Tracy Arm Fjord: What to Expect on Cruises
Don't blink. Every second you spend in Tracy Arm fjord is incredible. Naturalist John Muir called it "one of the most dramatically stunning fjords of Southeast Alaska." And that’s no exaggeration, the drama is everywhere. Waterfalls rush down from misty mountain peaks. There are ice floes as big as cars. Glittering, sapphire-blue glaciers. Portly seal pups who haul out on the frozen chunks and pose for a barrage of camera snaps. Bears that lumber out of the forest, ready for their close-up.
Below you will find some practical information on Tracy Arm fjord to help you decide whether it should be on your Alaska cruise itinerary.
Where is Tracy Arm Fjord?
Tracy Arm fjord is 50 miles southeast of Juneau, Alaska off Holkham Bay and adjacent to Stephen's Passage. Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm are part of the vast Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness. Twin Sawyer Glaciers, North and South fill Tracy Arm with ice. Dawes Glacier is at the end of Endicott Arm.
How long is Tracy Arm Fjord?
Tracy Arm fjord is over 30 miles long and gets steadily icier farther in.
Can I see Tracy Arm fjord on a cruise?
If Tracy Arm is on your Alaska cruise itinerary and it's not blocked with ice, you may cruise past its glacier-carved cliffs and icebergs. However, it is a narrow inlet and cruise ships are too large to get close to the Sawyer Glacier faces.
If you're dying to see the twin Sawyer Glaciers up close, look for Tracy Arm Fjord tours in our Alaska shore excursions. You can board a high-speed catamaran right from the cruise ship and zig-zag close to the glaciers. Whether you experience Tracy Arm by cruise or catamaran, bring binoculars and warm rain gear, as it is known for wildlife sightings and drizzle. There are also flightseeing opportunities from Juneau but cruises are more popular.
About the twin Sawyer Glaciers
South Sawyer Glacier and North (sometimes called Sawyer Glacier) are known for their vivid blue hue and filling Tracy Arm fjord with amazing ice sculptures. Both put on great calving shows. If you're on a Tracy Arm fjord tour, you might witness ice thundering into the sea and even feel the ripple of a wave beneath your boat. Incredible.
The larger of the two, South Sawyer Glacier is simply stunning and goes deep underwater. Look for wildlife—seals like to rest on ice floes with their young because they're safer from whales. Mountain goats also love the cliffs near the North Sawyer Glacier.