Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Which Cruise Ships Go To Glacier Bay Alaska

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What Are The Cruise Options

Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska) Cruise Port Guide: Tips and Overview

With fares starting from $684 per person, each cruise offers a visit to at least one glacier and there are three, four, seven, and even 14-day voyages to choose from. Heres a little bit more information about some of the cruises on offer:

Alaskan Inside Passage this roundtrip cruise which departs from and returns to Vancouver offers a glimpse of Alaskas jaw-dropping nature sites of Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay.

Glacier Discovery Northbound and Southboundoffering the opportunity to explore the stunningly-beautiful Inside Passage, as well as a chance to experience the wonderful Glacier Bay National Park.

Great Alaskan Explorer an extensive 14-day roundtrip cruise that will allow visitors to take in the pure natural beauty of the Inside Passage, along with stunning views of Glacier Bay. You will also have the opportunity to bear-watch at Alaskas largest fishing port, Kodiak Island, as well as stop by the Alaskan cities of Skagway, Sitka and Ketchikan.

HAL are even offering cruise packages that offer passengers the chance to move inland, allowing you to get to grips with and explore the natural wonder that is the Denali National Park. The well-renowned cruise company is currently the only one in the region that offers its customers the opportunity to experience Yukon a mountainous, yet sparsely populated territory in the northwest of Canada.

Luxury At Budget Prices

If you cant afford a luxury cruise line such as Seabourn, Viking, or Regent, Holland America is a good option at a more reasonable price. Youll find many of the amenities found on higher-end cruise lines at a much lower cost. Indulgent touches include luxurious beds and linens, Egyptian cotton towels, and the comfy bathrobes seen in upscale hotels. The impeccable service is due to almost one crew member for every two guests. Complimentary room service is available for even the lowest cabin category. Food and wine aboard Holland America ships can compete with the top luxury cruise lines. .

Canadas Current Stance On Cruise Ships

Royal Caribbeans cruise ships are foreign-flagged. Under the Passenger Vessel Services Act, foreign-flagged ships departing from the United States must stop in a foreign port at some point during the cruise. Because of this, Canadas acceptance of cruise ships is a vital piece of whether or not Alaska cruises can happen.

Canada banned cruise ships with more than 100 passengers at the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020. This ban was extended several times, leading many to believe the 2021 Alaska cruise season would be canceled.

The state of Alaska was eager to get tourism back in 2021, though, and passed The Alaska Tourism Restoration Act. This was a temporary waiver that would allow foreign-flagged cruise ships to sail to Alaska without having to stop in a foreign port. Therefore, Royal Caribbean was able to cruise to Alaska during the 2021 season.

The Alaska Tourism Restoration Act states the following:

In July 2021, the Canadian government announced that the ban on cruise ships would be coming to an end on November 1, 2021.

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra stated that As the outlook of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to improve, Canada looks forward to having a cruising season in 2022. The cruise ship industry, which represents more than $4 billion annual input into the Canadian economy and directly and indirectly generates approximately 30,000 jobs, is an important part of Canadas domestic tourism sector.

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Summer Cruises: Sail To Alaska Hawaii The Caribbean And More

It’s not too early to start planning your next summer vacation. Do you have a destination in mind yet? Why not consider a 2022 summer cruise vacation with Norwegian Cruise Line. You could walk on a glacier in Alaska, relax on Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay, in the Bahamas, visit Roman ruins in Italy, go island hopping in Hawaii, and more. If you’re considering a summer vacation in 2022, now is the time to book.

Let us help you get your summer cruise vacation planning started. Here’s a look at some of the exciting destinations you can visit on a 2022 summer cruise with Norwegian.

Ready to start planning? Explore all 2022 summer cruises.

Day : Arrival At Juneau And Disembarkation

Sailing with Princess Cruises in Alaska

We arrived in Juneau well before dawn on the last day of our cruise. I was awakened by dozens of text messages and notifications on my phone as we re-entered an inhabited area! Uggh, I thought. Back to civilization.

We had to have our luggage outside of our door by 7:30, just before breakfast. I loved the fact that we didnt need to put our bags out the night before, as you do on larger cruise lines.

Having heard so many stories of people packing all of their shoes in their luggage and having no access to them when they disembark, Im always super-worried that Ill accidentally put something I really need in my suitcase. It was really nice to be able to keep our bags until the morning!

After our final breakfast and goodbyes to the crew, we disembarked and headed across the street to Juneaus Centennial Hall to pick up our luggage. We were sad to leave the ship and our new friends, but excited to explore a new city!

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Glacier Bay National Park Ak Usa Cruises

Glacier Bay National Park Port Guide.

Spanning 3.3 million acres, as part of a 25-million-acre World Heritage Site, a Glacier Bay National Park cruise reveals some of the planets most remarkable tidewater glaciers.

Top landmarks and sights in Glacier Bay National Park .

Theres so much to take in on a Glacier Bay National Park cruise, its hard to know where to begin. Towering mountains, gargantuan icebergs and majestic glaciers stretch as far as the eye can see, disappearing onto the horizon in every direction. Its a thrilling sight to experience from the deck of a cruise ship, or snuggled under a blanket in the warmth of your stateroom balcony, as you silently watch the world go by.

