During our trip to Tracy Arm Fjord on the Carnival Legend, we booked the Tracy Arm Fjord Glacier Explorer Excursion, and it was amazing. You can see the glaciers from the cruise ship, but you are probably a mile or so away from the glacier. The cool thing about the Tracy Arm Fjord Glacier Explorer is you get up close and personal with the glacier.
We took the 2nd tour of the day which worked out great. The shore excursion desk told us that for some reason the morning tour is busier than the afternoon tour. The tour boat holds about 140 passengers on each tour. Our afternoon tour only had about 7o people on it so we had a ton of space.
The cool thing about taking the afternoon tour is you are not only able to get up close to the glacier but you are there after the ship pulls away. So you can enjoy the glacier while the ship goes back out of the fjord. We did end up going up the Endicott Arm instead of the Tracy Arm due to icebergs in the water. We learned that Tracy Arm Fjord has experienced over a mile of the glacier calving off in the past 10 months so the waterway is packed with icebergs. Thankfully the ship decided to explore Endicott Arm so we did not experience a Titanic moment.
The Glacier Explorer leaves directly from the ship. We met in the lounge and then walked down to the ship to board the tour boat. It was a quick and easy process getting out for the tour. One tip is to make sure you dress in multiple layers and have a hat, gloves and possibly a scarf. The wind coming off the glacier is seriously chilly! I was so thankful for a hat and gloves while we were there taking pictures.
We spent quite a bit of time up near the glacier with the captain moving the boat back and forth so both sides of the boat could see the glacier. You have the option of sitting inside in comfy chairs or enjoying the outdoor viewing decks. I highly suggest spending some time outside checking out the glacier. You can hear it calving and also spot porpoise and seals in the water near the glacier.
It was a lot of fun as everyone tried to keep an eye out for the glacier calving. One thing to keep an eye out is for small pieces of ice falling which can be an indicator that a bigger piece is about to fall.
We were lucky enough to see the glacier calf 4 or 5 times. A few times it was pretty crazy how much ice fell at one time. I might have taken a few hundred photos of the glacier it was so beautiful. It is hard to believe that the Dawes Glacier is a half mile wide and over 200 to 300 feet tall. The glacier runs 25 miles all the way into Canada.
After spending time at the glacier, we passed the Carnival Legend and headed along the fjord to check out the waterfalls along the way. We ended up with a bonus of whale watching at the end. Our captain brought us up close to a humpback whale. It was amazing to be close enough to hear the puff of air from the whale. After watching the whale for a while, it was sadly time to head back to the Carnival Legend.
This tour was a lot of fun and so worth it! I feel like we got to see a lot more of the glacier and Endicott Arm by taking the tour. While the views on the ship are quite amazing being able to get within a few hundred yards of the glacier really shows you how immense they are and there truly is nothing like standing there as ice chunks fly into the water.
Tracy Arm Glacier Explorer Excursion Details:
- Board a deluxe, waterjet-powered catamaran that has pulled alongside the Carnival Legend in the waters of Tracy Arm.
- Discover many wonders around each bend of this serpentine, 30-mile fjord.
- Listen to the onboard Naturalist who will inform you about the area.
- Trace the bases of cliffs that rise 4000-feet above the jade-colored sea.
- Enjoy an up close view of Sawyer Glacier, with frequent stops to view wildlife.
- Hear the “white thunder” as immense spires of ice break from the Sawyer Glaciers and crash into the sea.