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Kayakers paddling near an Alaska glacier on a shore excursion

Your Guide to Glaciers in Alaska

Not only is blue glacial ice a stunning sight, but glaciers tell us stories of the Earth’s history. Glaciers take hundreds of years to form and can show us what the atmosphere was like and what kind of mammals existed thousands of years ago. Their ability to flow makes these rivers of ice even more unique. Ready for an unforgettable Alaska glacier viewing experience? Embark on the ultimate Alaskan cruise with Holland America Line.

View of Glacier Bay inlet in Alaska

Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay mesmerizes visitors with frozen landscapes, an abundance of wildlife and the “white thunder” of glacial calving. Only accessible by plane, boat or ship, Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve is known for its 1,045 Alaska glaciers which cover roughly 27% of the area. Park Rangers narrate your visit as you pass by several iconic glaciers including Lamplugh, Grand Pacific, Margerie and Johns Hopkins Glacier where harbor seals raise their pups on ice flows each spring.

Mendenhall Glacier

The only glacier in Southeast Alaska accessible by road, Mendenhall Glacier is one of the most beautiful glaciers in North America. The glacier has been retreating for 300 to 400 years and has receded another 1.75 miles since 1929. This long river of ice can be found in the temperate Tongass National Forest, which is home to black bears, eagles, and a wide variety of other animal species.

Hiking Mendenhall Glacier Hike from Cruise Port of Juneau, Alaska

View of Hubbard Glacier at sunrise in Alaska.

Hubbard Glacier

Off the coast of Yakutat, Hubbard Glacier is more than 6 miles wide where it meets the ocean. The longest tidewater glacier in North America, this big and otherworldly glacier has been very active in the past, with two major surges in the last 30 years. Hubbard Glacier’s 3-story icebergs calve frequently and turn a stunning deep blue on clear days. Hubbard Glacier is also one of the only Alaska glaciers not giving in to climate change.
View of Portage Glacier in Alaska

Portage Glacier

Just 48 miles south of Anchorage, Portage Glacier offers majestic views of the blue-white icebergs that adorn Portage Lake. From Whittier, come aboard the MV Ptarmigan, the only boat operating on Portage Lake, and watch the alpine glacier put on a spectacular calving show. Then, admire a relic of the Ice Age by foot when the conditions are just right.
View of Dawes Glacier in Alaska

Dawes Glacier

Journey through the scenic Endicott Arm and visit the sheer, stunning face of the mighty Dawes Glacier. Although this tidewater glacier stands at 600-feet tall and is approximately a mile wide, do not be afraid to get up close to the Dawes Glacier to see the daily calving displays, and hear  "white thunder," the sound a large ice chunk makes when it splashes into the water.
Kenai Fjords National Park in the Gulf of Alaska

Kenai Fjords

Kenai Fjords is a dazzling glacial paradise with tree-top cliffs rising out of turquoise waters. An impressive 40 glaciers cascade from the Harding Icefield panorama, with ice almost a mile thick. Ice mountains, and coastal beauty, a visit to Kenai Fjords is a must, as it features one of the only walk-in glaciers and one of Kenai Fjords' most-visited attractions, Exit Glacier.

Featured Glacier Shore Excursions

View of a seaplane flying over a glacier in Alaska

Five Glacier Seaplane Exploration

Soar over the lush wilderness of the Tongass National Forest in an authentic Alaskan seaplane, and delight in the grandeur of Alaska's epic glaciers on Juneau's only five-glacier flightseeing tour. Glide over deep crevasses and meltwater pools of the Norris, Hole-In-The-Wall, East, and West Twin Glaciers. Experience the beauty of the famous five-mile-wide Taku Glacier, the largest in the Juneau Ice Field.
View of a humpback whale breaching off the coast of Alaska

Mendenhall Glacier Quest Cruise

5-hour cruise from Juneau, Alaska. Experience Alaska’s most famous river of ice, the Mendenhall Glacier. Take the scenic route from the Mendenhall Valley to Auke Bay, and keep a lookout for humpback whales, Steller sea lions, and other wildlife in the island-studded waters of Stephens Passage.
view of a Klondike Express catamaran cruising near a glacier in Alaska

Prince William Sound 26 Glacier Cruise

5-hour glacier cruise from Anchorage to Whittier, Alaska. Glide calm waters, admire narrow fjords, and marvel at alpine and tidewater glaciers in College and Harriman Fjord. Explore Esther Passage and other scenic wilderness areas.