Columbia Glacier
Columbia Glacier
5
About
The largest tidewater glacier in Alaska.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Columbia Glacier and nearby attractions

The area

Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
Attractions
1 within 6 miles

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles252 reviews
Excellent
213
Very good
32
Average
6
Poor
0
Terrible
1

Irene G
Pendleton, OR49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
Took a tour to see Columbia Glacier. We didn't get very close because of the huge ice chunks floating around but it was worth the trip. The big ice chunks were amazing too as the way the light hit them they were a beautiful blue.
Written June 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MsAnadyr
Valdez, Alaska1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Exploring Columbia glacier with Anadyr Adventures (------------) was absolutely wonderful. We kayaked along intricately carved shorelines, amongst huge icebergs, hiked on recently ice-freed land and in old growth rain forest. We saw seals, otters, sea lions, and whales. The trip was well organized; Anadyr Adventures groups are small with no more than 6 people per guide. My guide was knowledgeable, courteous and very pleasant to be around. I liked him instantly. He explained the natural history of the area, glaciers, geology, plants and wildlife. He pointed out wildlife we would have missed and plants that only grow iaround the Columbia glacier area. All Anadyr guides are experienced naturalists, carry first aid kids and are BCU and ACA certified paddlers. Best of all Anadyr guides live in Alaska year around and were able to answer our questions about life in Alaska.
Written April 20, 2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nomad26418
Truckee, CA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Columbia Glacier is Alaska's second largest tide water glacier. It is rare that you can get right up tot the face, but there is an amzing 6 miles of floating ice in front of it that is equally spectacular. There are a few ways to visit the glacier, but I would suggest a Wildlife Cruise and Kayak. Both Stan Stephens cruises and Pangaea Adventures (800-660-9637) offer trips to see the glacier. Even beginners can go kayaking at Columbia Glacier because it is so well protected. The highlight of kayaking at the Glacier is paddling in the HUGE icebergs and watching the seals and sea otters sim around the bay. If you are not up for kayaking, you should at least go on a glacier cruise although that is only half the fun. Both are well worth the price for the guided trips.
Written November 14, 2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Slo-Lju
Ljubljana, Slovenia1,061 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I took a 9-hour cruise to Columbia and Meares Glaciers aboard Valdez Spirit of Stan Stephens Cruises. This was one of my best day trips anywhere in North America ever! First I have to mention that Valdez Spirit is a brand new boat that was only finished this spring and is therefore wonderful, very spacious, spotlessly clean and luxurious for a day-cruise boat. The cruise was not fully booked the day I took it which made it even better as there was room everywhere at anytime. The boat was captained by Stan Stephen himself and he gave a thorough and inside explanation of all the sights, he also tried to manoeuvre the boat in all possible directions to provide good views of the current sight. All the rest of the boys and girls in the crew were also wonderful, very helpful, friendly and quite knowledgeable about the area and the sights.
This cruise takes you to Columbia Glacier first and then to Meares Glacier. In between the two glacier stops you get numerous opportunities to see all possible wildlife and sealife. We saw everything from sea otters to humpback whales and bald eagles. The views of the snow-caped mountains, glaciers and islands in Prince William Sound are equally fascinating. By the time we were returning to Valdez I had a hard time realizing that 9 hours had passed. This cruise is also very reasonably priced compared to much shorter cruises out of Seward, so I strongly recommend it. It is a must if you come to Valdez and quite essential for a trip to Alaska as well. There is not even one thing I would change about the cruise, even the weather was gorgeous.
Written August 10, 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ElNueve
Seattle2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Alaska is amazingly beautiful and I'm happy I went. I would not, however, recommend wasting money on a Pangaea tour. The tour I went on was awful. Basically, they loaned us "rain gear" that didn't repel rain, loaded us on a crummy boat with a seriously tiny porta-potty, and didn't speak much during the 1 hour ride over to the glacier (no information or interesting facts given to us from the "guides"). We were left to stare out fogged-over windows in silence. When we arrived at the glacier we were loaded into the kayaks and rather quickly kayaked through the ice congested waters (it was SO beautiful but we barely had a moment to take a picture or enjoy the scenery). After stopping on shore for a quick lunch (bring-your-own), we were given the "opportunity" to continue kayaking or quit and hang out on the boat while whoever wanted to continue finished. My group decided to quit since we were soaked and cold. Had we known the second half of the trip was where we would see the various wildlife, we would have braved the cold and continued on (I guess Pangaea didn't think it was necessary to tell us how different the second half was from the first half). After sitting in the dead quiet boat for an hour or so, we picked up the rest of our tour group and thought we were heading back to shore. Nope, the Pangaea "guides" had chores to do. They had to locate and collect their shrimp basket, then they needed to drive the boat around till they located two of their friends to give rides to (each friend was in a different location). At least the boat wasn't as quiet . . . all the friends had a great time chit-chatting amongst themselves about their recent adventures. This wasn't a guided tour at all – it seems we paid to be interlopers on someone’s private outing.
Written September 12, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rhys J
Llanbedr, UK2,928 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Couples
My wife and I joined a cruise with Stan Stephens Cruises during our 2 night stay in Valdez on our escorted 'Natural Wonders of Alaska' tour with Titan Travel. We went on the 7 hour Columbia Glacier Cruise on their 80 foot cruiser Glacier Spirit which can accommodate 149 passengers and has a maximum speed of 17 knots. It’s a very comfortable cruiser with plenty of room inside the main cabin or out on deck and has all the facilities expected of a modern cruiser. We left Port Valdez at about 11.00am and travelled through the clear waters of Prince William Sound along the Valdez Arm, passing in between Heather and Glacier Islands, into Columbia Bay. There in the distance, about 4-5 miles from our cruiser, we saw Alaska's amazing tidewater glacier, Columbia Glacier. This was the closest we could get due to the sea of floating ice flows created by the ice breaking off in chunks from the face of this huge glacier. It was a marvellous sight even at that distance through my binoculars, watching the glacier descending from the Chugach Mountains into the sea. Our knowledgeable guide explained in his informative commentary that this the second-largest tidewater glacier in North America and largest in Prince William Sound. It's a retreating glacier, about 32 miles (51 kilometres) in length, and has retreated nearly 10 miles (16 kilometers) since the early 1980s. We were given plenty time to enjoy seeing the glacier and the ice of all shapes and sizes floating around the bay, be spellbound by the outstanding views of the Chugach Mountains and marvel at the wildlife we saw in the bay and throughout our cruise. We saw humpback whales, dolphins, sea otters, seals and bald eagles - we were so fortunate to be cruising on such a warm sunny and clear day, perfect for wildlife spotting! We were also fortunate to have on board an experienced crew skilled at knowing where to find and spot the wildlife. The Captain showed his skills navigating our cruiser safely in between the chunks of ice whilst sharing his vast knowledge on the wonderful scenery, fascinating history and of course the amazing wildlife. All the crew were welcoming, friendly and helpful and were very efficient especially when serving our included lunch - I had home made chunky minestrone soup and my wife enjoyed her sea food chowder – both of which were delicious and filling! This cruise exceeded my expectations and is among the highlights of my tour of Alaska. It’s a cruise that should be include on any Alaskan itinerary!
Written August 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DelightedTraveller
Juneau, AK272 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We went to the Columbia Glacier and to Ellamar with Anadyr Adventures. It was a spectacular trip - the best!

