Matt, our college-age son. We bonded over dog sledding, flightseeing and whale spotting and enjoyed discussing the day's events over dinner every night. In my experience, engaging teenagers on a family vacation is much more complicated than pleasing younger kids, and we were thrilled that this vacation succeeded in holding their interest each day and producing lively family conversations each evening.

The Train To Talkeetna

Mountains and Cliffs, Talkeetna, Alaska.

We set up our trip so that we'd have a cruise tour with a relaxing rail journey before our family Alaska cruise . In Anchorage, we boarded Alaska's famous glass-domed sightseeing train, the Wilderness Express. Through the large windows and the glass-domed ceiling, we watched Alaska's landscape roll by, including forests filled with spruce and hemlock, snowcapped mountains and small towns. We had lunch in the dining car and played gin rummy, a family favorite, after we ate.

We got off the train at Talkeetna, a funky little town filled with wooden storefronts and eateries. Located near Denali State Park, it is a gateway to flightseeing and fishing adventures. From the deck of the ridgetop Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, about an hour from town, we savored views of the jagged slopes of the Alaskan Range. We dined on delicious grilled salmon and devoured blueberry tarts for dessert. And although clouds often envelop Denali's summit, the mist lifted one afternoon, revealing the majestic snow-capped peak of the mighty mountain.

Alaska, Grizzle Bear Fishing

The View From Above

The best decision we made on this trip? Booking a flightseeing trip to Denali National Park and Preserve, which was one of the most memorable experiences of our Alaska vacation. In the language of native Koyukon Athabascans, "Denali" translates to "the great one." At 20,310 feet, Denali's Mount McKinley is the highest peak in North America and a must-see Alaska travel site that inspires awe.

We took advantage of Alaska's 17-plus hours of daylight to board the helicopter in the late afternoon from Talkeetna. Our 10,000-foot vantage point gave us a sense of Ruth Glacier's massive size — it's a seemingly endless stretch of blue ice slit with crevasses and laced with turquoise pools. When we were within two miles of Denali's summit, the clouds lifted and we saw Denali's peak pierce the sky. Returning over the park, we spotted grizzlies loping across the frozen turf.

Spying On Whales

Humpback Whales Pacific Ocean, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

We arrived early in Seward , the departure point for our Alaska cruise, so that we could experience more sights before we set sail. Exploring Kenai Fjords National Park — home to nearly 40 glaciers that are part of the 700 square miles of the Harding Icefield — in an expedition boat proved to be another highlight of our family vacation in Alaska. Just minutes after we left the dock, our naturalist guide pointed out otters floating, then rolling like logs, in the water. We sailed by spruce thickets, a sea lion colony sprawled on a rocky islet and a puffin rookery. When we heard "thar she blows," we ran to the port railing just in time to catch a glimpse of the bumpy head of a 40-foot humpback whale before he disappeared below the surface.

Floating slabs of ice dotted the sea as we cruised to about a half-mile of the glacier's terminus, a vantage point that gave us a sense of the massive formation that dwarfed our vessel. When the captain cut the engines, we listened. Soon, we heard cracks and a thunderous roar as the glacier calved huge chunks into the sea. It was another awe-inspiring moment on our Alaska travels.

On the way to the glacier, our warm hats and gloves were enough to keep us comfortable, but heading into the wind on the way back, we started to feel the chill. Most of the other passengers escaped to the windowed ship's interior, but we craved the fresh air so we huddled together on a bench, laughing as we wrapped ourselves like burritos in blankets we borrowed from the crew.

Alaskan Sled Dogs Running Along Summer Path, Alaska

Taking In Glaciers And Huskies

We boarded our ship, the 2,466-passenger Radiance of the Seas®, and immediately sailed away. Early on in our sailing, a day of cruising to Hubbard Glacier  gave us time to explore the ship.

Matt grabbed a deck lounge chair while Alissa walked the promenade with us before striking out alone to check out the teen lounge. When the ship drew near the colossal glacier, we met on deck to share the moment. A majestic sight, the glacier towered 350 feet above the water. But no teen or 20-something stares at a glacier for three hours, no matter how impressive. To remain in sight of the glistening blue behemoth and the ice-chunk-dotted sea, we convinced them to play shuffleboard with us. It has become a fun family cruise staple for us over the years, and the kids won again.

