Alaska
Glacier Exploration

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Our most recommended Alaska Glacier Exploration

Seward: Kenai Fjords National Park 6-Hour Cruise

1. Seward: Kenai Fjords National Park 6-Hour Cruise

Board one of the largest catamarans in the region and spend a day filled with wildlife, glaciers, mountains, and more. See whales and glaciers in Resurrection Bay and learn the history of the region from a National park Ranger. The cruise begins by searching for wildlife in the protected waters of Resurrection Bay. Whales, sea otters, and puffins are often sighted within minutes of leaving the harbor. A National Park Ranger will provide information on the area's wildlife, glaciers, fjords, and history. Stop at one tidewater glacier that has frequent calving events, where giant chunks of glacial ice break off and crash into the water. A full bar is available for those wanting to enjoy an Alaskan Amber or glacier margarita. Savor a deli-style lunch on board while you cruise.

Seward: Kenai Fjords National Park 7.5-Hour Cruise

2. Seward: Kenai Fjords National Park 7.5-Hour Cruise

Step aboard a stable, high-speed catamaran for a full day exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. Start your cruise in Resurrection Bay where you'll will learn about the park, the surrounding area and wildlife from an experienced captain. Allow your captain to take you to the best wildlife viewing areas for the opportunity to see stunning marine life including whales, otters, seals and thousands of seabirds. Head out into the Gulf of Alaska past Bear Glacier, the largest glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. Take advantage of getting up close with 2 active tidewater glaciers, Aialik Glacier and Holgate Glacier as your cruise stops nearby. Watch for calving, where giant chunks of glacier ice break off and crash into the water. Experienced deckhands will secure a chunk of glacier ice to make the most amazing cocktails and glacier margaritas.

Talkeetna: Mountain Voyager with Optional Glacier Landing

3. Talkeetna: Mountain Voyager with Optional Glacier Landing

Check-in at a unique Alaskan log office before hopping on a single-engine, high-wing aircraft to begin your fantastic scenic flight. Enjoy a 1 hour and 15-minute flight winding in and around the Alaska Range's major peaks—Hunter, Foraker and Denali. Follow the massive glacier highways from above while listening to fascinating expert narration from your pilot. Witness Kahiltna Glacier, the longest in Denali National Park, stretching 45 miles with stunning ridges of earth and ice. This tour is perfect for those who want to soak in traditional Denali views while adding additional views from the south and west. The extra time in the air also allows for greater flexibility in finding the best views of the day. Upgrade your tour to include a glacier landing during your flight. Experience the exhilaration of standing among the majestic peaks of the Alaska Range. Play in the snow, take photos or just take it all in. Glacier landings add 30 minutes to the total tour duration.

Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier Adventure Tour

4. Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier Adventure Tour

Meet your guide at the cruise ship docks to start off this adventure. Hop in the van and listen to live commentary while driving through Juneau into the Tongass National Forest, the largest National Forest in the United States.  Once arrived at the lake you will have a meet and greet with the second guide who helps you put on the gear. You receive a rain jacket, rain pants, and rain boots. Along with everything needed to stay safe, including but not limited to paddling gloves, life jackets, helmets, trekking poles, and dry bags.  Your guides go over safety and paddling instructions before stepping into the canoe. This journey across the lake is a team effort, so it is not necessary to have paddling experience.  The Mendenhall Lake is a glacier-fed lake which is surrounded by mountains and the famous Nugget Falls. The wind coming off the Mendenhall Glacier will officially welcome you to the Alaska wilderness.  Once the canoe is docked on the beach, there is time for a quick break before starting the hike to the glacier. During the hike, you can learn about the history of the area and listen to all the information your guides can share. At the same time, there will be enough quiet moments to soak in the calmness of Alaska.  Once arriving on the rocky shore next to the glacier, follow your guides on an exploration trek around the rocky moraine to view the glacier up close. The professional guides are in the wild every day and thrive on showing off what nature has to offer. One of the most unique aspects of the trip is that the glacial environment is in a constant state of movement and change, meaning no one tour is the same as the next. After your hike back to the canoes, be sure to soak in your last moments with the Mendenhall Glacier as the group paddles back to the shore. Once arrived your guides will provide a hot beverage while you take off the gear. After a short drive back to the cruise ships, you will walk away with memories of Alaska that you will never forget.

