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“What a great adventure!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises

Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises
PO Box 1297, North Harbor Drive, Valdez, AK 99686
907-835-4731
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Ranked #2 of 14 activities in Valdez
Type: Tours
Attraction Details
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“What a great adventure!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013 via mobile

We went on the Meers cruse and it was awesome! The Captain was so wonderful and gave us a wonderful narrated knowledgeable trip. They stopped many times when wildlife was spoted so we could take pictures. Lunch was very good. The crew was wonderful. A must go on cruise!

Visited June 2013
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78 reviews from our community

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English first
Wasilla, Alaska
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Columbia Glacier Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

A friend and I took the 6 1/2 hour tour to the Columbia Glacier. We saw sea otters, stellar sea lions, orcas, humpback whales, dall porpoise, a few different sea birds and 2 mountain goats which were definitely not expecting. The captain was very knowledgeable and shared a lot of information about the wildlife, history of the area, and the Valdez oil spill. We were only able to get to about 5 miles from the face of the glacier so we did not see or hearing any calving of the glacier. The trip was much more of a wild life viewing trip than a glacier viewing trip. The snack on the boat was good and there are plenty of inside seats.

Visited May 2013
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Valdez Alaska, USA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Incredibly Amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

If you are coming to Valdez for any reason, you really would do yourself justice to take a glacier and wildlife cruise with Stan Stephens Cruises. The scenery is breathtaking, the sea life is abundant and even rainy days are great on this cruise. Perfect way to spend a day (or part of a day).

Visited September 2012
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Southern Vermont
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“A lovely day in a beautiful setting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

We took the nine-hour Meares Glacier tour. If you don't like a leisurely day and need to be "doing" and "seeing" every minute - watch a National Geographic program. (this is not to diss anybody else's review!) We saw loads of wildlife, including two kinds of puffins, the otters, sea lions basking and sunning themselves, whales, harbor seals. People actually complained that the glacier wasn't calving (!!) -- but we tarried there a good half hour and it is breathtakingly beautiful I do get seasick, so I was glad we were in the more-protected waters of the sound. In the morning there were salmon fisherman seining - interesting to watch (and not always a part of the tour - we were there on a day when Fisheries had declared it a fishing day.) We had so much wildlife and such great weather we got back "late" - as far as we were concerned, that meant we got more for our money! The crew was very helpful, the food was fine. We got the on-line discount too....All in all, a lovely day - and they told us where to go for LOCAL seafood for supper, and sent us over to a place to watch the salmon in the twilight.

Visited July 2012
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Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Great Scenery, Lacked Wildlife (on our day at least)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

Disclaimer: I've done numerous tours in Alaska such as this, including Glacier Bay NP and Kenai Fjords NP (six times). So, if you've not done anything like this before, you might have rated this a 5 instead of my 4.

This is a review of the Columbia Glacier trip, taken in second week of Sept (near end of their season).

Good: Boat was comfortable and plenty of room (I'm sure it's more crowded during the peak of their season). Captain very capable and knowledgable. Lunch was typical fare for these trips.

Very Good: Glacier viewing. The Columbia Glacier is extremely impressive - six miles wide at the water. Throws off loads of icebergs, which our captain did a fantastic job navigating through to bring us within 1/2 mile of the face of the glacier.

Merely OK: Saw a few sea otters (in fact, the best sighting we was was actually upon disembarking back at the dock), a few sea lions lounging on a bouy, and a number of harbor seals resting on icebergs near the glacier, but virtually no other marine mammals or sea birds. There were two large oil tankers moving in/out of Valdez on the day of our tour and there was also a spill response drill taking place so that could have impacted the lack of wildlife encounters on our day.

Disappointing: As noted above (and for the possible reasons stated), we saw zero whales or sea birds, and not much else in the way of wildlife.

While I would recommend this tour for anyone in Valdez (which is a beautiful place especially on a rare clear and sunny day), if you have a choice between this tour and Kenai Fjords NP I would pick Kenai Fjords every time. Our experiences at Kenai Fjords have never let us down in the way of wildlife sightings plus the glaciers that are always there.

One item to note is that inside Prince William Sound, you're typically much more protected from potential heavy seas than you are at Kenai Fjords which can get a bit choppy at times.

Visited September 2012
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