ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND GUSTAVUS
More than just accomodations
Let us help you make the most of your visit to Glacier Bay and Gustavus. In addition to providing your accommodations, we’ll be delighted to help you build a custom itinerary, including booking your tours—at no extra cost. Following is a list of the most popular tours, including the current prices. After you look the list over, let us know what you’re interested in, and we’ll get started!
The Glacier Bay Boat Tour is the only seasonal day tour of Glacier Bay. An 8-hour boat ride takes it all in. A Park Service naturalist is aboard to make sure you see all there is to see, and understand what you’re seeing. You’ll share the bay with whales, porpoises and sea otters. The islands provide a close-up view of the rookeries of guillemots, murres, puffins, cormorants, and the bedrooms of seals and sea lions. Bears, moose, wolves, and mountain goats roam the shores and rock cliffs. And that’s all before you reach the tidewater glaciers! On this spacious 200-passenger vessel, there’s room to move around, and snacks and lunch are provided. $213.33 per adult, $106.67 per child under 12.
The Whale-watching Tour on the 23-passenger MV Taz is an Alaskan family-owned business that runs twice daily from the Gustavus dock. Todd and his crew have developed a wonderful rapport with the leviathans that regard Pt. Adolphus as the best restaurant in town. On this three hour tour, you can be assured of seeing and hearing whales; you might even get a chance to listen via hydrophone to the submarine dinner conversation when the captain turns the engine off to drift among them. $123.60 per adult, $61 per child under 12, children under 3 are free.
And speaking of whales, how about the view from a kayak? There are two options for this, both of them a full-day guided trip (7 hours) with lunch and all gear provided:
Our local Spirit Walker Expeditions has been providing the Whales! Day Trip to Pt. Adolphus tour for many years, and their guides are well-tuned naturalists who can provide you with an educational adventure. A quick boat-ride deposits you and kayaks at Pt. Adolphus for a safety orientation and an opportunity to look into the old-growth rainforest there. Then you head out for a leisurely tour of the shoreline and the kelp line, watching seals and sea otters, while enjoying a close but respectful distance from the feeding whales and sea lions. $435 per person for 2-3 guests, $375 per person for groups of 4 or more. Kids love this trip!
Another kayak option from Gustavus is the Wilderness Isle tour. Spirit Walker guides you from our beach to Pleasant Island. After a hike into the old-growth forest and a gourmet lunch on the beach, you will understand where this island gets its name. You are likely to see deer, eagles, sea-birds, and any number of marine mammals on this 3-10 mile excursion. $150 per person for 6 ½ hours.
Or you can rent a kayak and head out on your own. Bartlett Cove, where Glacier Bay National Park has its headquarters, is a protected bay where you can rent a kayak for a half ($40) or full day ($50 per person). Orientation is given twice daily and all gear, including boots and raingear, is provided as needed. A half ($95) or full day ($150 per person, lunch included) guided trip is also available here. Moose and bear often roam the shoreline, and marine mammals feed among the boats anchored out . This is a good day to include a hike in the Park, and/or a lunch or dinner on the deck of the lodge there.
An all-day eco-tour to the “outer coast” in an enclosed 6-passenger boat is a photographer’s dream. Pt. Adolphus whales are the first destination, and then your local captain will show you the neighborhood. You’ll see sea lion rookeries, commercial trollers at work, explore hidden coves and passages, islands and arches, and stop for lunch in a quaint boardwalk village. A unique trip tailored to your desires, at $350 per person with a 2-person minimum.
What can I say about fishing? It’s Alaska; our pristine waters have some of the richest fisheries in the world. Halibut, salmon, rockfish, trout….they’re all here. Ocean or stream fishing days are an adventure in sport, with all the glorious views and animals as background. I can recommend the best local guides for this, and assure you will have something for dinner or to share with the friends back home. $315 - $350 per person for a full day on the water.
But then, enough about water! How about a flight over an ice-age? You can oversee the geology of the fastest ice retreat in recent time. Massive fields and rivers of ice pool and flow between the mountains that separate Alaska from Canada, and create the spectacular landscape of Glacier Bay. A one-hour flight from Gustavus costs $470 for up to 5 passengers.
Or take a walk with a naturalist to learn more about the unique natural history of this glacier-shaped, wildlife-rich area. Your guide is a lifelong Alaskan with decades of experience studying the natural world and teaching others about it. For details, ask in your email inquiry.
Of course these are just some of the things you can do while visiting Gustavus. Hiking our miles of wild beaches, now protected by the Nature Conservancy, or biking the flat expanses of our town looking for moose, fishing the Salmon River that runs by the Guest House, visiting galleries, enjoying a gourmet dinner at one of the local Inns….There are so many ways to expand the treasure of memories you’ll take back with you when your vacation in Alaska is over.