Later in the cruise, this family of dog lovers couldn't resist booking a dog-sledding shore excursion. After all, husky dog sledding is part of Alaska's heritage. The excursion starts with a helicopter ride above an emerald-green forest to the plateau of Mendenhall Glacier, one of Alaska's most noted sights. On a vast snow field, the huskies howled excitedly as our guide harnessed our team, explaining how lead dogs steer the sled and wheel dogs add muscle.

After the musher yelled "hike," the team took off, effortlessly falling into formation. We savored the soft sounds of the dogs' paws on the snow and the sun on our faces for about 20 minutes as we were pulled across the field. We could have spent the whole day gliding across the snow, but at the end of the ride we were treated to a visit with the husky puppies in the kennel. Before returning to the ship, we grabbed a seafood dinner in town — crab cakes and grilled shrimp — and picked up some souvenirs for friends back home.

The Gold Rush Route

Learning a region's history is important to us on a trip, and our family Alaska cruise was no exception. We boarded the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway, which first launched in 1898, in Skagway  for the three-hour excursion.

From our train's window, we saw Alaskan sights we had only read about — the grueling terrain many gold rush prospectors had to conquer to seek riches in the Yukon Territory. En route to the White Pass Summit, the narrow-gauge train climbed 2,888 feet. Tuckered out from an evening of dancing in the teen lounge, our kids were happy to sit and listen. They found the narrated history informative and the scenery engaging, even if we had to poke them awake occasionally so they wouldn't miss a waterfall or a gorge.

Skagway, Alaska White Pass and Yukon Route Railway

Over a dinner of sockeye salmon and crab legs in town, we talked about the obsession that motivated so many people to carry supplies along the arduous trail. Many perished in the process. A ruggedly steep stretch, Dead Horse Gulch, took its name from the 3,000 pack horses that died when prospectors tried to cross the pass. At the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Skagway's six-block historic district, a display of the supplies — tools, grain, blankets and clothing — made the climb seem impossible.

It was a beautiful family dinner to end the day with, and we were grateful for the time together. One of our best family vacations, our family Alaska cruise gave us days filled with Alaskan adventures and dinners over which to compare notes and share the stories. Most of all, we were grateful for the time with our children and a moment to enjoy them before they moved on to more adult lives.

cruise alaska glacier bay

Written By CANDYCE H. STAPEN

Candyce H. Stapen has served as a travel editor for USA TODAY and Frommers.com . She has also written for The Washington Post, Travel Weekly, Men's Journal and Washingtonian and is the author of more than two dozen books about family travel. Candyce lives in Washington, D.C. and travels with her family whenever she can.

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6 best Alaska cruises for families

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Adorable sled dog puppies, graceful whales, fascinating totem poles, crazy lumberjacks, majestic glaciers — Alaska has much to offer families of all ages. But if you’re looking for the best Alaska cruise for kids, which ship should you choose?

Families have great choices when sailing up north, including a ship full of Disney characters, one with laser tag and a go-kart race track and many with expansive play spaces for kids, waterslides and family-focused onboard activities. Look for bigger ships with plenty of amusements; smaller and older ships might not have as many kid-friendly attractions.

I’m not mentioning luxury cruise ships here because they are geared for adults, but families looking for a more upscale, smaller-ship cruise to Alaska should know that many high-end lines will put on some kid programming during summer-break cruises to Alaska with a higher-than-usual number of children on board.

For cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s cruise newsletter .

If you’re ready to cross Alaska off your bucket list, here are our recommendations for the best Alaska cruises for families.

7-night Alaska Adventure cruise on Quantum of the Seas

The 4,180-passenger Quantum of the Seas is not one of Royal Caribbean ’s largest-in-the-world Oasis Class ships that boast zip lines, ice skating rinks and AquaTheaters. But it still offers a great mix of activities, including a skydiving simulator, high-tech theater with robotic “dancing” screens, an escape room, indoor basketball court/bumper car pavilion and dedicated spaces for both kids and adults.

Kids can gobble up hot dogs and pizza at themed eateries, while adults can enjoy date night at Wonderland with its imaginative molecular gastronomy or Jamie’s Italian, created by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Seven-night Alaska cruises sail round-trip from the easily accessible port of Seattle and visit Sitka, Skagway and Juneau, Alaska; as well as Victoria, British Columbia. One day is spent cruising through the scenic Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier. Sailings depart between late April and September.

