Affordable Glacier Tours In Alaska

Glacier tours in Alaska are an experience that should not be missed by anyone looking for a unique adventure. Despite the perception of high costs, there are affordable options available for exploring these breathtakingly beautiful natural wonders. These tours provide an opportunity to witness the magnificence of glaciers up close, and to learn about their formation and significance in shaping our planet’s geography.

Alaska is home to several national parks with glaciers, including Glacier Bay National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park. Tour companies offer a variety of options ranging from boat tours to hiking excursions that showcase these awe-inspiring ice formations.

With careful planning and research, it is possible to find affordable glacier tour packages that fit within your budget without sacrificing quality or safety. In this article, we will explore some of the best affordable glacier tour options available in Alaska, along with tips on how to save money while still enjoying a memorable experience.

Key Takeaways

– Affordable glacier tours in Alaska are available, with options for land-based tours, boat tours, and hiking tours.
– Booking in advance, looking for discounts, and booking during shoulder season can help reduce the overall cost of the trip.
– Bringing your own food and drinks can be a practical and eco-friendly way to save money on meals during the tour.
– Glacier tours provide a unique opportunity to witness the magnificence of glaciers up close and learn about efforts being made to mitigate the impact of climate change on these natural wonders.

Land-Based Tours

Land-based glacier tours in Alaska offer a unique opportunity to explore the rugged terrain, witness stunning panoramic views of glaciers and mountains, and discover the rich history and ecology of this remote region. Benefits of land-based tours include the ability to hike on glaciers or take a helicopter ride to view them from above. Additionally, these tours usually have smaller group sizes, allowing for a more personalized experience.

If you are interested in booking a land-based glacier tour in Alaska, it is important to consider the best time to go. The peak season for tourism is typically June through August when weather conditions are favorable for outdoor activities; however, this also means larger crowds and higher prices. Shoulder season tours (May/September) can offer lower rates with fewer crowds while still providing an enjoyable experience.

Overall, if you want an immersive Alaskan adventure that allows you to intimately experience its natural beauty and learn about the local culture, a land-based glacier tour may be just what you need. Next, we will discuss another option for affordable glacier tours: shoulder season trips.

Shoulder Season Tours

As the crisp autumn air ushers in a new season, visitors to Alaska can take advantage of the benefits of shoulder season tours. These tours are offered during the months of April, May, September, and October when tourist traffic is less than peak summer season. Benefits include reduced rates on accommodations and activities, fewer crowds, and more personalized attention from tour guides.

The popularity of these shoulder season tours has led many tour operators to create special packages for visitors that showcase Alaska’s natural beauty. One popular package includes a guided hike to Mendenhall Glacier where visitors can explore ice caves and learn about the glacier’s formation from an expert guide. Another package takes visitors on a scenic drive through the Tongass National Forest before arriving at a salmon hatchery where guests can witness the life cycle of Pacific salmon firsthand.

Despite being outside peak travel times, shoulder season tours offer some unique advantages over high-season travel. With fewer crowds to contend with, visitors have more flexibility in their itinerary and can enjoy their experiences at a more leisurely pace. This makes it an excellent option for those who value relaxation while still wanting to experience all that Alaska has to offer.

For those seeking adventure or simply wanting to connect with nature on a deeper level, shoulder season tours provide an opportunity not to be missed.

As we transition into discussing glacier bay national park tour options in Alaska, it’s important to note that this destination is one of the most popular among tourists year-round due to its stunning beauty and abundant wildlife. However, even here during shoulder seasons there are opportunities for visitors looking for affordable ways to explore this magnificent area without breaking the bank.

Glacier Bay National Park Tour

Exploring the scenic wonderland of Glacier Bay National Park presents an opportunity for visitors to witness the natural beauty and wildlife of a protected Alaskan wilderness. The park is home to over 200 species of birds, including bald eagles and puffins, as well as marine mammals such as humpback whales, sea otters, and harbor seals. Visitors can also observe land animals such as moose, black bears, and mountain goats in their natural habitat.

One of the main attractions in Glacier Bay National Park is its vast glaciers that offer breathtaking views and numerous recreational activities. However, these glaciers are at risk due to climate change. Glacier retreat has been observed in this area since the mid-1700s when Captain George Vancouver first sailed into the bay. Today’s visitors can see firsthand how much the glaciers have receded over time and learn about efforts being made to mitigate further damage.

Despite concerns about climate change affecting glacier stability in Glacier Bay National Park, there are still many affordable tours available for visitors who want to experience this incredible destination. Tour options include boat tours that take visitors through fjords surrounded by towering cliffs or kayaking trips where travelers can get up close with icebergs. These tours provide an unforgettable experience while educating guests on the importance of preserving this unique ecosystem.