From Valdez: 7.5-hour Meares Glacier & Wildlife Cruise

5. From Valdez: 7.5-hour Meares Glacier & Wildlife Cruise

Enjoy a cruise through the Prince William Sound, spot bald eagles, orcas, and visit the advancing Meares Glacier on a 7.5-hour adventurous cruise through the heart of the area. Begin your day by exploring Port Valdez where you will learn about early explorers, oil shipping, and commercial fishing. Cruise by waterfalls cascading down coastal mountains as you travel the calm waters of the Sound to Unakwik Inlet. Encounter marine birds and wildlife at incredible locations on the water. Look out for sea otters, sea lions, and porpoises. Watch out for wildlife including majestic humpback whales and sea birds such as puffins. Spend some time relaxing on the boat in front of the Meares Glacier and witness some calving activity, where the ice falls into the ocean. Be served lunch as you depart Meares Glacier. Pass a bullhead sea lion Haulout, to watch the sea lions resting before returning to Valdez at 5:00 PM.

Juneau: Humpback Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier

6. Juneau: Humpback Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier

Seamlessly combine two of Juneau's favorite activities on this whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier tour. Marvel at majestic humpback whales in the company of a naturalist guide, and select from a range of trails to discover Mendenhall Glacier, the world's only drive-up glacier. Upon check-in, you will either be escorted to one of the shuttles for a narrated 25-minute drive to the glacier, or to the boat harbor for whale watching. On the glacier section of the tour, you can choose to hike to Nugget Falls (1.5 hours round trip), take the Photo Point Trail (40 minutes round trip), look for wildlife along the Steep Creek trail, or stroll up the easy walk to the Visitor Center. Take your time at the glacier with flexible shuttles back to town every 30 minutes. During your time on the water whale watching, your naturalist guide will explain the feeding habits of these magnificent creatures and identify the many other kinds of wildlife that share these waters. Enjoy an enhanced experience on a custom-built boat with a warm heated cabin with large viewing windows, and two decks to hurry to when the captain slows after spotting the whales. There is a bathroom onboard and snacks are also provided.

Denali: Highway Jeep Excursion

7. Denali: Highway Jeep Excursion

Begin a guided and narrated 100-mile round trip Jeep excursion along a gravel road flanked by snow-capped mountains, icy glaciers, and panoramic vistas. The Denali Highway, once the gateway to Denali National Park is the drive of a lifetime.  Climb aboard a new, 4-door Jeep which hugs the dirt road, while comfortably seating 4 adults who can trade off driving. Each Jeep has a CB radio for communicating with the guide so stops can be made whenever desired. As driving the Denali Highway is prohibited by most rental vehicle companies, this exclusive excursion provides access to more of Alaska's spectacular scenery and wildlife & is a great alternative to crowded bus trips. The tour lasts approximately 4 hours.

