Glacier Bay, Hubbard, or Tracy Arm?



My wife and I are planning to do a round trip cruise to Alaska from Seattle this summer, and there are some differences in the itineraries. They all feature pretty much the same port stops, but the main difference is the where they cruise to view glaciers. From what I can glean from these boards and other sites, Glacier Bay is the best, followed by Hubbard, then the Tracy Arm. It sounds like they are all nice, and I wish there was more glacier viewing than port stops. Oh well......

Can some folks who have actually been to one or more of these areas chime in with an opinion? We are probably going to go on either Royal Carribean or one of the three Holland America ships that sail out of Seattle, so we have the ships pretty well chosen. Thanks for any input that you can give us!


IMHO Glacier bay is the way to go. It is absolutely spectacular and there are many glaciers to see. The ship does hang around the Margerie Glacier the most amount of time. One trip we went into the Johns Hopkins inlet and the other trip we didn't. I hope you do. Just added beauty.

My biggest "gripe" about Hubbard is getting there and back. You'll leave the inside passage and can get some pretty rough seas (we did). The scenery getting in and out of the inlet to Hubbard isn't as spectacular as Glacier Bay. Don't get me wrong's still quite beautiful.
The Hubbard glacier itself is larger and much more awsome than the glaciers in Glacier Bay I must say. Awe inspiring.

We never got to Tracy Arm but for glacier viewing it's 3rd choice from all I've read.

And don't forget when in Juneau take a trip to Mendenhall glacier. She's a beauty too and cheap/easy to get to.


I'm not sure if you have made up your mind on which cruise to take but IMHO Glacier Bay is the best area to see the glaciers. I have cruised Alaska quite a few times and will be doing so again this year.

Hubbard glacier can be quite spectacular but if it has been calving quite a bit the ship may be forced to stay a long ways away from the glaciers for viewing.

Tracey Arm is very nice also but I still prefer Glacier Bay. JMHO


I've been to all 3, and they are all beyond-words-spectacular. What determines which is best is what happens on a given day - the weather primarily, but also the amount of life you see on shore and in the water, and the amount of glacier calving. The only downside to Tracy Arm is that the amount of ice being calved by the two Sawyer Glaciers often blocks access to the arm far enough that you don't even see the glaciers - for that reason I wouldn't choose a cruise that has Tracy Arm as the only glacier viewing. I've had great luck at Hubbard, and will be back there again in May on the Radiance.


Krazy Kruizers

We have been to all 3. Glacier Bay is our favorite and Hubbard Glacier is just as beautiful.

Tracy Arm is our least favorite.


Tracy Arm is the least favorite of many because they expect it to be big. It's really a totally different tour... not of glaciers, but of a spectacular fjord with tons of marine life. I don't go to Tracy Arm to see Sawyer Glacier, I go to see the fjord itself.

If you're stuck on seeing a glacier with water in front of it, Mendenhall is much easier to get to and cheaper too. If you really want to see Tracy Arm and experience the fjord in the most awesome way possible, go on a small boat... nothing larger than 50'...