Surprise Glacier Exploration Catamaran Cruise

5.25 Hours
Group Activity
Shore Excursion with Guaranteed Return to Ship

From (USD) $172 Per Adult / $95 Per Child

Surprise Glacier Exploration Catamaran Cruise

5.25 Hours
Group Activity
Shore Excursion with Guaranteed Return to Ship

From (USD) $172 Per Adult / $95 Per Child

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Adult (Ages 12+)

Child (Ages 3-11)

    For Groups of 10 or more, please contact our GoTo Crew.


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      We'll do our very best to ensure you'll GoBe an explorer in Alaska. Please note there is very limited space available on this tour and all reservations must be reconfirmed. Thanks for your understanding.

      Surprise Glacier Exploration Catamaran Cruise

      Whittier, Alaska, USA
      From (USD) $172 Per Adult / $95 Per Child
      • Prince William Sound: Cruise into the calm, protected waters outside of Whittier, providing the best opportunity for glacier and wildlife viewing in Prince William Sound. Cruise through Port Wells and into Herriman Fjord, where you will be surrounded by breathtaking alpine and tidewater glaciers.
      • Surprise Glacier: Travel to the end of the fjord and stop in front of the towering Surprise Glacier. Watch for spectacular calving, where chunks of ice break off and crash into the water.
      • Esther Passage: Cruise this increasingly narrow waterway, where the fjord walls seem to surround your boat and you might think you can touch the emerald cliff walls.
      • Wildlife: Be on the lookout for sea otters, Dall's porpoises, Steller sea lions, harbor seals, seabirds, eagles, and occasionally whales.
      • Salmon hatchery: Learn about the life cycle and harvesting of Alaska's most famous wildlife as your captain guides the catamaran to the edge of a working hatchery.
      • Kittiwake rookery: Stop at the second largest Kittiwake rookery in Prince William Sound, where thousands of black-legged kittiwakes nest on the rocky cliffs. Observe and hear the distinctive shrill call of this small species of gulls.
      • Catamaran: You’ll be onboard a comfortable catamaran with heated cabins. Fog-free windows and multiple outside observation decks allow for great viewing opportunities. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars!
      • Expert guide: Your cruise is narrated by an onboard National Forest Ranger who can provide details on the region’s history, ecology, geology, and wildlife.
      About this Whittier tour

      No visit to Alaska is complete without viewing a glacier or two or more, especially ones where large chunks of ice crack and drop into the water below. Called calving, some portions can be large as 200 feet long and can cause breathtaking waves. But when you take this catamaran tour of Prince William Sound's protected fjords, you will witness what are arguably the most photo and video-worthy instances of glacier calving in the state.

      Start your cruise in Whittier in a two-level watercraft, where a Chugach National Forest Ranger will serve as your tour guide. You'll travel in comfort with a reserved table seat in a heated cabin. Travel into scenic Prince William Sound and enter Harriman Fjord, the gateway to Surprise Glacier. Here you'll watch the spectacle of calving.

      Leaving the glacier, which is in the Chugach National Forest, you'll head through the Esther Passage, a slim, isolated channel that almost seems to enclose your ship on both sides (don't worry, you'll sail through just fine). The catamaran will next stop at a salmon hatchery, where you'll learn about these fish that are synonymous with Alaska.

      Finally, you'll head out to the second largest kittiwake rookery in the area. A seabird that closely resembles a common seagull, the kittiwake is the only gull species to nest on rocky cliffs. Listen to their shrill cries of "kittee-wa-aaake, kitte-wa-aaake" and you'll understand why these birds are so named.

      Glaciers aren't forever blue

      When you see Surprise Glacier or many other popular glaciers in Alaska, you'll notice a distinctive blue tint in the ice, especially on a cloudy day. That's because of light absorption and scattering. The longer wavelengths on the light spectrum reflect blue light. But if you should get close to a glacier and want to break off a piece to take with you, know that the beautiful color will disappear instantly. So you might as well just leave it to Mother Nature's calving instead.

      Getting prepared
      Tour Participation Requirements
      Great photo opportunities Great photo opportunities
      Bring money Bring money
      Wear warm layers Wear warm layers
      Wear Jeans Wear Jeans
      Head covering Head covering
      Wear Sunglasses Wear Sunglasses
      Cancellation policy

      Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.

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      General disclaimer

      Your order is subject to TourTrek's Booking Ticket Agreement, including all TourTrek and GoBe policies incorporated therein.

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