Whittier Vacations, Tours & Activities
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Prince William Sound Glacier Cruise from Whittier
Prince William Sound Glacier Cruise from Whittier
This 5 hour catamaran cruise features many highlights including tidewater glaciers, marine wildlife, and a working salmon hatchery.
Depart Whittier and immediately witness the changes in scenery of Prince William Sound. Your Captain will guide you through a working salmon hatchery where you will learn about the life cycle of salmon and how they are harvested. Keep an eye out for whales, sea otters, and Sea Lions as you cross through to the entrance of Esther Passage.
Cruise through this spectacular marine waterway surrounded by mountains as you watch for bear feeding on the beach areas. Enter the famous Harriman Fjord where you will see several different glaciers. The highlight of your cruise is an up-close view of Surprise Glacier. This massive glacier features towering and jagged blue ice sculptures.
Listen for the sounds of the cracks and groans before chucks calve into the water. View the floating icebergs and spot harbor seals sunning themselves on this floating ice. Your return trip will take you back through Port Wells featuring waterfalls, bird rookeries and other marine wildlife.
There are no refunds. All sales are final.
Change Fee Policy: If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.
The Emerald Sea
The Coast Guard-certified Emerald Sea is designed for your comfort with indoor heated cabins, a full bar, restrooms and multiple outside decks for better glacier and wildlife viewing.
Dall's Porpoises (Phocoenoides dalli) -- Likely to see on Kenai Fjords Half-Day and Full-Day cruises.
These playful porpoises are often mistaken for killer whales because of their similar markings. Often you'll see them bow riding or circling the boat at high speeds, breaking the water to breathe. Generally these 4- to 6- foot mammals travel in pairs or large groups.
Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) -- Likely to see on Kenai Fjords Half-Day and Full-Day cruises.
Often called Orcas, these 15- to 30- foot whales weigh up to 10 tons and can swim at speeds of 30 mph. They generally travel in pods and feed on salmon, seals, birds and other mammals. Their black and white markings and tall dorsal fins make Orcas very distinctive.
Steller's Sea Lions (Eumetopias jubatus) -- Likely to see on Kenai Fjords Half-Day and Full-Day cruises.
This rare, endangered species lives in large colonies, feeding largely on mollusks and fish. They grow to 6 to 8 feet and weigh 1,500 lbs. (males) and 600 lbs. (females). They are distinguished from their cousins, the California Sea Lion, by their light colored, reddish fur.
Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) -- Likely to see on Kenai Fjords Half-Day and Full-Day cruises.
The giant Humpback Whale is also very common in Alaskan waters. Weighing up to 40 tons, they travel north in the summer months to feed mainly on plankton and small shrimp like krill consuming up to one ton per day. They are well-known for their spectacular breaching.
Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina) -- Likely to see on all cruises.
This wide-ranging seal can be found throughout most coastal waters in the northern latitudes. In Alaska, they are often seen resting on ice floes around the active glaciers. They grow to a length of 4 to 5 feet and weigh 250 lbs.
Other Whales -- Likely to see on Kenai Fjords Half-Day and Full-Day cruises.
The Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus), Fin Whale (Balaenopteraphysalus) and Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) are sighted less frequently in the Kenai Fjords, although all three are present at different times during the summer.
Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris) -- Likely to see on Kenai Fjords Half-Day and Full-Day cruises.
The smallest of all marine mammals, the playful sea otter spends most of its life in the water, feeding on fish, squid, sea urchins and crabs. They often float on their backs, using their stomachs as a table for their food. They are generally 29 to 39 inches long with light brown heads and flipper-like feet.
Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) -- Likely to see on all cruises.
Alaska is home to North America's largest population of bald eagles. They live in trees and snags, feeding primarily on fish and waterfowl. Bald Eagles get their distinctive white heads at about five years of age and they mate for life, returning to the same nests year after year.
Black-Legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) -- Likely to see on all cruises.
Thousands of Kittiwakes nest at the end of Cape Resurrection,securing their nests to the sheer cliffs. On the Prince William Sound cruise, you can spot them nesting near a large cascading waterfall. This surface-feeding member of the gull family is common throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Cormorants (Phalacrocorax) -- Likely to see on Kenai Fjords Half-Day and Full-Day cruises.
These diving birds can be seen on the rocky islands and outcroppings throughout most of Southcentral Alaska. Three species, pelagic, red-faced and double-crested, can be spotted in the various colonies. Cormorants are easy to identify because they can often be seen fanning their wings to dry them out.
Common Murre (Uria aalge) -- Likely to see on Kenai Fjords Half-Day and Full-Day cruises.
These deep-diving birds nest in large colonies on ocean cliffs. Their eggs are pear-shaped to keep them from rolling off of narrow ledges. Murres average 14 to 16 inches tall and are known to dive up to 300 feet in search of food.
Puffins (Fratercula) -- Likely to see on Kenai Fjords Half-Day and Full-Day cruises.
This clown of the North Pacific is one of the most popular birds. It spends most of its life at sea, coming ashore only to raise its young. Both horned and tufted puffins are often seen during the cruises. Puffins gorge themselves on small fish, often making it nearly impossible for them to take off and fly. Literally hundreds of species of birds can be spotted throughout Resurrection Bay, the Kenai Fjords and Prince William Sound. The ones we've described above are the most common, but other species of birds can be seen during different times of the year.
Kenai Fjords National Park and the mountains around Prince William Sound contain some of the best viewing areas for glaciers in all of Alaska. These glaciers and ice fields can be very large. For example, the Harding Ice Field, located in the Kenai Fjords National Park, covers more than 700 square miles and is the source of over 35 named glaciers.
There are several different types of glaciers that you will see on our cruises.
When more snow falls in the winter than melts in the summer, you have the beginning of a glacier. Over tens of thousands of years, this snow builds up and re-crystallizes into a solid mass of ice. Technically, glacier ice is so compressed that it is classified as a metamorphic rock. When the accumulation of ice becomes so great that the force of gravity causes it to move, a glacier is born.
Cirque Glacier -- Likely to see on all cruises.
A small glacier that occupies a bowl-shaped depression between mountain valleys. Generally small and circular or oval in shape. There are many cirque glaciers throughout the area, most of them unnamed.
Valley Glacier -- Likely to see on all cruises.
Also called a hanging or alpine glacier. Glaciers that flow down out of mountain valleys, generally larger at the head and smaller and more attenuated at the base. The terminus of these glaciers is above sea level. Examples: Kenai Fjords: Godwin Glacier, Porcupine Glacier. Prince William Sound: Whittier Glacier, Billings Glacier.
Fjord Glacier -- Likely to see on Kenai Fjords Full-Day and Prince William Sound Glacier cruises.
Generally called a tidewater glacier. This is a valley glacier that occupies a fjord. The terminus lies below sea level and generally has an almost vertical face (often over 1,000 feet high) that sheds off huge chunks of glacial ice. This spectacular display, called calving, can change dramatically during the year. Examples: Kenai Fjords: Holgate Glacier, Aialik Glacier. Prince William Sound: Blackstone Glacier, Beloit Glacier
Piedmont Glacier -- Likely to see on all cruises.
A broad valley glacier that terminates on an open slope or plain beyond the mountains. Often shaped like a spoon. This type of glacier has often receded and created a dry outwash plain or freshwater lake at its terminus. Examples: Kenai Fjords: Bear Glacier. Prince William Sound: Tebenkof Glacier.
Rates include all fees and surcharges. Child prices apply to ages 2 to 11; children 24 months and under are free. Please reserve online, or call us toll-free at 888-801-9648.
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