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Tips for Cruise Passenger to Glacier Bay National Park

Singapore, Singapore
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Tips for Cruise Passenger to Glacier Bay National Park

Hello People,

In June, I travelled with Norwegian sun and visited 3 port of calls(Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway). On top of that, our ship visited 2 glaciers, namely Glacier Bay National Park and Hubbard Glacier.

Here are some tips for cruise passengers:

1. Do read the cruise itinerary carefully and know what time the cruise will be stopping in the national park. Large cruises are only allowed an hour or two in the waters of the national park. So you do not want to miss it.

2. Wake up early in the morning. I am talking about having breakfast at 6.30-7.30am to avoid the large infux of passengers going for breakfast at around 8-9am.

3. Secure an outdoor seating(find a good spot) to eat your breakfast. This is fairly important to those who stays in interior stateroom. You would want a good spot to view the glaciers and to take pictures.

4. Dress warmly even in summer. It can get quite chilly out there. Dress in layers! No need for down jacket. A good fleece jacket, t-shirts and jeans will suffice. It will be good if you have long john for the bottom half of the body.

5. If traveling with more than 4 people, please book rooms(balcony) on both side of the ship(starboard and port side). This will make viewing of cruise easier as the ship will be rotating 360degree.

6. Bring a good camera/binoculars with a good zoom. LOL. The cruise is not as close to the glaciers as i expected it to be.

For tons of pictures on glacier bay national park, do visit my blog at …blogspot.sg/2013/08/alaska-part-7.html

For tips on Ketchikan,

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g31030-i1423-k6703…

For tips on Juneau,

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g31020-i1190-k6713…

For tips on Skagway,

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60877-i1735-k6728…

Hope this helps.

Cheers!

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Juneau
Juneau
Alaska
Skagway
Skagway
Alaska
8 replies to this topic
Sturgeon
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1. Re: Tips for Cruise Passenger to Glacier Bay National Park

One other tip, if you are interested in whales, be out on the deck early on your way into Glacier Bay. I stopped counting at 30 on the way in. Of course, most were far away, but several within100 feet also, including one breach. 2 large pods of orcas also. Our family and the video people from the ship were the only ones out on the front deck., until we got close to Margerie glacier. It was chilly, but so worth it.

Michigan
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2. Re: Tips for Cruise Passenger to Glacier Bay National Park

Great points. Thanks for posting!

fti
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3. Re: Tips for Cruise Passenger to Glacier Bay National Park

Great info. Thanks.

I don't agree with everything though:

>>1. Do read the cruise itinerary carefully and know what time the cruise will be stopping in the national park. Large cruises are only allowed an hour or two in the waters of the national park. So you do not want to miss it.

I have been on two cruise ships in Glacier Bay and they spend way more than 2 hours in Glacier Bay. So I am not sure where you get your info from. The Park Service does require that the cruise ships close down the stores and the casino while cruising Glacier Bay (I assume to encourage more people to get outside and watch).

>>2. Wake up early in the morning. I am talking about having breakfast at 6.30-7.30am to avoid the large infux of passengers going for breakfast at around 8-9am.

It really depends on the time of the Glacier Bay sailing. If Glacier Bay starts at 6am like it does for some northbound sailings, you probably want to be out forward on an open deck well before then and just grab breakfast "on the fly."

>>5. If traveling with more than 4 people, please book rooms(balcony) on both side of the ship(starboard and port side). This will make viewing of cruise easier as the ship will be rotating 360degree.

I still believe this is a much poorer choice than being outside out front. From the front you get to see what is ahead of you, plus on either side. from a balcony on the side, are you going to phone from room to room, "Hey there is a whale on our side" then run from side to side, which is not always easy depending on location?

In any case, thanks for your tips.

Singapore, Singapore
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4. Re: Tips for Cruise Passenger to Glacier Bay National Park

Hi fti,

>>I have been on two cruise ships in Glacier Bay and they spend way more than 2 hours in Glacier Bay. So I am not sure where you get your info from. The Park Service does require that the cruise ships close down the stores and the casino while cruising Glacier Bay (I assume to encourage more people to get outside and watch).

Well, my bad. Either I was not specific enough or i must have been short-changed. Haha.. The cruise ship i was on really only spend an hour plus(for viewing of the glacier) doing a 360 deg before leaving. Of course, if you are referring to the route to the glacier(which i think should already be in glacier national park), then yes, it's more than 2 hours.

>>I still believe this is a much poorer choice than being outside out front. From the front you get to see what is ahead of you, plus on either side. from a balcony on the side, are you going to phone from room to room, "Hey there is a whale on our side" then run from side to side, which is not always easy depending on location?

I don't meant it that way. I do agree that it will be better if you were outside. However, i feel that it's a bonus if you could get rooms on both sides. It will be good for the 360deg turning of the ship at the glacier. We went out to the top of the deck, we manage to secure nice seats for views of glacier. But once the ship starts turning, our view of glacier slowly disappear. The view on the other side isnt as fantastic. So we had to move to the other side of the ship. However, you wont be able to score 'front row' seats to view the glacier as there will already be people on the other side. With the rooms however, you get views of the glacier all the time(the ship turns, you change rooms), and you get a better view of the broken pieces of glacier(big or small) floating beside the ship. Being nearer to sea level increases the impact for me. But that's my opinion though.

Something to add, Glacier Bay national park though not as dramatic, the ship was able to stop nearer to the glacier than hubbard glacier. Hubbard glacier has a more dramatic view but it was quite a distance away from the glacier. Of course, depending on the months you visit. I visited during early June and it was like this.

Oh, for those who have seasickness, the sailing from glacier to whittier will be exposed to open sea. Thus, the ship will most likely be more 'shaky'. My younger sis and i got a little of seasickness during the last 2 days of the northbound trip ending at the whittier. Advice? Haha...lying somewhere will reduce the seasickness. Lying on deck chairs, on bed, anything that's flat. It works for us.

fti
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5. Re: Tips for Cruise Passenger to Glacier Bay National Park

Sorry for the misunderstandings. But wheb you said the ships are only allowed an hour or two in the waters if the national park I took that fir what you wrote, not an hour or two stopped at a glacier.

Re: viewing on public decks. I guess that depends on each ship. I was on a top deck outside on Princess last year. Had no problem having a front row view after the ship turned. My guess is that is harder for those staying inside and/or wanting to sit. I am standing at the rail outside the entire time for greater mobility.

6. Re: Tips for Cruise Passenger to Glacier Bay National Park

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Greater Sydney...
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7. Re: Tips for Cruise Passenger to Glacier Bay National Park

aspen,

Your post is just for the purpose of promoting your own product, and has nothing to do with the subject of this thread. I feel your non-contribution will shortly be deleted.

Lake Tahoe...
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8. Re: Tips for Cruise Passenger to Glacier Bay National Park

I'm confused with your get a good seat. From my experiences this may be difficult with all the passengers moving about getting in front of you. They will do it so just be prepared. As we use balcony we don't have that problem, and when the ship is rotated the 180 degrees we just go topside for a different vantage point. I remember some of the older Princess ships (such as the Dawn) passengers would grab tables in the Horizon Court dining area making it rather difficult to get something to eat and just sit there all day.

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