Whittier, Alaska, US
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Stretch your legs on a short walk from the cruise ship terminal to board a catamaran.
You'll travel 150 miles from Whittier into the pristine wilderness of Prince William Sound to view 26 massive glaciers, including Harvard Glacier in College Fjord. Narration by an expert Chugach National Forest Service ranger means your trip is both beautiful and informative.
On the catamaran, you'll come face to face with towering masses of ice in brilliant blue hues, so close that you can hear the glaciers moving. You will encounter several glacier types, including alpine (hanging), piedmont, and tidewater. The glaciers often calve -- pieces of ice break off and thunder into the water. It's an unforgettable experience.
On this cruise, the wildlife is equally astounding. Sightings of sea otters, seals, porpoises, sea lions and bald eagles are commonplace. You may also spot bears, mountain goats and humpback and orca whales. The captain will stop at a bird rookery that is home to thousands of kittiwakes.
Reserved seating, heated cabins, large panoramic windows, a hot meal, tea, coffee and ice water are all included. The boat also features a snack bar, gift shop and restrooms.
The tour operator offers a 'no seasickness guarantee.' Dress warmly in layers with a wind- and waterproof outer layer; bring gloves, a scarf and a warm hat. Tour operates rain or shine. Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed. This tour is available only to guests whose cruise does not begin or end in Whittier. Northbound cruise ship routes include College Fjord, but this tour allows a closer view of the glaciers and wildlife. The boat may not be exclusive to Holland America Line guests.