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Pros/Cons of Alaska glaciers


snowmc
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There is also College Fjord, which is a bit west of Valdez and access is from the Gulf of Alaska via Prince William Sound.  We were there many years ago (1996 and 2004) and it was a beautiful place.  There are multiple glaciers, some named for famous universities.  I don't know if any ships still call there, because ships are so much bigger now.  We were on 1200-pax ships for both of our visits.  There are probably smaller boats out of Seward that might go in there.

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On 2/16/2019 at 11:37 AM, BarbinMich said:

There is also College Fjord, which is a bit west of Valdez and access is from the Gulf of Alaska via Prince William Sound.  We were there many years ago (1996 and 2004) and it was a beautiful place.  There are multiple glaciers, some named for famous universities.  I don't know if any ships still call there, because ships are so much bigger now.  We were on 1200-pax ships for both of our visits.  There are probably smaller boats out of Seward that might go in there.

The large cruise ships do not visit these areas.  Smaller, day cruises from Seward are the best way to visit and view the glaciers there.  

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54 minutes ago, snowmc said:

The large cruise ships do not visit these areas.  Smaller, day cruises from Seward are the best way to visit and view the glaciers there.  

We've been all the way to Harvard Glacier at the end of College Fjord twice on larger ships, Sapphire Princess was one. The 26 Glacier Cruises out of Seward only goes part way up the fjord although there could be others that travel the entire length.

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2 hours ago, Glaciers said:

We've been all the way to Harvard Glacier at the end of College Fjord twice on larger ships, Sapphire Princess was one. The 26 Glacier Cruises out of Seward only goes part way up the fjord although there could be others that travel the entire length.

I should have been more specific...MOST of  larger cruise lines do not  cruise to Harvard Glacier on a regular basis.  Princess does, as it docks in Whittier, which is close by.  I'm glad you got to experience it....Alaska is amazing.

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On 2/18/2019 at 6:04 PM, snowmc said:

I should have been more specific...MOST of  larger cruise lines do not  cruise to Harvard Glacier on a regular basis.  Princess does, as it docks in Whittier, which is close by.  I'm glad you got to experience it....Alaska is amazing.

I have seen Harvard many times on Princess. On beautiful days - College Fiords is absolutely beautiful. 

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On 2/18/2019 at 3:23 PM, snowmc said:

The large cruise ships do not visit these areas.  Smaller, day cruises from Seward are the best way to visit and view the glaciers there.  

College Fjord is an afternoon (at least) of scenic cruising on every Princess Voyage of the Glaciers cruise northbound (Vancouver to Whittier) itinerary.  I agree it is beautiful and the number of glaciers in a relatively small area is incredible.  Just looking at the July 2019 schedule, the following Princess ships are doing that itinerary:  Coral, Golden, Island, Royal, Grand and Pacific.

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I wonder if a ship or cruise line needs a permit to enter College Fjord as they do for Glacier Bay.  Although the glaciers there aren't as large as Marjerie Glacier in GB, the mountain scenery is far better IMHO as I recall and there are more glaciers.

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21 minutes ago, BarbinMich said:

I wonder if a ship or cruise line needs a permit to enter College Fjord as they do for Glacier Bay.  Although the glaciers there aren't as large as Marjerie Glacier in GB, the mountain scenery is far better IMHO as I recall and there are more glaciers.

No, College Fjord is not within a National Park, unlike Glacier Bay which is a National Park.

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9 minutes ago, INKaren said:

So when you are cruising a glacier, is it like a day at sea  without excursions?

Yes. I know Princess has a very apt description: 'scenic cruising.'  Unlike a sea day which can be spent anywhere on the ship, passengers are encouraged to be out and about on deck during a specified period.  Scenic cruising is accompanied by narration from the Bridge by the ship's naturalist, guest lecturer, NPS rangers (in the case of Glacier Bay), etc. 

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