Moving on from Glacier Bay National Park tour, another must-see attraction is Kenai Fjords National Park tour, which offers equally stunning scenery and opportunities for exploration.

Kenai Fjords National Park Tour

The rugged coastline of Kenai Fjords National Park beckons visitors with its dramatic fjords, active glaciers, and diverse wildlife. The park is located in southern Alaska, covering an area of 669,984 acres.

Visitors can explore the park by taking a boat tour or hiking on one of the many trails. One of the highlights of a visit to Kenai Fjords National Park is the opportunity to witness wildlife up close. Visitors may spot humpback whales, orcas, sea otters, seals, porpoises and numerous species of birds such as puffins and bald eagles.

The best time to see these animals is during the summer months when they are most active. If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure in Alaska that combines scenic beauty with fascinating wildlife sightings, then a visit to Kenai Fjords National Park should definitely be on your bucket list. This unique destination offers something for everyone – from thrill-seekers seeking an adrenaline rush to nature lovers who appreciate stunning landscapes and natural habitats.

Next up is the Portage Glacier Tour which offers visitors another opportunity to experience the majestic beauty of Alaska’s glaciers.

Portage Glacier Tour

The Portage Glacier Tour is an affordable boat tour option that provides visitors with close-up views of glaciers. This tour takes visitors on a 1-hour cruise across Portage Lake to see the impressive glacier up close.

Along the way, visitors will learn about the history and geology of the area from knowledgeable guides.

Affordable Boat Tour Option

An economical alternative to traditional glacier tours is a boat tour that offers stunning views of Alaska’s glaciers. Boat tours offer a unique experience that allows visitors to witness the beauty of the glaciers from a different perspective.

Here are some benefits of booking a boat tour:

– Affordability: Boat tours are typically less expensive than other glacier tours, making them an ideal option for budget-conscious travelers.
– Flexibility: Unlike other types of glacier tours, boat tours can be booked throughout the year and offer flexible schedules.
– Up-close Views: Boat tours provide close-up views of glaciers and wildlife, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with nature.

The best time to book boat tours is during the summer months when temperatures are warmest and days are longer. Additionally, visitors should consider booking their tour in advance as availability may be limited during peak season.

A boat tour not only offers breathtaking views of Alaska’s glaciers but also provides an opportunity for visitors to see these natural wonders up close. The next subtopic will delve into how this type of tour offers close-up views of glaciers without compromising safety.

Offers Close-Up Views of Glaciers

Boat tours provide a unique opportunity to experience Alaska’s glaciers up close and personal. These tours allow visitors to see the stunning beauty of these natural wonders from a perspective that is not possible from land. The close-up views of the glaciers are truly breathtaking, with their towering walls of ice and brilliant blue hues.

Close-up photography is a popular activity during these boat tours, as visitors can capture the intricate details of the glaciers and their surroundings. It is important to note that the best time to visit Alaska for glacier tours is during the summer months when temperatures are milder and days are longer. This allows for more opportunities to witness wildlife, such as whales and seals, as well as enjoy prolonged periods of daylight for optimal sightseeing.

Moving on to our next topic, Matanuska Glacier Tour offers an unforgettable experience for those seeking adventure in Alaska’s wilderness.

Matanuska Glacier Tour

One of the most popular affordable glacier tours in Alaska is the Matanuska Glacier Tour, which offers visitors a chance to explore this awe-inspiring natural wonder up close. Here are four reasons why this tour should be on your bucket list:

1. Glacier trekking: The highlight of this tour is the opportunity to go glacier trekking with a guide who will take you through crevasses and ice formations that are unique to Matanuska Glacier. This activity requires no previous experience and is suitable for individuals of all fitness levels.

2. Photography opportunities: The stunning views of the glacier, mountains, and surrounding wilderness make Matanuska Glacier an ideal location for photography enthusiasts. With the help of your knowledgeable guide, you can capture incredible shots that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

3. Educational experience: In addition to providing a thrilling adventure, the Matanuska Glacier Tour also offers an educational component where guests can learn about glaciology, geology, and other aspects of Alaska’s natural history from professional guides.

4. Family-friendly: This tour is not just for thrill-seekers or adults; it provides an opportunity for families to bond over a shared experience while learning together about one of nature’s wonders.

As you wrap up your time at Matanuska Glacier, consider visiting another must-see destination nearby—the Exit Glacier Tour. This tour offers visitors a chance to see another magnificent glacier formation while learning about its history and importance in preserving Alaska’s environment.

