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26 Glacier Cruise by Phillips Cruises

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Route and Map of the Cruise


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Route and Map of the Cruise - 26 Glacier Cruise by Phillips Cruises. Copyright 26 Glacier Cruise by Phillips Cruises.

The 26 Glacier Cruise departs from Whittier and traverses 145 miles through the pristine passageways of Alaska's Prince William Sound. Upon leaving Whittier the vessel heads east out Passage Canal to the Egg Rock sea lion rookery located in Port Wells. From there it proceeds to the very scenic area called Esther Passage where only small ships can navigate the waterway. High mountains protect this narrow channel from rough seas and winds. Many different animals call this area home; bald eagles are commonly seen fishing in the area along with an occasional puffin. It is not uncommon to see orcas plus sea otters are almost always present.

Esther Passage opens into College Fjord where the vessel turns north for a panoramic view of all the glaciers named after the Eastern Colleges during the Harriman Expedition. Next, cruise to Surprise Glacier and Barry Arm located in Harriman Fjord. The Captain plots a path through the ice filled waters up to the front of the glacier so passengers can watch for house size chunks of ice calving into the sea.

On the return trip to Whittier the vessel will stop one more time at a kittiwake bird rookery that is located just across the bay from Whittier. Over 10,000 birds inhabit these rocky cliffs each summer laying eggs. They fish constantly in front of the rookery and then train the young hatchlings all the survival tips they will need before returning to they fly south for the winter. It is just a five minute cruise from the rookery back to the marina in Whittier.



See thumbnails of all photos for this point of interest.

Day Cruise Alaska's Glaciers


 
 
 
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Spend the day getting up close and personal with some of Alaska's gigantic tidewater glaciers and vibrant marine wildlife!


Overview



Spend a day among the world's most spectacular glaciers and wildlife aboard the fastest, largest and most luxurious catamaran in Alaska, the M/V Klondike Express and our newest member of the fleet the luxury catamaran M/V Glacier Quest.

You'll cruise through the calm, protected waters of Prince William Sound and come face to face with towering masses of ice, migratory whales and breathtaking Alaska scenery.

Professional narration is provided by US Forest Service Rangers on every cruise. The 26 Glacier Cruise operates daily May through September and the Glacier Quest Cruise operates daily from May 15 through September 15.

The 26 Glacier Cruise operates daily May through September and takes you through the calm, protected waters of Prince William Sound aboard the largest, fastest and most luxurious catamaran in Alaska -- the Klondike Express

The 26 Glacier Cruise travels over 135 miles into Prince William Sound where you will see 26 "named" glaciers and many more unnamed. We get face to face with these towering masses of ice, so close you can "hear" the glaciers move and gaze at their brilliant blue hues.

The Klondike Express is the largest, fastest and most luxurious catamaran in all of Alaska. This 137-foot, high-speed catamaran holds 338 passengers on three decks, two of which are enclosed and heated and there is an inside seat and table for every passenger on board. The Klondike Express is a non-smoking vessel. However, we have designated a small exterior area where smoking will be permitted during times that the vessel is underway.

Comfortable upholstered booths with tables are available for all passengers and the large picture windows provide a view from every seat. A saloon, snack bar, gift shop and seven restrooms are a few of the other amenities available to our glacier cruise passengers.

With the combination of our stable catamaran, the M/V Klondike Express, and the protected waters of Prince William Sound – we guarantee a trip without sea sickness or your money back. If you're concerned about motion sickness in the least, we're the choice for you!

We never charge extra...lunch is on us! Let us serve up our Fish and Chips basket featuring Wild Alaskan Cod, our own Fresh Made Coleslaw and Alaskan made potato chips. Or choose a warm sandwich consisting of Turkey, Ham and Monterey Jack Cheese on a multi-grain baguette with coleslaw and Alaskan made potato chips. For the Vegetarian minded we offer a delicious Baked Lasagna Florentine with Fresh Cole Slaw and a Bread Stick. For the kids we offer a meal of a hotdog, fruit cup and chips.

These sea creatures are well adapted to life in the sea. They are graceful and efficient swimmers as they use their hind flippers for propulsion and fore flippers as rudders. You will encounter these beautiful animals hauled out on the ice at the face of the many tidewater glaciers visited on this cruise.

Keep an eye out for these gentle giants as we head towards Esther Passage in the open waters of the Sound. You'll recognize them by their giant spouts, easily seen from great distances. These whales are baleen whales that feed on some of the smallest creatures of the ocean, and have giant flippers that can sometimes reach 30% of their entire length. These animals winter in Hawaii where they give birth to their young, before returning to the food rich and fertile waters of Alaska.

These playful little guys are often found just near the entrance to Harriman Fjord, where glaciers from long ago have left an underwater shallow area that is prime for feeding. The otter, known for it's rich pelt has no blubber like other marine mammals to keep them warm, and relies on a rich seafood diet, high metabolism, and constantly refreshing the air bubbles in its fur for warmth. Otters are known for being one of the only animals that use tools, having been seen using rocks and the like to break open shells while feeding.

This member of the dolphin family can be seen throughout the sound. The more docile orca whales are known as resident orcas and travel in large family groups or pods and feed on the salmon runs that make their way into Prince William Sound. They can be playful, and are often very curious. The transient orca whales feed on marine mammals such as seals and sea lions, and are not easily spotted, as they tend to be more stealthy. The resident pods can be spotted by the massive dorsal fins above the water as they travel, sometimes reaching up to six feet in height.

Keep a keen eye out for bears, mountain goats, sea lions and Dall's porpoise as you cruise the sound. While at the glaciers, it is common to see seals on top of the icebergs around the boat, and eagles are ever present in Prince William Sound. We'll do our best to point them out to you, but often rely on you, our guests as well to spot these critters as we travel.

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