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day cruise to Columbia Glacier

Quincy
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day cruise to Columbia Glacier

My husband and I will be in southcentral Alaska for two weeks at the end of August. We have planned to take the all day Major Marine Tour out of Seward to see wildlife and out of Whittier to see glaciers. We had been planning to also take a day cruise out of Valdez to see the Columbia Glacier, but now we are wondering if this will be repetitious. We have read that the face of the Columbia Glacier needs to be clear to make the trip worthwhile. We also are ferrying from Valdez to Cordova and then from Cordova to Whittier. We will drive the Copper River Road and see the Childs Glacier there. Also, will we come close to the Columbia Glacier on the ferry?

Thanks for any advice.

Lancaster...
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34 posts
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1. Re: day cruise to Columbia Glacier

June 13-30, 2007

We just returned from a 17 day trip to Alaska that was amazing. We did the Stan Stephen's day cruise to the Columbia and Mears Glaciers. The trip was very nice. The company is wonderful. The captain, John, was very informative and the crew of young fellows couldn't have been nicer. This tour boat was as clean as could be and had great decks to view all the beautiful scenery. We saw three humpbacks, loads of sea otters, bald eagles,sea lions, harbor seals and a puffin. The Columbia Glacier was okay--not spectacular but the Mear's Glacier was awesome. We saw "calving" and could hear the popping, cracking , and booms from the ice wall. The one thing that really impressed us was how the crew catered to us. We had a hot sit down lunch of chicken, rice, vegetables and the crew served us. Then on the way back to port they served us hot clam chowder. It was wonderful. Each crew member chatted with us, answered our questions, and seemed to really cater to their customers. I highly recommend the Stan Stephen's Cruise out of Valdez for a great experince on the Prince William Sound.

pine hill, nj
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297 posts
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2. Re: day cruise to Columbia Glacier

Have you given any thought to doing a kayak trip to Columbia. We had a wonderful time with Pangea tours. It was both my husband and I's first time kayaking and words can't describe it. You still don't get to the face of Columbia, in fact, you bearly scratch the surface of even the field of icebergs, but it truely was a amazing to see all the shades of blue.It's so quite you can hear the ice dripping. I should have some pictures up in a day or sooner. They also have a trip to Mears as well. This might be a good alternative. Any ?'s feel free to leave me a message. Another person on this site was kind enough to answer lots of mine.

Wasilla, Alaska
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994 posts
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3. Re: day cruise to Columbia Glacier

KB, I agree with both previous posters - I have done both.

Spunkie, did I miss your trip report? I am glad you had a good time.

Anchorage, Alaska
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108 posts
107 reviews
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4. Re: day cruise to Columbia Glacier

And Anadyr also gives great kayak tours in Valdez.

If you are interested in kayaking at all, have a look at Anadyr's lodge based tour. They have very good equipment, including extra raingear and boots, if you don't have your own. They take you to Columbia Glacier and you can paddle with the icebergs. They then take you to a lodge on the other side of Prince William Sound (at Ellamar) which is a beautiful place, comfortable lodge, sheltered kayaking, and Chris is a superb cook. There was a run of pink salmon at the time. We watched an old eagle stand off a flock of younger birds, a coyote and a bear from his catch. That was a great trip.

Anchorage, Alaska
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5. Re: day cruise to Columbia Glacier

And all day tour out of Seward sounds like the Kenai Fjords park tour, where you will see glaciers and lots of wildlife. Whittier sounds repetitious. But Valdez does not - we saw a different spectrum of wildlife on the Valdez side compared to Seward. And there are several glaciers on the road between Anchorage and Valdez - including one that you can walk up to and touch (not really safe, but definitely accessible) (Whitworth or something like that, just north of Valdez) (not the Matanuska, which is a long walk and a private fee area). And the pipeline is surprising, and worth stopping to have a look at.

Have you thought about Homer? It has Gull Island ( a bird refuge, you should see it). Otter Bay Cove - good restaurant on the other side of Kachemak Bay. Lots of restaurants and shops and charter fishing.

Covington, Virginia
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6. Re: day cruise to Columbia Glacier

We, too, did the Kayaking trip to Columbia Glacier on July 1--great trip. Went with Pangea and were very pleased. Chuck was our guide. We didn't get anywhere near the glacier, either, but boy was it fund kayaking around all that ice.

7. Re: day cruise to Columbia Glacier

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