Talkeetna: Denali 1-Hour Flight Experience

8. Talkeetna: Denali 1-Hour Flight Experience

Get ready for your flight tour with a warm welcome and a coffee, tea, or hot cocoa by the fireplace in a lodge-style, timber-framed office. Watch a short flight video in the theater.  Then, follow your knowledgeable pilot to your aircraft. Listen to a safety briefing, and then take a window seat. After a microphone check, take off toward the Alaska Range, flying over the beautiful Susitna Valley where they will spot for moose and bears. After a short while, see the Alaska Range rise up underneath you. The skilled pilot will provide interesting stories and commentary while taking you within 6 miles of Denali's massive summit (20,310 feet or 6,190 meters). Fly up the Tokositna Glacier Valley, following its winding path to Denali's base. The pilot will maneuver the plane so that guests on each side can take in the famous peaks: Moose's Tooth, Broken Tooth, and Barille. Then, descend into the Don Sheldon Amphitheater on the Ruth Glacier. The tour ends by flying through The Great Gorge, the world's deepest gorge, before returning to Talkeetna. This epic flight is the perfect introductory flight of Denali. Choose to add a glacier landing to make your trip even more memorable. Once back on the ground, have a chance to buy a souvenir or use the free WiFi at the office.

Talkeetna: Denali Southside Explorer Scenic Air Tour

9. Talkeetna: Denali Southside Explorer Scenic Air Tour

Explore Denali National Park from the air as you fly over the river systems of Talkeetna and across the Susitna Valley into an incredible landscape of icefalls, glaciers, and snowy peaks. Upon arrival at the unique, octagon-shaped Alaskan log cabin, check-in at the office and listen to an up-to-the-minute weather briefing to prepare you for your trip. Take the opportunity to meet and chat with your knowledgeable guide for the journey, and if you’ve picked the optional glacier landing, get kitted out with all the necessary gear and glacier boots. Relax on the deck as you await your flight’s departure, then follow your pilot guide to the aircraft and listen to a short safety briefing. Board your single-engine, high-wing plane, where everyone gets a window seat to make the most of the views, as well as a personal headset to listen to your guide’s expert narration. Then it’s time to hit the skies for an awe-inspiring one-hour flight amongst the jagged peaks and glaciers on the southern side of the Alaska Range. It doesn’t matter which side of the plane you’re on, since every seat provides stunning, sprawling views across the landscape. Each flight is customized for the very best views according to the weather and includes a flyover of the Great Gorge, the Don Sheldon Amphitheater, and Ruth Glacier. With the addition of a glacier landing, the total duration of the tour becomes 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Talkeetna: Grand Denali Flight with Optional Glacier Landing

10. Talkeetna: Grand Denali Flight with Optional Glacier Landing

Upon checking in at a unique Alaskan log cabin, be given a weather and safety briefing and then board one a high-wing, single-engine aircraft for the flight tour of a lifetime. Let the pilot take you on a journey into the heart of the Alaska Range. Just when you think you've seen it all, be flown through 1 of 2 passes on either side of Denali. Emerge on the north side of the range to see a flattened tundra landscape stretching out before you. As your pilot turns the plane around to go back to the south side of the range, there it is, the Wickersham Wall: the 13,658 foot vertical North face of Denali. Add a glacier landing to your flight and experience the exhilaration of standing among the majestic peaks of the Alaska Range. Play in the snow, take photos, or just take it all in. Glacier landings add 30 minutes to the total tour duration.

Frequently asked questions about Alaska Glacier Exploration

What are other things to do than Glacier Exploration that are worth visiting in Alaska?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Alaska

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What people are saying about Alaska

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 8 reviews

It was amazing...we were lucky enough to have a warm, sunny day with just a few clouds around the base of Denali. Our pilot was wonderful, excellentbpilot and narrator. Flying up the glacier and through the Great Canyon was a magnificent experience.

It was a great trip, even through rough seas in the Gulf of Alaska crossing. Excellent captain and a friendly and knowledgeable crew. We saw eagles, seals, orcas, otters, and Daal porpoises and got a bit of history on each. Fantastic!

It takes a really long ride to get to the glacier itself but Lori was fun to talk too, she had lots of facts to share, and once in the glacier, the views were amazing and our tour guy Nick was wild, fun, and knowledgeable

Pretty good! Lori is the best guide I have ever met and also a great driver who can drive safe and fast. Although we met some problems due to the platform, we had a pleasant trip to see the incredible and awesome glacier.

This was great! Easy to book and get started, incredible pilot, and amazing views.