If you want to see glaciers, Prince William Sound is the place to go: It has the world’s densest concentration of tidewater glaciers and nice, calm waters. This family-owned tour operator, meanwhile, offers a great way to experience these icy waters and pristine forests: they were the first to get National Forest Service Rangers on board, and they always make a day cruise feel luxurious.
One Boat, Many Views
The folks at Major Marine Tours also pride themselves on making you so comfortable that you can lose yourself in the scenery. It’s the only day cruise operator that offers guaranteed reserved seating inside the vessel’s heated cabin, so that you can feel free to explore the vessel for every perspective on the views. At the same time, your captain will maneuver the vessel so that you can see, hear and sometimes even smell all of the wonders around you.
Forest Rangers Plus Dinner
Both of the company's cruises also have two great components: a uniformed Forest Ranger, who will talk to you about the rich natural and cultural history of the area (they also do the “Junior Ranger” program for kids); and a delicious, Alaskan salmon-and-prime rib buffet made fresh on the vessel. Folks who take these trips rave about the great staff, but also the excellent value of tour-and-feast in one. If you’re coming to Whittier from Anchorage, Major Marine Tours can also help you set up train or motor coach travel, making the trip in even easier.
Here are the tours you can choose from:
Blackstone Glacier Cruise (4.25 hours)
You’ll head straight out to Blackstone Bay, where Blackstone and Beloit glaciers tower 700 feet above the boat. Your tour will stop at each glacier and float among the icebergs, giving you plenty of time to take in the glorious ice sculptures. The captain will also stop for any major photo ops such as bald eagles, seals or entire rookeries of birds. A bonus: this calm area is great for anyone who might otherwise get seasick. This tour is great for birders and people who want to visit multiple glaciers at a leisurely pace.
Surprise Glacier Cruise (5.25 hours)
This catamaran cruise features tidewater glaciers, waterfalls, bird rookeries, a salmon hatchery and a trip through the beautiful and peaceful Esther Passage. You'll also get an up-close view of the spectacular Surprise Glacier in Harriman Fjord: it has towering blue ice sculptures and floating icebergs that often host resting harbor seals. This tour is just right for people who have a little more time to spend on the water and want to search for wildlife while viewing glaciers.