Whether moody and grey, or clear and blue, the scenery around Valdez is stunning. This day cruise takes passengers deep into that beautiful landscape for six hours of glacier and wildlife viewing.
The largest tidewater glacier in southcentral Alaska.
The day tour starts in Port Valdez and slowly cruises into the Valdez Arm of Prince William Sound. The sound is surrounded by the Chugach Mountains and an intricate coastline of fjords, rock beaches, and craggy sea stacks. A trio of barrier islands protect from the more tumultuous water in the Gulf of Alaska. The sound's calm waters are home to a variety of marine wildlife. Passengers often see puffins and cormorants, sea lions and seals, Dall sheep and brown bear, and sometimes even orcas.
Rounding Heather Island, the catamaran soon enters Columbia Bay. Pouring from an elevation of 10,000 feet, the Columbia Glacier is the one of the largest tidewater glaciers in southcentral Alaska. It is also one of the most active glaciers in the world. This makes for exceptional glacier viewing, with guests routinely able to photograph huge chunks of ice breaking away and crashing dramatically into the otherwise still water. After a lunch of chowder and bagels, the tour returns into Valdez.
The Columbia Glacier Cruise is a great choice for guests staying at the Copper River Princess Lodge. Valdez is about 100 miles or two scenic hours away by car.
The tour boat has two levels with heated cabins on each, wrap-around exterior walkways, and viewing decks at the bow and stern. There are also power outlets for recharging cameras and phones. No smoking is allowed on the boat.
The onboard meal includes a hearty bowl of clam chowder, a bagel, cream cheese, and cookies. A vegetarian lunch option is available when requested in advance. Complimentary coffee, hot tea, lemonade, and water are available throughout the cruise.
What to Bring
It is important to dress in layers for this day tour. Bring a rain jacket, hat, and gloves. Wear rubber-soled shoes. Even on a sunny day the air coming off the glacier can be in the 40s. Be sure to bring a camera and binoculars. Seasickness is not generally a problem in the calm water of Prince William Sound, but if concerned, air on the side of caution and take preventatives before departing.
Check in at the tour office on the west side of the Valdez Small Boat Harbor one hour prior to departure.
Transfers & Meeting Points
For independent travelers, Valdez is best reached by car. The tour operator will provide direction to free parking for self-drivers.
Rates & Dates
Here are the rates and operating dates for this product. Remember, we have a lowest price guarantee for nearly everything we sell.
Child rates apply to children under the age of 13. Infants under the age of 2 may travel for free but must sit on an adult's lap.