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Whittier Tours and Activities

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Here are your 2 search results for Tours, Attractions & Activities in Whittier, United States

Prince William Sound Surprise Glacier Cruise

Prince William Sound Surprise Glacier Cruise - Whittier, Alaska Star Rating

Duration: 5 hours 15 minutes
Location: Whittier, Alaska

From USD
$164.00

This catamaran cruise travels through calm, protected waters outside of Whittier, providing the best opportunity for both wildlife and glacier viewing in Prince William Sound. Watch for sea otters, porpoises, harbor seals and whales ... More info ›

This catamaran cruise travels through calm, protected waters outside of Whittier, providing the best opportunity for both wildlife and glacier viewing in Prince William Sound. Watch for sea otters, porpoises, harbor seals and whales. Visit Surprise Glacier and get up-close views of an active tidewater glacier. Travel through Esther Passage, a narrow marine waterway surrounded by mountains, and visit a sea lion colony, bird rookery, and working salmon hatchery. Your cruise is narrated by a National Forest Ranger. Enhance your experience with the purchase of an Alaska salmon and prime rib buffet.

Departing from Whittier, the Surprise Glacier Cruise travels through Passage Canal and into Port Wells, featuring waterfalls, bird rookeries, sea otters, sea lions and other wildlife. Cruise along the rocky cliffs of Prince William Sound, inhabited by over 7,500 birds.

To your right, before entering Barry Arm and Harriman Fjord, you will see College Fjord, which was named by Edward Harriman in 1899. The glaciers in College Fjord are named after elite East Coast colleges such as Harvard and Yale.

As you enter Harriman Fjord, you'll see several glaciers, including Harriman and Surprise Glacier. These are active tidewater glaciers, meaning that they flow down from the mountains all the way into the water. You will also see other types of glaciers in the nearby mountains, including alpine or cirque glaciers and valley glaciers.

As you travel farther into Harriman Fjord, you'll begin to see chunks of ice called icebergs floating in the water. You will come to a stop in front of the towering Surprise Glacier, where the Captain will turn off the engines so you can hear the ice crack and groan. Often you will see harbor seals and sea otters lounging on the floating ice. You'll spend about thirty minutes watching the glacier so you have as much time as possible to see it actively calving.

Your return to Whittier takes you through Esther Passage, a small waterway that only small vessels can navigate through. Watch the shoreline for possible bear and bald eagle sightings as you cruise through this spectacular marine waterway. The high mountains of Esther Passage provide protection from high winds, making this a very calm cruising area.

While in Esther Passage, you'll visit a salmon hatchery on Esther Island. This is the largest salmon hatchery in North America, where 300 million salmon fry are released every year. At the hatchery, salmon eggs are fertilized, baby salmon are born and are raised until they are two inches long, and then they are released into the wild. The salmon’s natural instinct causes them to return to the exact freshwater where they were born to spawn and die. About 20-25% of the salmon originally released return to this area.

Before ending your cruise, you'll visit the second-largest black-legged kittiwake rookery in Prince William Sound, where thousands of black-legged kittiwakes have built their nests on the steep sea-side cliffs. These migratory birds, part of the gull family, travel as far south as Baja, California and Costa Rica every year. During the summer they mate, lay eggs, and raise their young in rookeries built into rocky cliffs.

After leaving the rookery, return to the Whittier harbor to end your cruise.

Less info

Prince William Sound Blackstone Bay Glacier Cruise

Prince William Sound Blackstone Bay Glacier Cruise - Whittier, Alaska Star Rating

Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
Location: Whittier, Alaska

From USD
$134.00

This 4.5-hour glacier cruise ventures into the calm, protected waters of Prince William Sound, where seasickness is highly unlikely. Visit three active glaciers to watch for spectacular glacier calving, where massive chunks of ice break off crash into the water ... More info ›

This 4.5-hour glacier cruise ventures into the calm, protected waters of Prince William Sound, where seasickness is highly unlikely. Visit three active glaciers to watch for spectacular glacier calving, where massive chunks of ice break off crash into the water. Nine alpine and cirque glaciers are visible in the nearby mountains as you cruise. You'll also see breathtaking scenery, waterfalls and wildlife such as harbor seals, sea otters, and seabirds. Your cruise is narrated by a National Forest Ranger. Enhance your experience with the purchase of our Alaska salmon and prime rib buffet.

Departing from Whittier, the Blackstone Bay Glacier Cruise travels through Passage Canal and Decision Point on its way to Blackstone Bay, a fjord located in the peaceful waters of Prince William Sound. A fjord is a deep, U-shaped valley that has been formed by glacial erosion. Prince William Sound is located in a temperate rainforest and receives a vast amount of rainfall that feeds the many overflowing waterfalls that you will see in the area.

As you cruise into Blackstone Bay, you'll soon get the first glimpse of the gigantic ice field that feeds the Blackstone, Beloit, and Northland glaciers. Blackstone and Beloit are actively calving tidewater glaciers, which means that they flow from the mountains all the way down into the ocean, where they calve or break off into the water. Northland Glacier is an actively calving hanging glacier; it hangs off cliffs overlooking Blackstone Bay.

As you approach the glacier, you'll begin to see chunks of ice called icebergs floating in the water. You'll come to a stop, floating among the icebergs as the glaciers tower 700 feet above the 77-foot vessel. Here, the captain will turn off the engines so you can hear the ice crack and groan. Often you will see harbor seals and sea otters lounging on the floating ice. You'll spend about an hour watching these glaciers so you have as much time as possible to see them actively calving.

As you head back towards Whittier, watch for sea otters and the numerous amounts of bald eagles that nest along the coastline. Sea otters are the smallest marine mammal in Alaska, weighing 80-100 pounds. They do not have blubber, so to stay warm they have thick fur, with up to 600,000 hair follicles per square inch. Sea otters are one of the few animals that use tools, utilizing rocks to break open the shells of crab, clams, shrimp and other seafood, which they eat 20-25 pounds of each day!

Next, you'll visit Hidden Falls, where the boat stops within feet of the mist of the falls, providing a wonderful photo opportunity. Before ending the cruise you'll visit the second-largest black-legged kittiwake rookery in Prince William Sound, where thousands of black-legged kittiwakes have built their nests on the steep sea-side cliffs. These migratory birds, part of the gull family, travel as far south as Baja California and Costa Rica every year. During the summer they mate, lay eggs, and raise their young in rookeries built into rocky cliffs.

After leaving the rookery you'll return to the Whittier harbor.

Less info