Exit Glacier Tour

The Exit Glacier Tour, situated near Matanuska Glacier, offers an opportunity for visitors to witness another awe-inspiring natural wonder while learning about its important role in preserving the environment of Alaska. The hike towards the glacier is a moderate 1.5-mile trail that takes visitors through lush green forests and alongside roaring streams. Along the way, hikers can witness the receding glacier and learn about how it has changed over time due to climate change.

For those planning a visit to Exit Glacier, the best time to go is during summer when the weather is mild and hiking conditions are optimal. Visitors can also take advantage of ranger-led tours that provide deeper insights into the history and ecology of this magnificent glacier. Additionally, there are several vantage points along the trail that offer breathtaking views of surrounding mountains and valleys.

Overall, visiting Exit Glacier is a must-do for anyone looking to experience Alaska’s natural beauty up close. After exploring this incredible destination, visitors can head on over to their next adventure at Mendenhall Glacier Tour without missing a beat!

Mendenhall Glacier Tour

Located near the city of Juneau, visitors to this natural wonder can witness a breathtaking display of ice and water as they explore the Mendenhall Glacier Tour. The glacier spans an impressive 13 miles and is situated in Tongass National Forest.

Visitors have several options for touring the glacier, but taking a helicopter tour is one of the most popular ways to experience it. This provides aerial views of not just the glacier but also surrounding areas such as Juneau Icefield.

The Mendenhall Glacier wildlife adds another layer of excitement to the tour. It is home to various species such as black bears, bald eagles, mountain goats, and humpback whales among others. Visitors can spot these animals during their helicopter ride or while walking along one of many hiking trails in close proximity to the glacier.

Additionally, visitors are encouraged to visit the visitor center which has interactive exhibits that provide valuable information about glaciers and how they shape our world.

Next up on our list is Harding Icefield Trail Tour which offers an immersive hiking experience with panoramic views and stunning landscapes. The trail showcases diverse flora and fauna along with sweeping vistas that are sure to leave you awestruck!

Harding Icefield Trail Tour

The Harding Icefield Trail Tour offers an affordable hiking tour option for those who want to explore multiple glaciers in Alaska.

This tour provides visitors with the opportunity to witness the stunning beauty of Kenai Fjords National Park while traversing a challenging 8.2-mile trail that leads to the Harding Icefield.

Along the way, hikers can take in breathtaking views of Exit Glacier and several other smaller glaciers as well.

Affordable Hiking Tour Option

One potential option for those seeking an affordable glacier tour in Alaska is a hiking tour. This option offers visitors the chance to experience the natural beauty of glaciers up close while also providing some exercise. Budget-friendly trails and group tour options make this activity accessible to a wide range of travelers.

When considering a hiking tour as an affordable option, it’s important to note that there are various difficulty levels available. For beginners, shorter hikes may be more appropriate, while experienced hikers can opt for longer, more challenging routes. Additionally, some tours offer the opportunity to camp overnight on or near the glaciers for a truly immersive experience. Overall, a hiking tour presents an engaging and budget-friendly way to explore Alaska’s beautiful glaciers and enjoy stunning views while getting some exercise along the way. Furthermore, this option offers visitors the chance to see multiple glaciers without having to step foot on every single one individually.

Offers Chance to See Multiple Glaciers

A hiking tour in Alaska’s glacier-filled landscape provides the opportunity to witness a breathtaking array of multiple glaciers, offering an awe-inspiring experience for nature enthusiasts. Glacier photography is a popular activity on these tours, where visitors can capture the stunning beauty of the glaciers and their surrounding landscapes.

Additionally, wildlife sightings are common during these hikes, with chances to spot everything from mountain goats to grizzly bears. Exploring multiple glaciers on foot allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural wonders of Alaska.

The sights and sounds of glacial ice cracking and melting create a truly unique atmosphere that cannot be replicated elsewhere. For those seeking an unforgettable adventure in Alaska’s wilderness, a glacier hiking tour offers an experience like no other.

As you plan your affordable glacier tour in Alaska, consider taking advantage of money-saving tips without sacrificing quality or safety.

Tips for Saving Money on Glacier Tours

When planning a glacier tour, it is essential to consider the cost of the trip. To save money on glacier tours, there are several tips that you should keep in mind.

Firstly, booking in advance can often result in significant discounts as tour operators may offer early bird deals or promotions for advance bookings.

Secondly, look for discounts such as group bookings or off-season rates to reduce the overall cost of your trip.

Lastly, packing your food and drinks can also help you save money on meals during the tour.

By following these tips, you can enjoy an affordable yet memorable glacier tour experience without breaking the bank.