The park is home to over 1,000 glaciers, the majority of which nestle in the surrounding mountains, connecting land to sky like natures skyscrapers. Soaring to 15,000 feet, Glacier Bays ranges are the highest coastal peaks in all the world their abundant snowfall offering the perfect breeding ground for glaciers to take shape.

One of the highlights of visiting Glacier Bay National Park is watching the prolific calving of these shimmering ice giants. Towering hundreds of feet above the water, as well as stretching a hundred feet below, huge jagged pinnacles routinely break off in thunderous explosions, resulting in flotillas of icebergs. Its an awe-inspiring spectacle.

Things to do in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Glacier Bay National Park culture and history.

The Best Way To See Glacier Bay In Alaska

You dont have to travel far to experience awe-inspiring natural beauty. Dynamic glaciers, rugged mountains, and temperate rainforests are just a few of the natural wonders that you can see on an Alaskan cruise to Glacier Bay.

Glacier Bay National Park is a 3.3-million-acre park that offers cruisers limitless possibilities for inspiration and adventure. Most notably, the park is one of the few places in the world where it is relatively easy to access glaciers. As part of a 25-million-acre World Heritage Site, Glacier Bay National Park is one of the worlds largest protected areas.

Not only does Glacier Bay provide cruisers with a look at some of the most amazing scenery in the world, but it also offers a diverse array of activities for anyone to enjoy. Explore the remote forests or marvel at the snow-capped mountaintops. Boat into the inlets and hidden coves and discover some of the most amazing Alaskan marine life, including sea lions, harbor seals, and sea otters. You might even have the unforgettable experience of seeing a humpback whale.

The best way to see Glacier Bay in Alaska is on a cruise with Norwegian. Although planes do fly into nearby city Gustavus, ground transportation is limited. Also, since a good portion of the park consists of waterways, youll have more opportunity to see wildlife on a cruise. Plus, you can breathe in the fresh, crisp Alaskan air as you sail along.

Here are some of the best Norwegian cruises that include Glacier Bay on the itinerary:

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Summer Cruises To Hawaii

Norwegian offers the only cruise that sails to four Hawaiian islands in seven days all year long. Our Hawaii cruise has been voted the best Hawaii itinerary for 15 years by Porthole Cruise Magazine. When you book a Hawaii cruise on Norwegian, you’ll start in Honolulu and sail to Kahului in Maui, Hilo and Kona on the big island of Hawaii, and Nawiliwili in Kauai before returning to Honolulu.

On Maui, explore the renowned town of Lahaina, check out the beautiful beaches, or play a round of golf at one of the world’s most stunning golf courses. Check out Kilauea, an active volcano, when you dock in Hilo. Kona is ideal for water sports, including kayaking, diving, deep-sea fishing, and surfing. When you reach Kauai, hike the rainforests of Haena or the dramatic mountains of Kokee.

Where Did We Go On Our Alaska Uncruise

Glacier Bay Valley Cruise Vacation in Alaska | Princess Cruises

Our Northern Passages and Glacier Bay cruise began in Sitka and ended in Juneau . Our sailing was the last of the season, the last week of September.

Unlike a traditional cruise that stops at ports to let passengers off, an Alaska UnCruises itinerary includes secluded bays and marine parks. Instead of pulling up to a wharf and offloading thousands of cruisers, these small ships drop anchor and ferry up to ten passengers at a time to shore via semi-rigid skiffs.

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Endicott Arm And Dawes Glacier

Tracy Arm branches to the north from Holkham Bay Endicott Arm is the more southerly branch. Some cruises schedule scenic cruising in Endicott Arm to its Dawes Glacier, but others use it as a backup option if Tracy Arm is too icy for ships.

Endicott is straighter than the twisting Tracy Arm, but otherwise offers similar views of waterfalls, wildlife, and glaciers. Cruise ships can get somewhat closer to the Dawes Glacier in Endicott Arm than they can to the Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm.

Dont be disappointed if your cruise ship reroutes to Endicott Arm. You will still have an amazing day of scenic cruising with plenty of beautiful natural sights to view and photograph.

Summer Cruises To The Bahamas

If it’s beautiful white-sand beaches and sunny days you’re in search of, consider a Bahamas cruise for you and that special someone.

Cruises to the Bahamas are great as Norwegian offers short weekend escapes if you don’t have a lot of time for a summer vacation. Enjoy Great Stirrup Cay, which is reserved for Norwegian Cruise Line guests only. You can relax on the pristine beaches, go kayaking, rent a WaveRunner, do some snorkeling, and so much more. If you want the ultimate in relaxation, rent a private cabana or luxury villa for the day. Depending on the cruise you choose, you might also stop at Grand Bahama Island, where you have a chance to swim with the iconic Bahamian pigs.

