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Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises

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Address: 112 N. Harbor Drive, Valdez, AK 99686
Phone Number: 907-835-4731
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8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 8:00 am - 9:00 pm

Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises has been at home in Valdez and...

Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises has been at home in Valdez and Prince William Sound since 1971. Known then as North Star Marine Charters, Stan and Mary Helen Stephens operated fishing and hunting charters on their first vessel the 26 foot m/v Mary Helen. Seven year later in 1978, the entire family joined the business as Stan, Mary Helen and their three daughters operated their first tour to Columbia Glacier on board the m/v Vince Peede. At this time the company changed it name to Stan Stephens Charters, Inc., and to Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises in 2003.

Between 1987 and today Stan, Mary Helen, their daughters and extended family (also know as co-workers) have worked to develop their operations and increased awareness of Valdez and the Sound amongst travelers. During this time the company has operated a variety of tour boats between the three larger communities of Prince William Sound; Valdez, Whittier and Cordova. In addition to operating cruises, Stan Stephens Cruises also operated Growler Island Wilderness camp located just south of Columbia Glacier for 15 years.

On Good Friday 1989, life for the residents of Prince William Sound changed when the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef. Stan's vessels were some of the first to carry response observers to the site. Due to the need for spill research, the Stephens's purchased two additional boats. It was the early days of the spill as Stan was observing the response that he dedicated the remainder of his life to working with industry to protect Prince William Sound. Today, the crew at Stan Stephens Cruises lives by Stan's example and works to share the corner of Alaska he worked so hard to protect.

Since 1971 the vessels and tours that Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises have operated have changed, but the one thing that has not changed is their commitment to the customer and the company's long term dedication to the Valdez and Prince William Sound.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 155 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 127
  • 23
    Very good
  • 3
  • 0
  • 2
Enjoyable cruise in the Sound

Very informative and helpful crew. Saw some wildlife and they got very close to the Columbia glacier. They even brought some ice for everyone to see and touch. Well worth the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed November 26, 2015
Oakland, California
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155 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2015 via mobile

We took this cruise with our 4yo and 6yo and it was tough on them because they werent as interested on enjoying the view and looking at animals as we thought they would be. They were at first but having to stay in the main area for so many hours was hard. I wish we would have brought more activities... More 

Thank Kathy K
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
67 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2015

Very informative and helpful crew. Saw some wildlife and they got very close to the Columbia glacier. They even brought some ice for everyone to see and touch. Well worth the money.

Thank jfong52414
Irondequoit, New York
Level Contributor
105 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2015

This was a wonderful company! Well run, friendly and knowledgeable staff and very easy to book with. Took the tour to Columbia Glacier and it was fantastic! The weather was good to us although cloudy but the views and wildlife were just absolutely spectacular! We saw not only the glacier, but also icebergs and growlers. The sounds heading through the... More 

1 Thank psithurism
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2015

This business is very well run - keeping the clientl informed. The Crew was experienced, helpful and very personable. I like that they took the "Tourist Picture", printed it and put it on a flash drive with animal and sea life photography taken previously. The lunch was adequate and served without mishap. The glacier was amazing as was all the... More 

Thank Nancy S
Ithaca, New York
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2015

We took the Mears Glacier Tour with Stan Stephens and it was GREAT! The trip out to Mears was a bit lean on wildlife but the return trip was like something out of Wild Kingdom. We saw whales (including a full breach), otters, porpoises, sea lions, seals, puffins, bald eagles, etc. etc. And of course great glacier views. The captain... More 

Thank TMWildMed
Chatham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2015

We went on the 6 hour cruise it was very good. We saw quite a lot of sea life even though the weather was a bit bad no fault of the crew, they were very helpful to the customers that felt a bit seasick.The boat was very clean and nice. The restrooms were very clean. It was nice that when... More 

Thank sharon b
Level Contributor
324 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2015 via mobile

This is a MUST DO Hump back whales, sea lions, seals, sea otters, bald eagles and a huge calving glacier. What a day! The crew are on the lookout at all times and the boat hangs around if wildlife appears. Excellent handling of the boat to enable photographers to do their bit. The Columbia Glacier Is huge, we could not... More 

Thank SolihullBob
Rogersville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
40 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2015

We have been on several wildlife and glacier excursions in Alaska and I must say this was the best ever. Captain Chris and his crew did an excellent job in pointing out the whales, Eagles, sea otters, mountain goals and other wild life as we cruised from Valdez to the Columbia Glacier. The floating ice near the glacier was a... More 

Thank Nancy P
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2015 via mobile

Cruise was okay- saw some wildlife and Columbia Glacier however I felt annoyed by the disregard shown by some of the staff. Would probably use another company next time we visit

Thank bigbrat
East Lansing, Michigan
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015

Since our group has Alaska booklets, we decided to use them on a 6-H Columbia glacier trip -- which means we only paid $65 for each! I didn't expect much to see wildlife as I read so many reviews saying that one has to go on a 9-H trip to Meares Glacier to see more. Unexpectedly, we saw TONS! Humpback... More 

1 Thank Cho_R4T

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises and other visitors
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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?