Book in Advance

It is advised to secure a reservation well in advance of your desired date for an affordable glacier tour in Alaska, as availability can be limited during peak season. Last-minute bookings may lead to higher prices or even unavailability due to the high demand for these tours. Additionally, cancellation policies may require upfront payment or partial payments that cannot be refunded if canceled at the last minute. Therefore, planning ahead and booking early can help ensure that you get the best rates and availability while avoiding any unnecessary fees.

To further emphasize the importance of booking in advance, consider this table below:

Month Availability Price Range
—— ————- ————
May High $100-$200
June Medium $150-$250
July Low $200-$300+
August Low $200-$300+

As shown by the table, peak season for glacier tours in Alaska is during July and August when availability is low, and prices are high. Booking in May or June can provide more options while staying within a reasonable price range. By doing so, you can have peace of mind knowing that you secured your spot at a reasonable price before others book up all available slots. In addition to booking early, it’s also important to look for discounts to save money on your tour without sacrificing quality experience.

Look for Discounts

One effective strategy for reducing costs while still enjoying a memorable experience on a glacier tour is to seek out available discounts. Comparison shopping is key to finding the best deals, as prices can vary significantly between different tour operators. Take some time to research and compare prices and offerings from various companies before making your final decision.

Another way to save money is by taking advantage of group discounts. Many tour operators offer discounted rates for groups of 10 or more people, so consider planning your trip with family or friends. Additionally, some companies may offer special promotions or seasonal discounts that you can take advantage of. Don’t hesitate to ask about any available discounts when booking your glacier tour. By doing so, you may be able to stretch your budget further and enjoy an unforgettable experience without breaking the bank.

If you are looking for even more ways to cut costs during your glacier tour, consider packing your own food and drinks instead of purchasing them from the tour operator. This will not only save you money but also give you greater flexibility in terms of what you eat and drink while on the tour.

Pack Your Own Food and Drinks

Packing your own food and drinks for a glacier tour can be a practical way to save money while providing more options for sustenance during the trip. Picnic essentials like sandwiches, fruits, nuts, and granola bars are easy to pack and carry. These items offer a convenient and healthy snack option that will keep you energized throughout the day.

Moreover, bringing your own food allows you to avoid expensive cafes or restaurants near the glacier tours that may charge an exorbitant amount of money. Aside from being budget-friendly, packing your own picnic essentials can also help reduce waste on the trip. You can bring reusable containers instead of single-use plastics or paper cups to hold your drinks and snacks.

This will not only help in reducing litter but also contribute positively towards the environment by avoiding unnecessary waste production during your excursion. With this in mind, it is worth considering packing your own food and drinks for a glacier tour as an affordable yet eco-friendly alternative that provides convenience without compromising on taste or nutrition.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of day to go on a glacier tour?

Sunrise or sunset is the best time for glacier tour photography due to the soft light and dramatic shadows. Weather considerations, such as wind and cloud cover, should also be taken into account when planning the timing of a glacier tour.

Are there any age restrictions for participating in a glacier tour?

Glacier tour safety is of utmost importance, and age restrictions may vary depending on the company and the type of tour. Proper glacier tour equipment is necessary to ensure participants’ safety during this adventure activity.

What kind of wildlife can be seen on a glacier tour?

Glacier tour wildlife sightings can include harbor seals, sea lions, bald eagles, and various bird species. Photography opportunities on glacier tours are abundant with breathtaking landscapes and potential wildlife encounters.

Can I bring my own food and drinks on a glacier tour?

While enjoying scenic glacier tours, be mindful of food restrictions that may apply. Some Glacier Tour Packages offer snacks and drinks, but it is best to check beforehand if bringing your own food is allowed.

What should I wear and bring on a glacier tour?

When preparing for a glacier tour, it is important to dress appropriately for the cold and wet environment. Necessary equipment includes waterproof boots, warm layers, gloves, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Also consider bringing a camera and snacks for sustenance.


In conclusion, exploring the glaciers of Alaska can be an unforgettable experience that immerses you in the beauty and majesty of nature. The tours mentioned above offer a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences, from land-based tours to national park tours.

Whether you choose to visit Glacier Bay National Park or hike the Harding Icefield Trail, each tour offers a unique perspective on these awe-inspiring natural wonders.

Like glaciers themselves, these tours require careful planning and consideration. By taking advantage of shoulder season discounts or booking in advance, travelers can save money without sacrificing quality. Additionally, packing appropriate gear and being mindful of environmental impact are essential for preserving these delicate ecosystems for future generations.

As John Muir once said, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” The glaciers of Alaska are not just isolated landmarks but integral parts of a complex ecological system that sustains life on our planet.

By embarking on an affordable glacier tour, you not only witness their splendor firsthand but also gain a deeper appreciation for our interconnectedness with nature.