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Top Things To Do And See In Glacier Bay National Park

Cruises to Glacier Bay National Park combine nature and wildlife, dramatic landscapes, adventure activities, relaxation, and the chance to explore remote villages and see the local way of life. Cruise itineraries generally combine a variety of experiences so that you can enjoy the very best of Glacier Bay National Park. Top things to enjoy on cruises around Glacier Bay include:

Glaciers – Stunning glaciers that are surrounded by snow-capped peaks and verdant forests are sure to take your breath away. Admire these huge natural wonders, and watch as the landscapes gradually change, with huge blocks of ice calving away and crashing into the waters. The is a particularly exceptional spot for witnessing the majesty of nature. John Hopkins Glacier is incredibly photogenic, whilst McBride Glacier is a terrific place for kayaking.

Wildlife – An abundance of wildlife calls Glacier Bay National Park home, and small ship cruises let you get even closer to an array of fascinating creatures. Watch as whales and seals glide through the icy waters whilst sea lions and sea otters frolic nearby, look to the skies and observe eagles soaring above, and see bears, deer, wolves, and moose roaming on dry land. Other animals that populate the area include squirrels, weasels, foxes, ermines, marmots, and minks.

Top Tips for visiting Glacier Bay National Park

What Took Some Getting Used To On Our Uncruise

Northern Passages &  Glacier Bay Cruise

As an avid large-ship cruiser, there were lots of things on our UnCruise that were really different than on a typical cruise experience. I enjoyed many of the differences, but there were a few things that forced me to shift my mindset a bit.

Theres not much downtime

Traditional cruises have sea days interspersed with the port days. I usually pack a lot into our days in port, so sea days are time to relax and recover from our adventures. We didnt have any sea days on our UnCruise, and our active daily ops were often physically demanding.

I found that going to bed really early and getting up at dawn was the best way to recharge ourselves.

You dont always know which activities will be offered

One of the activities that I was looking forward to was snorkeling in Glacier Bay. As our cruise was so late in the season, the snorkeling activity wasnt offered. However, they did have the Polar Plunge!

I wish there had been more open paddle kayaking ops. I enjoy kayaking, but Im not very strong. Mr. SBC had never tried kayaking before. Because of these reasons, I knew it would be a bad idea to try to keep up with a group on a guided activity.

There are no printed itineraries

UnCruise really makes an effort to be environmentally friendly, which I appreciate. Because of this, they dont print out daily itineraries for each stateroom. So, it does take a little more effort to keep track of what time each activity begins.

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Best Time To Cruise Glacier Bay National Park

The best time to visit Glacier Bay National Park is summer, when the temperatures are slightly warmer, humpback whales return to the area after the winter, and seal pups float on blocks of ice. Summer is also when you may be lucky and glimpse the spectacular Northern Lights.

Whilst winter is usually cold and foggy, there is still plenty to enjoy on a cruise around Glacier Bay National Park.

Cruises From Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay, situated in the SE Alaska panhandle, USA, opens 90km west of Juneau. The Bay is 100 km long, with branches and 1000m mountains on each side, and at its headwaters is Mt Quincy Adams on the Canadian border. The Bay was originally a large single glacier of solid ice until early in the 18th century. Since it started retreating, it has left about 50 glaciers in its trail and become the largest protected water area park in the world. Read more

While its many branches, inlets, lagoons, islands, and channels provide prospects for scientific exploration, it is primarily an amazing visual spectacle.

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Day : Embarkation In Sitka

On embarkation day, we dropped our luggage off at UnCruises suite at Centennial Hall after checking out of our hotel, and did some last-minute sightseeing around Sitka. Back at Centennial Hall in the afternoon, we met our fellow passengers to board a coach to the cruise port. Upon arrival at the small pier, we were warmly greeted by the crew, including the captain.

Wilderness Explorer

I was pleasantly surprised at just how friendly and welcoming all of the staff members were. Almost all of the crew were out on the pier, shaking hands with the new passengers and introducing themselves to us.

This was nothing like embarkation on a large cruise ship there wasnt a terminal with endless lines to wait in. No long wait to get through security or huge queue for the elevator. We were on the ship within five minutes of exiting our coach.

A crew member then escorted us to our room before the evenings activities began. She showed us around our stateroom, and explained how to use the heating and cooling unit. Yes, we were in control of the temperature in our cabin! That was definitely a first for me.

We headed over to our first activity, the Champagne reception, to mingle with the other guests and meet more of the crew. Of course, the muster drill was next, before the Wilderness Explorer set sail and we all headed to our first dinner.

Dinner on the Wilderness Explorer

Orientation to UnCruise Adventures

Getting to know the other guests

Will New Covid Variants Affect The Alaska Cruise Season

Alaska Cruise-Glacier Bay Experience

While everything is relatively uncertain when speaking about the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no strong reason to believe that a new variant, such as omicron, will affect the 2022 Alaska cruise season.

Omicron cases seem to be subsiding since their peak in mid-January. By May, when most Royal Caribbean ships will begin sailing to Alaska, omicron may not be as big of an issue as it was for cruise ships in January of 2022.

In addition, cruise ships have been successfully sailing throughout the world even during the peak of the omicron and delta variants. While new restrictions and protocols were put in place by Royal Caribbean, very few sailings were canceled.

Lastly, the Canadian government has not introduced any new restrictions for cruise ships since lifting the ban in November of 2021, even with the influx of Covid cases that appeared this winter.

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