Related: Alaska cruise packing list: What to pack for a sailing up north

7-night Alaska cruise on Disney Wonder

Disney Cruise Line ‘s 1,754-passenger Disney Wonder (which can carry 2,713 guests when completely full) is the perfect size ship for a family cruise to Alaska. It’s smaller than many of the megaships catering to families in this part of the world, so guests can view glaciers and enjoy shore excursions without feeling too crowded.

The ship is full of Disney magic — photo ops with Mickey and friends and Disney princesses, restaurants themed to “The Little Mermaid” and “The Princess and the Frog” and a musical stage show of “Frozen.”

Cabins are thoughtfully designed for families, with plentiful bunkbeds and split bathrooms so two people can get ready for bed at once. Waiters assist with cutting up food for little cruisers or bringing pureed baby food, and the imaginative kids clubs keep little ones happily occupied when you’re not exploring in port.

Disney Wonder’s weeklong Alaska cruises sail round-trip from Vancouver, so all Americans, even kids, will need passports to fly in to the departure port. The ship visits Juneau, Ketchikan and either Skagway or Icy Strait Point, with glacier viewing at the Stikine Icecap. Seasonal sailings run May to September.

Related: Alaska cruise guide: Best itineraries, planning tips and things to do

7-night Alaska cruise on Carnival Spirit

Carnival Cruise Line ’s Alaska cruises aboard the 2,124-guest Carnival Spirit might not be the cheapest sailings the line offers, but you get a lot for your money. Families will appreciate not having to pay extra for kid-friendly eats at the onboard pizzeria, Mexican outlet, Guy Fieri’s burger joint and all-day soft serve ice cream station. Comedy shows (both family-friendly and adults-only), an onboard water park, mini-golf and kid, tween and teen clubs are also included in the fare.

Cabins are no-frills but tend to be roomier than comparable cabins on competitors’ ships. Many rooms sleep four, but connecting cabins will get you more space and an extra bathroom while still keeping the family together.

Carnival Spirit spends summers in Alaska from late April to mid-September. It sails round-trip from Seattle and visits Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Victoria, BC, with scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord.

Related: Best time to cruise Alaska

7-night Glacier Bay cruise on Norwegian Encore

Norwegian Cruise Line offers one of the longest cruise seasons in Alaska, and Norwegian Encore is based in the region from April through October each year. This might not help the typical family, but if your kids are young, you homeschool or have atypical breaks, a shoulder-season deal might be waiting for you.

The 3,998-passenger ship is NCL’s biggest, and families will be amazed at how much there is to do on board (though be prepared to pull out your credit card for the best activities). The ship features a laser tag arena, go-kart race track, virtual reality pavilion and water park.

Norwegian is also known for its entertainment, and after a day hiking on glaciers or chowing down at salmon bakes, you can take in the spectacular “Choir of Man,” sing along to the Beatles tribute show at The Cavern Club, or laugh yourself silly at The Social Comedy Club.

Like many of the best Alaska cruises for families, Norwegian Encore sails round-trip from Seattle, stopping in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria. The standout day on this itinerary is scenic cruising in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve , which only a limited number of ships can visit each year. Save more by taking advantage of Free at Sea perks , which often include a free beverage package, Wi-Fi, shore excursion credit, specialty dining and — perfect for families — free third and fourth guests in each cabin.

Related: Alaska cruise mistakes you never want to make

7-night Voyage of the Glaciers cruise on Royal Princess

Families with a little more vacation time might want to tack a visit to the Alaskan interior before or after their cruise, either independently or with a cruisetour. For this, you’ll need a one-way cruise that begins or ends in an Alaskan port.

A top candidate for this kind of family vacation is a seven-night cruise on Princess Cruises ‘ Royal Princess sailing between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska. The ship stops in Ketchikan, Juneau and either Skagway or Sitka, with scenic cruising in Glacier Bay and either College Fjord or Hubbard Glacier, depending on the itinerary.

It’s then up to you whether you spend you pre- or post-cruise time in the Kenai Fjord area, in Anchorage or traveling north to Denali National Park, Fairbanks or into the Arctic.

Royal Princess is known for its fan-favorite Alfredo’s pizza, Movies Under the Stars (when the Alaskan weather permits) and snacks and entertainment in the central Piazza. With its special North to Alaska activities, families can cuddle some adorable sled dogs on board the ship and meet Iditarod winners and other notable locals. Kids can become junior rangers with the help of the park rangers who come aboard the ship in Glacier Bay.

