Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park

A day cruise in Glacier Bay National Park is the most popular and best way for tourists to see this amazing national park. Of course, many cruise ships also ply the route as well. If you do it independently, you’ll have to get from Juneau to a small little outpost called Gustavus; which is the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park. Here is my experience from Gustavus and a day cruise in Glacier Bay National Park.
Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Gustavus, Margerie Glacier
After visiting both Lake Clark National Park and Katmai National Park on this trip, my last stop and my 33rd American national Park visited was Glacier Bay National Park! I flew on Alaska Air from Anchorage to Juneau and then took an Alaska Seaplanes plane to Gustavus.
Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Gustavus, Margerie Glacier, Gustavus Inn, bed
We stayed at the Gustavus Inn; by far the best place to stay in Gustavus. The proprietor, Joann, who is a lovely woman, picked us up. She has been in Gustavus for 40 years! She gave a quick tour of Gustavus proper. It was a very quick tour of town, the docks and some strawberry fields!
Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, Gustavus Inn, Dungeness Crab, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Gustavus, Margerie Glacier
The Gustavus Inn does an amazing dinner each night. On our night, they did Dungeness Crabs, one of my favorite foods! They also have all the trimmings including organic vegetables from the garden in the backyard! The following morning the day cruise in Glacier Bay National Park began!
Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Gustavus, Margerie Glacier, boat
The park entrance is not far from the Gustavus Inn and the dock is about another 10-minutes drive. We boarded the pretty good-sized boat for what was to be an 8-hour day cruise in Glacier Bay National Park. This is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Alaska.
Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Gustavus, Margerie Glacier, map
The day cruise in Glacier Bay National park goes through several areas that are stunning. The weather is rarely perfect but clouds and darkness can lead to fantastic photos.
Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Gustavus, Margerie Glacier
On the journey we saw humpback whales, sea otters, sea lions, wolves, brown bears, puffins, bald eagles and several other bird species that I can’t remember what they were called. Basically it was like a little Jumanji. But for me the highlights were the glaciers.
Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Gustavus, Margerie Glacier
Margerie Glacier is the top draw for the day cruise in Glacier Bay National Park. It is the famous glacier that looks so pretty and sits right on the border with Canada. It calves right before your eyes, crackling like thunder, drawing oohs and aahs from cruise goers. It really is awesome.
Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Margerie Glacier
I couldn’t help but take 1000 photos. Luckily, we got to spend some real time there staring at Margerie Glacier. This was nice because you got to watch and more importantly to listen to the crackling and the calving. Basically like tiny little landslides of ice. Then right before we left, we got one really big one. Sadly, I didn’t photograph or video it. But I won’t soon forget it!
Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Margerie Glacier
On the way back the captain will cruise by some other glaciers in the area. You’ll also take a slightly different route back through the fjord seeing some new scenery. These fjords are pretty wide unlike many in Norway. They even have islands in them here in Alaska. This is cool because sea lions gather on the islands.
Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Gustavus, Margerie Glacier, sea lions
The ride back can take a while but the park rangers do a good job of entertaining you and providing you with fun facts about the park and wildlife. I was half asleep so I missed much of the educational session but I am told it was informative after I took an awkward selfie!
Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Gustavus, Margerie Glacier, selfie
Regardless, you do a day cruise in Glacier Bay National Park to see the glaciers and wildlife. It is well worth it and it is now one of my favorite national parks. The memory of Margerie Glacier will stick with me for a while. The sound of the calving is spectacular and the setting couldn’t be better!
Day Cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Gustavus, Margerie Glacier, selfie
Disclaimer: My trip to Katmai National Park was done in partnership with the Alaskan Tourism Board.

Comments

  1. Glacier Bay is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. We did a cruise there a few years ago and still talk about how amazing it was! Thanks for the photos!

  2. This looks seriously amazing! I need to see this in person!

  3. Born and raised in Juneau and still have not made it to this park — looks gorgeous. You had a great trip around AK this time around.

    • Thanks! That surprises me that you never went there but it’s not going anywhere and there’s always time! I loved Juneau, very cool little place that I knew nothing at all about.

  4. Hi Lee! Can you share your budget transportation for your independent travel on this trip?
    Is it also possible if we want to have our toddler in tow?

  5. Malaysia Tour Packages says:

    Great ! that place is looking amazing and i want to see glacier. it is my dream and amazing photos you shared of that beautiful place.

  6. Best Hotel in Agra says:

    wow! that place is looking so beautiful and it os best destination of world. Amazing photos you shared of that beautiful place.

  7. So beautiful. Thank You for shared photos. I love it.

  8. Very amazing posting. But I do get the chance to go to this place? I’m very excited.

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