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Norsk129

Alaska, which is better glacier bay or Tracy Arm?

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Which ones better for first time cruisers and why?

If you can't get in tracy arm what do they do?

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If they can't get into Tracey Arm, they go up Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier.  Still not as good as Glacier Bay.  EM

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I agree that Glacier Bay is better than Tracy Arm.  Much longer time spent in Glacier Bay, many more Glaciers to see.  

 

Enjoy your cruise!

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6 hours ago, Norsk129 said:

Which ones better for first time cruisers and why?

If you can't get in tracy arm what do they do?

I was quite happy I found a cruise that did both Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm.  I was quite convinced that I was only ever going to Alaska once (I don't do cold well), so this was an important question for me, also, on our first Alaska trip.  Yes, "first", it only took about 3 days to realize that I'd be returning.

 

 

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Been to both more than once. Tracy Arm is stunning and usually offers boat excursions to get closer to the glacier, but the whole day spent in Glacier Bay is much better in my opinion. You see more glaciers and more wildlife. 

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I've been to Glacier Bay twice and Edicott Arm once.  We were supposed to go to Tracy Arm but couldn't get through due to ice as it was early in the season.  They are really quite different. When cruising down Endicott Arm,  I loved cruising down the arm seeing all the seals with the baby seals on the icebergs.  I found the scenery as we were sailing down the arm in a narrow channel with land close by on each side to be stunning.  We saw different wildlife  including seals, sea otters and birds and even a bear on the shore. Glacier Bay was beautiful but vast.  You are not as close to the land but the overall landscapes are beautiful.  Several glaciers are in the area.  I didn't see any wild  life cruising around Glacier Bay as compared to Endicott Arm. 

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I cruised Glacier Bay in September.  Maybe it was just our Captain but on the way in, we sailed very close to land on the starboard side before going to Margerie Glacier.  We saw 4 brown bears up on their hind legs wrestling.  We were told it was a mother and 3 grown cubs.  We also saw sea otters, seals, and sea lions.  When exiting, we sailed past Marble Island, which is loaded with hundreds of sea lions. 

 

We got very close to Marjerie Glacier.  The calving was very active and it was awesome.  I too recommend Glacier Bay over Tracy Arm. 

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1 hour ago, Aquahound said:

I cruised Glacier Bay in September.  Maybe it was just our Captain but on the way in, we sailed very close to land on the starboard side before going to Margerie Glacier.  We saw 4 brown bears up on their hind legs wrestling.  We were told it was a mother and 3 grown cubs.  We also saw sea otters, seals, and sea lions.  When exiting, we sailed past Marble Island, which is loaded with hundreds of sea lions. 

 

We got very close to Marjerie Glacier.  The calving was very active and it was awesome.  I too recommend Glacier Bay over Tracy Arm. 

 

1 hour ago, Aquahound said:

I cruised Glacier Bay in September.  Maybe it was just our Captain but on the way in, we sailed very close to land on the starboard side before going to Margerie Glacier.  We saw 4 brown bears up on their hind legs wrestling.  We were told it was a mother and 3 grown cubs.  We also saw sea otters, seals, and sea lions.  When exiting, we sailed past Marble Island, which is loaded with hundreds of sea lions. 

 

We got very close to Marjerie Glacier.  The calving was very active and it was awesome.  I too recommend Glacier Bay over Tracy Arm. 

I would choose Glacier Bay also. Been there twice and will defiantly go again. Ice blocks the cruise ships from getting into Tracy Arm on many occasions. If you want a good chance to get into Tracy Arm  and close up do an excursion out of Juneau.

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Been to Glacier Bay well over 20 times and never failed to enter and see glaciers. Some times the weather was dreadful, but we always experienced the Ranger talks and saw the glaciers.

 

For Tracy Arm, only ever made it to the end once, but note it is spectacular. Sadly ships often can't enter due to ice and if they can enter, rarely make it up to the end.

 

While Tracy Arm is spectacular, if I was on my first and possibly only Alaska Cruise, I would recommend Glacier Bay, especially for the Ranger talks.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Norsk129 said:

Which ones better for first time cruisers and why?

If you can't get in tracy arm what do they do?

 

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Choose Glacier Bay. Tracy Arm is often skipped and you end up at Endicott Arm which is less scenic.

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Glacier Bay is a National Park.  Tracy Arm is not a National Park.  That is a bit of a simplistic answer but think about that.

 

DON

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We've been to both and IMHO Tracy Arm scenery is more spectacular because you're in a fjord and one of its arms to approach the glacier.  We did it in Sept. and there were still a lot of small pieces of ice in the after.  I imagine the trip up the glacier is spring and into the summer would be difficult as there would be more ice floating around.  Finally, we were on a HAL ship (one of the older ones, all of which are smaller than Princess ships) so that may have been the "key" to our success.

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5 hours ago, BarbinMich said:

We've been to both and IMHO Tracy Arm scenery is more spectacular because you're in a fjord and one of its arms to approach the glacier.  We did it in Sept. and there were still a lot of small pieces of ice in the after.  I imagine the trip up the glacier is spring and into the summer would be difficult as there would be more ice floating around.  Finally, we were on a HAL ship (one of the older ones, all of which are smaller than Princess ships) so that may have been the "key" to our success.

A small ship doesn't always mean success. I was on a small boat and missed it 2x. He probably could have gotten us in but it would have taken 3 plus more hours and we had to get back to the port to get back on our ship. 

Edited by Coral

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