The ice coming off the glacier is beautiful and very impressive. We saw lots of otters, eagle and salmon. We watched an eagle stand off several other eagles, a coyote and a bear over a salmon. There were lots of salmon all around.

Anadyr Adventures has top-notch equipment and does excellent safety planning. Prince William Sound Lodge in Ellamar is comfortable and the cooking is great.

We stayed 3 days - I'd love to go back.
Written October 10, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kiwi62wc
West Chester, OH31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Couples
We took the Stan Stephens Tour. Great crew who shared tons of information during the cruise. Not much wildlife on the cruise but the glacier made up for it. It was a cloudy day so we had beautiful blue hues of the ice. The captain stopped us in an area far enough away from the calving glacier that we could hear, see and feel the results. We could have stayed there for hours. A must see when you are in Valdez.
Written September 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sally D
Pocatello, Idaho, United States2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Friends
My husband and I, plus his son and several friends also took the Lulu Belle to see the Columbia Glacier in August of 2014, and it was an outstanding trip! Captain Fred does a long monologue, but after traveling with him on three separate day trips over the years, we find him to be a fountain of information. While we were by the glacier's terminus, he was very quiet and allowed us more than an hour to take in the scene, the ambiance, and watch/listen for calving. We were able to get some wonderful photographs, not only of the glacier, but also of sea otters, sea lions, other wildlife, and the beautiful snowy mountains towering above.
Written January 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jennie O
Ferndale, WA88 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Family
This year there was a whole lot of snow in Valdez so we had wanted to take a kayak tour of the Valdez Glacier with Anadyr but it was still too snowy. After hearing recommendations from a couple of locals about the Lu-Lu Belle Glacier Tours and the Columbia Glacier tour, mainly that if he saw wildlife he would stay out. Captain Fred is the Garrison Keillor of tour guides, broadcasting from his perch as we set out. His sense of comic timing fueled by the passion of true love he has for what he does makes this an enjoyable experience. And the rumors were true: he sees wildlife and he stays out. His tours last between 6 and 8 hours sometimes. And boy did we see wildlife: 8 humpback whales, porpoises racing the boat, eagles, sea otter with a baby on her belly and tons of sea lions. And then we went into the Columbia Glacier. This takes a skilled hand and someone with the knowledge and history of the land, both of which he has. This was an unbelievable experience. His crew is small but sweet. You can bring a lunch if you want but their snack bar pricing was really reasonable ($3 nachos, $1 for a brownie, etc). If you have time constraints, this isn't the tour for you. But if you want to see nature, as he puts it "sometimes the whales cooperate" he's going to do his very best to find you that experience. And to finish it off, he and his crew shook each person's hand and thanked us for coming as we left. You just don't get that very often.
Written June 11, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 214
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Columbia Glacier - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All things to do in Valdez
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars