Gustavus Wildlife Viewing
Glacier Bay Boat Tour

photo of Glacier Bay Boat Tour area wildlife An eight-hour boat tour takes visitors into the heart of Glacier Bay for dramatic views of tidewater glaciers. Look for humpback and killer whales along the way. You might spot sea otters floating on their backs feeding on shellfish, or wrapped up in kelp beds. Tours stop near South Marble Island, an important seabird colony where you may see nesting pelagic cormorants, common murres, black-legged kittiwakes, pigeon guillemots and tufted puffins. Watch and listen to the Steller sea lions hauled out at the north end of South Marble Island. Elsewhere in the park, mountain goats and brown bears might be spotted. Harbor seals haul out on the icebergs that calve off tidewater glaciers. Watch for Kittlitz’s murrlets circling and diving in the waters around tidewater glaciers, especially after a glacial calving.


  • Brown Bear
  • Common Murre
  • Harbor Seal
  • Humpback Whale
  • Killer Whale
  • Mountain Goat
  • Pelagic Cormorant
  • Pigeon Guillemot
  • Puffins
  • Sea Otter
  • Steller's Sea Lion


Check with the National Park Service or the Gustavus Visitor’s Association for details on other tours that operate in Glacier Bay. Local operators offer extended charters that combine kayaking, backcountry camping, overnight boat tours and other experiences into a multi-day adventure. Packaged and individualized trips are available, tailored to a range of ability levels.


  • Fee
  • Interpretive Signs
  • Restrooms
  • Wheelchair Accessible


Boat tours include narration from a park ranger, kayak drop-off service, on-board lunch and other amenities. Not all boats are wheelchair accessible; ask when booking your tour.

Plan to spend at least: 8 hours +

Best Months

█ Best Month

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • Best Month May
  • Best Month June
  • Best Month July
  • Best Month August
  • Best Month September
  • October
  • November
  • December


Most boat tours leave from Bartlett Cove, which is the infrastructure and visitor services hub for Glacier Bay.


National Park Service - (907) 697-2230 or Gustavus Visitors Association - (907) 697-2854 or

Additional Information

Living with Bears