Photo Credit: Phillips 26 Glacier Cruise, Whittier, Alaska

Anchorage Day Cruises

You’ve seen pictures of towers of glacial ice crashing into the ocean. You'll be glad to know that Alaska glacier cruises--the best way to get up close and personal with these icy behemoths--are among the most affordable and easiest to arrange day tours from Anchorage.

Where You'll Go

Far and away the most popular Alaska glacier tours are half-day wildlife and glacier cruises into either Prince William Sound from Whittier or Kenai Fjords from Seward. Portage Glacier offers a super-quick alternative to seeing a glacier up close. All are easy day trips from Anchorage. Even if you arrived in Alaska by cruise ship, you should still hop aboard one of these boats to experience the glaciers at a much closer distance than on your cruise. You might feel the rumble of calving tidewater glaciers or hear the thrilling, unearthly song of whales.

What You'll See

An Alaska glacier cruise is not just an unforgettable way to experience this unchanged call of the wild, but also the only way to see that quintessential Alaskan coastal scenery you've dreamed of. The glacier-rich waters of coastal Alaska are as pristine as they were a thousand years ago.

You'll also get close to Alaska's marine mammals. Passing through gorgeous inlets and fjords, you'll look for bears, mountain goats, bald eagles, and puffins. Then cruise into waters to look for whales, seals, porpoises, and sea lions.

Kenai Fjords & Resurrection Bay Cruises View All

If you are more interested in spotting whales, sea lions, and harbor seals while out glacier watching, take a glacier cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park from the port town of Seward, 2.5 hours south of Anchorage by car or 4 hours by rail.

Season: Mid-May through mid-Sept $289 6.5-7 hrs

Inti­mate cata­ma­ran cruis­es into Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park from Seward for just 22 pas­sen­gers, or up to 30 on pri­vate char­ters. Cruise through Res­ur­rec­tion Bay, keep­ing an eye out for hump­back whales, orca whales (killer whales), puffins, Steller sea lions, Dall’s por­poise, har­bor seals, and a large vari­ety of bird species. Then make your way into the nation­al park, and stop at the face of a tide­wa­ter glac­i­er. You’ll enjoy a deli­cious lunch  ...more

Season: May - Sept $300+ per person Full Day

Alas­ka Saltwater’s small-group whale watch­ing, wildlife, and glac­i­er tours offer dai­ly excur­sions into the pris­tine Kenai Fjord Nation­al Park. Your cap­tains and crew — expe­ri­enced and well-versed in the area’s nat­ur­al habi­tat — spe­cial­ize in tak­ing out film crews, pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­phers, seri­ous bird­ers, and guests that want an unfor­get­table experience.

Season: April - Sept
$4,000 Day-trip | $8,000+ Multi-day
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Caroline

Spend the after­noon, or a few days explor­ing the waters of Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Prince William Sound aboard the M/V Car­o­line, a beau­ti­ful cus­tom-built yacht set for adven­ture! It’s the per­fect set­ting for a fam­i­ly or small group vaca­tion. Fill your days loung­ing on the fly­bridge, fish­ing, kayak­ing, strolling beach­es and cruis­ing to your next fan­tas­tic destination.

Season: Mar 10 to Sep 25 $116+ 5 to 8.5 hrs

This vet­er­an tour oper­a­tor runs a a fleet of fast, mod­ern boats in Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park. You’ll vis­it tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers as you watch for puffins, sea otters, Dall’s por­pois­es, sea lions, and more. Some tours are designed to please bird­ers or shut­ter­bugs, while oth­ers are per­fect for families. 

Captained Day Sail, $669 up to 6 people | $1825+ Multi-day 3.5 Hour Day Sail to Multi-Day

Char­ter a sail­boat out of Seward and hit the waters of gor­geous Res­ur­rec­tion Bay! Choose an after­noon tour if you’re just in Seward for the day, or opt for a mul­ti-day cruise. Your char­ter comes with a sea­soned cap­tain, or expe­ri­enced sailors can rent the boat and take the helm them­selves. Sur­round­ed by moun­tains, the bay offers ide­al sail­ing con­di­tions, and you’ll have plen­ty of chances to see wildlife and glaciers.

Season: May 1 - 3rd week of September $399+ 8-10 hrs

Get up close to the Alaskan glac­i­ers and wildlife you came to expe­ri­ence by tak­ing a cruise into Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park on a cus­tom-built cata­ma­ran out of Seward. The dif­fer­ence from oth­er cruis­es, is that you’ll then get off the boat and into a kayak, pad­dle around ice­bergs, and watch for wildlife from your own vessel.

Season: Mar 05 to Oct 10 $89+ 3.5 hrs - Full Day

Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Kenai Fjords are great places to see wildlife and glac­i­ers. And Major Marine’s ves­sels, which have cozy heat­ed cab­ins and an out­door view­ing area, can take you out to see both. This fam­i­ly-owned tour oper­a­tor has gone above and beyond to give guests an amaz­ing day on the water since 1990

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Prince William Sound Glacier Cruises from Whittier View All

If you’re most interested in seeing tidewater glaciers, take a wildlife & glacier cruise out of the port of Whittier into Prince William Sound, 1.5 hours south of Anchorage by car or rail.

Season: Year Round $175+ 3.5 to 9 hrs

Lazy Otter offers clas­sic tours, but this is a water taxi, so they’ll also take you any­where you want to go with­in Price William Sound — or just cus­tomize a tour to what­ev­er you want to see. Maybe that’s glac­i­ers, or whales, — or maybe it’s qui­et time on a seclud­ed beach. Lazy Otter can also help facil­i­tate tak­ing you and your fam­i­ly on a camp­ing trip. You’re not held to any strict sched­ule, either: if, on a day tour, you can spend more time in one  ...more

Season: May 1 - Oct 8 $183.95+ 5.5 Hrs

Phillips 26 Glac­i­er Cruise, out of Whit­ti­er, will take you to 26 dif­fer­ent glac­i­ers in just 5.5 hours. Enjoy cozy com­forts on the high-speed cata­ma­ran and wan­der its out­door decks as you come with­in 300 feet of mas­sive tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers. In addi­tion to glac­i­ers, the cap­tain will be on the look­out for wildlife like otters, whales, har­bor seals, and marine birds. The trip takes place in the after­noon, and a hot lunch is includ­ed in your tour.   ...more

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Portage Glacier Cruises

If you’re short on time or have limited budget, take the MV Ptarmigan Cruise on Portage Lake. Just an hour’s drive from Anchorage, you’ll explore the icebergs and glacier feeding this crystalline lake.

Season: May 14 to Sep 15 $45+ 1 hr

Just an hour’s dri­ve from Anchor­age, the MV Ptarmi­gan let you get with­in 300 feet of the tow­er­ing ice wall called Portage Glac­i­er. You can also book a nar­rat­ed motor­coach tour to take you to Portage Glacier. 

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