Glacier Water - Safe to Drink?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

** Please post your recommendations ONLY in response to request...do not start a new thread. Thanks!
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 12:01 PM.
#1
Temecula, CA
329 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I have read a number of posts where people mention they took a sip of glacier water. I really would like to taste this wonderful water, but I worry about little critters in the water that would love to ruin my vacation.

I read an article that mentioned being cautious about drinking from streams in Juneau while hiking because Giardia may be present. I have to say, I have suffered from Giardia and "suffering" is not a good enough word to describe the misery. I would prefer to never experience it again.

Am I being too cautious to think the glacier water could be contaminated?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Jax



Sun Princess...Alaska 8/29/05
#3
22 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
No to worry! My wife and I did Coastal Helicoptors out of Juneau to Herbert Glacier. What a ride! first class Staff! Anyway we landed on the glacier, walked around took pictures etc...The pilot recomend that we try a sip of PURE Glacier water. I bent down and had a gulp or two and LOVED it! My wife a little ways away did to and loved it also. She eye spyed a VERY mini bug next to the water and we all gathered around to check it out. The pilot said in all his years he had NEVER seen a bug/creature on the Glacier so he got a kick out of it too.
Bottom line is enjoy water that may be 100+ years old!
#4
8,371 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Is it safe? - as a generalization, NO. The only variation to "NO" is if you know exactly the path that the water takes and know that nothing could possible have contaminated it. That, of course, means that some locals can drink it safely, no casual visitor can without filtration (except from the meltwater pools right on top of the glaciers).

Murray
#5
6,033 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by Yukon
Is it safe? - as a generalization, NO. The only variation to "NO" is if you know exactly the path that the water takes and know that nothing could possible have contaminated it. That, of course, means that some locals can drink it safely, no casual visitor can without filtration (except from the meltwater pools right on top of the glaciers).

Murray
I've read that you do not have running water in your cabin and walk to the glacier for water. Do you boil it when you get home?
#6
8,371 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
>>I've read that you do not have running water in your cabin and walk to the glacier for water. Do you boil it when you get home?<<

I get my water from the huge glacial lake that I live on the shore of. The glaciers that feed it are only 15 miles away, and there are no people and very few animals living above me, so I know it's pure (except in April when huge flocks of swans are on the lake during their migration - then I bring my water in!).

Murray
#7
Temecula, CA
329 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by Yukon
Is it safe? - as a generalization, NO. The only variation to "NO" is if you know exactly the path that the water takes and know that nothing could possible have contaminated it. That, of course, means that some locals can drink it safely, no casual visitor can without filtration (except from the meltwater pools right on top of the glaciers).

Murray
Thanks, Murray. Since I seem to have a disposition to these sort of bugs, I think I will pass on the glacier water sample. The doctors have no idea how I contracted Giardia, since I have never drank from a stream nor had I been in any areas where it would be likely to have caught up with me. I acutally had to be reported to the CDC.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Jax



Sun Princess...Alaska 8/29/05
#8
Chicago Suburbs, IL, USA
1,259 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
While on Herbert Glacier last month, I asked Marshal, our Coastal pilot / guide, and he said, sure, it was safe to drink – that he’s been drinking it all his life. So I bent over and scooped a handful up from a crevasse, and it was delicious. Tasted just wonderful. I only regret that I did not have the foresight to bring a plastic bottle with me to get more, and bring my wife a taste. BUT – this was, as Murray discusses, a small pool of melt water in a surface crevasse.

Happy to report no adverse results (except a longing to return to Alaska)
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




Past Cruises:
NCL Pride of America 1/17 Hawaii
Eurodam Straight Jazz Cruise 1/16 Caribbean
Coral Princess 10/15 Alaska w/Land Pkg
Eurodam Straight Jazz Cruise 1/15 Caribbean
Celebrity Summit 12/13 Southern Caribbean
Grand Princess 7/12 England & Baltic Heritage
Caribbean Princess 12/11 Southern Caribbean
Ruby Princess 6/10 Europe via Eastern & Central Med
Crown Princess 12/09 - Western Caribbean
Island Princess 12/08 - Panama Canal Transit
Crown Princess 12/07- Southern Caribbean
Brilliance of the Seas 7/07 - Europe via Western & Central Med
Crown Princess 12/06- Southern Caribbean
Coral Princess 7/05 - Alaska Northbound
Infinity 12/01- Southern Caribbean
Monarch of the Seas 12/99 - Southern Caribbean
#9
Longview, Tx USA
276 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Originally posted by Love Cruis'n
While on Herbert Glacier last month, I asked Marshal, our Coastal pilot / guide, and he said, sure, it was safe to drink – that he’s been drinking it all his life. So I bent over and scooped a handful up from a crevasse, and it was delicious. Tasted just wonderful. I only regret that I did not have the foresight to bring a plastic bottle with me to get more, and bring my wife a taste. BUT – this was, as Murray discusses, a small pool of melt water in a surface crevasse.

Happy to report no adverse results (except a longing to return to Alaska)
Likewise for me. On July 5th, Marshall took us up to Herbert Glacier and I filled my water bottle with the water. I drank most of it that day and the next. I never had any bad affects from it..........YET!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
SHIRLEY & BOB
Carnival Fesstival 6/1990
Uniworld River Empress 6/2002
Celebrity Infinity 10/2003
Island Princess 7/2005
Oceania Nautica 5/2006
Star Flyer 7/2009
Oceania Insignia 6/2010
Uniworld River Royale 6-2013
Oceania Marina/8/2014

#11
Temecula, CA
329 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
It's good to know I am not the only one who won't be drinking the glacier water, BQ. Maybe the pilot won't think I am nuts after all.

As far as not hearing anyone get sick over it, the reason may be that Giardia takes about 30 days to incubate before you get symptoms. For many, the symptoms are just that of stomach flu. They go to the doctor, get an antibiotic, and it's all done, never knowing what they really had. Unfortunately, my case was so severe (and symptoms hit without wanring and were immediately severe) I was in the emergency room for about 8 hours getting fluids and antibiotics straight into my system, not to mention anti-cramping medication, anti-nauseau, and good ol' vicodin.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Jax



Sun Princess...Alaska 8/29/05
#12
Edinburgh
10,186 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
We were told on a Glacier trip in Canada that as the mineral content is very different to the tap water you are used to, whilst you may well escape the bugs, the impact of the minerals on your digestive system can be - how can I put this delicately - a more effective action that colonic irrigation - but the effects can last up to 48 hours. Should you be nearing the end of your cruise and seeking to reduce the excess weight gain, maybe a good large bottle would be an idea
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
467 days onboard Celebrity and Azamara 2000-2017 and 153 more days booked