7-night Kids in Nature cruise on Wilderness Legacy

Suppose your family isn’t into the big-ship lifestyle and wants a small-ship, off-the-beaten-path experience that’s also geared toward families with kids and teens? In that case, the best family cruise to Alaska for you might be the “Kids in Nature” departures of UnCruise Adventures ’ 86-passenger Wilderness Legacy.

The ship sails round-trip from Juneau on “Glaciers & Wildlife” itineraries. These seven-night cruises include hiking and biking on Chichagof Island, daytime and evening kayak and skift tours in places like Patterson Bay and Robert and Crow Islands, exploring Glacier Bay’s less-visited “Outback” and visits to the LeConte and Baird Glaciers.

On three departure dates in June and July 2024, the Wilderness Legacy will staff up with “Kid Wranglers” who will lead the kid-focused activities. The minimum age to sail is 8 years old, but plenty of tweens and teens join the fun as well.

Bottom line

You no longer have to wait until you’re retired to explore Alaska. Take the kids on a weeklong exploration of the 49th State, and you’ll have plenty of cruise ships and itineraries to choose from. The best Alaska cruises for families combine action-packed itineraries with vessels designed for family fun, but we’re sure your family can find a way to have a great time up north no matter which cruise ship you choose.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A beginners guide to picking a cruise line
  • The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • The ultimate guide to what to pack for a cruise
  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • Top ways cruisers waste money
  • The ultimate guide to choosing a cruise ship cabin

SPONSORED:  With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

6 best Alaska cruises for families

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Princess Cruises Sets New Record for Alaska Bookings in January, with Over 20% Surge Compared to Prior Years

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (February 6, 2024) – Princess Cruises, the #1 cruise line in Alaska, announced today that it achieved an all-time high in Alaska bookings for the month of January, surpassing any previous January in the cruise brand’s history by more than 20%.

“With its jaw-dropping landscapes, unspoiled natural beauty and incredible wildlife, Alaska is so much more than a once-in-a-lifetime trip,” said Terry Thornton, chief commercial officer for Princess Cruises. “This is our 55 th anniversary of taking guests to the great land, and this soaring interest underscores the importance of securing an Alaska adventure for the upcoming summer season while availability still remains.”

A range of options exists to explore the wonders of Alaska in both 2024 and 2025, spanning from 4- to 22-day cruises as well as cruisetours. Guests can choose from an array of breathtaking experiences, including:

  • Exploring the spectacular Inside Passage and embarking on the renowned Voyage of the Glaciers.
  • Visiting the awe-inspiring Glacier Bay National Park, the 6th biggest national park in the United States offering views of majestic glaciers, mountain peaks, and more than 600 species of wildlife, from brown bears to bald eagles and harbor seals.
  • Unique experiences to see authentic Alaska including Denali National Park, Fairbanks, and Anchorage through cruisetours that feature five exclusive, custom-built Princess Lodges, located on the doorsteps of celebrated national parks. Exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service takes Princess guests between the ship in Whittier to the Denali area the very same day.

Voyages conveniently depart from homeports in San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Whittier (for Anchorage), and even Los Angeles, offering attractive air service and driving options for guests.

Guests looking for the best pricing and stateroom selection should book right now for departures in 2024 and 2025 to enjoy the very best savings.

Enhancing the value of an Alaska vacation, Princess Plus and Premier inclusive packages allow guests to save over 65% on essentials such as gratuities, Wi-Fi, beverages, and more, providing added convenience and enjoyment for an Alaska journey.

With demand surging, the time to book a 2024 or 2025 Princess Alaska vacation is now. Rates start as low as $399 for a value-packed, 7-day vacation unlike any other.

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Phone : 1 661 753 1530 Email :  [email protected]

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Contact us at: 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237) or 1-661-753-0000

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  1. Glacier Bay National Park Cruise Features

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  2. Princess Cruises Completes First Alaska Sailing

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  3. Alaska Cruise: A great way to discover Alaska & the Inside Passage

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  4. Holland America Alaska Cruises; Vancouver to Seward; Inside Passage Cruises

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  6. Alaska's Inside Passage Cruise

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COMMENTS

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  15. Best Glaciers On An Alaska Cruise

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