Prince William Sound Blackstone Bay Glacier Cruise
Come aboard the Kenai Star for a memorable cruise to the most spectacular glaciers in Prince William Sound. Our 4.25 hour Blackstone Bay Glacier Cruise departs daily from Whittier and ventures into the calm, protected waters of Prince William Sound, where seasickness is highly unlikely. The best option for the glacier enthusiast, this cruise spends time in front of two active tidewater glaciers and one hanging glacier to maximize your chances of seeing spectacular glacier calving, where massive chunks of glacial ice crash into the water. Enjoy your time floating among the icebergs as the massive Blackstone and Beloit Glaciers tower 700 feet over the 77-foot vessel. Nine named alpine and cirque glaciers are visible in the nearby mountains as we cruise. You will also see breathtaking scenery, towering waterfalls, and wildlife such as eagles, harbor seals, sea otters, and bird rookeries, all from the relaxing comfort of our Coast Guard-certified ship.
Please Note: The town of Whittier is only accessible via the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, the longest highway tunnel in North America. Since vehicles and trains share the same tunnel, access to and from Whittier is available only at pre-specified times. Please plan on traveling to Whittier through the 10:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. tunnel for this cruise. More information about the tunnel, driving directions, and transportation options can be found below in the Directions section.
Tax, harbor fee, and meal not included in the above prices.
Departing from Whittier, our Prince William Sound Blackstone Bay Glacier Cruise travels through Passage Canal and Decision Point on our way to Blackstone Bay, a fjord located in the peaceful waters of Prince William Sound. A fjord is a deep, u-shaped valley which has been formed by glacial erosion. Prince William Sound is located in a temperate rainforest and receives a vast amount of rainfall which feeds the many overflowing waterfalls that you will see in the area.
As we cruise into Blackstone Bay you will soon get your first glimpse of the gigantic icefield that feeds Blackstone, Beloit, and Northland Glaciers. Blackstone and Beloit are tidewater glaciers, which means that they flow from the mountains into the ocean where they calve or break off into the water. Northland Glacier is an actively hanging glacier which hangs off cliffs overlooking Blackstone Bay.
As we begin to approach the glaciers you will see chunks of ice in the water, called icebergs. We will come to a stop, floating among the icebergs, while the glaciers tower 700 feet above our 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. We will spend about an hour watching these glaciers so you have plenty of time to watch for calving.
As we head back towards Whittier, watch for sea otters and the large population of bald eagles that nest along the coastline.
Next, we will visit Hidden Falls, where the boat stops within feet of the mist of the falls, providing a wonderful photo opportunity. Before we end our cruise we will 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 and Costa Rica every year. During the summer they mate, lay eggs, and raise their young in rookeries built into rocky cliffs. After we leave the rookery we return to the Whittier harbor.
The Blackstone Bay Glacier Cruise is indicated as the PURPLE line on the cruise map.