Glacier Bay Cruise: Exploring America’s Last Frontier

One of the most exciting cruises offered by Holland America Line is the Glacier Bay Cruise through Alaska and there is no better way to experience it than on the Eurodam, the first signature-class ship in the fleet! This ship can accommodate over 2,000 passengers and at well over 900 feet long and weighing in excess of 86,000 tons, is one of the biggest ships in the Holland America Line fleet, making it the perfect cruise ship to take advantage of the stunning views that can be had on the Glacier Bay Cruise offered.. Your experience on the Glacier Bay Cruise through Holland America Line is filled with amenities and experiences that will be sure to fill any and all the free time you might find yourself with in between excursions and the thrilling itinerary of the adventure! 

glacier bay cruise

Take an EPIC Glacier Bay Cruise 

Itinerary

The two popular itineraries for cruising Alaska are the Inside Passage and Glacier Bay. I prefer Glacier Bay simply for the access to wildlife and views!

Day 1: Seattle Embark late afternoon

Day 2: At Sea

Day 3: Juneau

Day 4: Glacier Bay

Day 5: Sitka, Alaska

Day 6: Kethikan, Alaska

Day 7: Victoria, British Columbia

Day 8: Disembark in the morning

glacier bay cruise

Quick tips for your Alaskan cruise

  • The weather is ever changing – plan to pack layers and bring rain gear.
  • A lot of the ports dock early in the morning. You will have access to breakfast but if you are not a morning person, order room service the night before so you can eat while you are getting ready for the day.
  • If you are from the USA, you do not need a visa.
  • If you are from the USA, your phone service provider should work in the Alaskan ports. 
  • WiFi is available on board for a fee – it was not very strong, probably due to being so remote, but for messaging it worked just fine. 
  • This is not like the Inside Passage cruise – it is far more beautiful and so much of the beauty of Alaska shines through. 

Accommodations on the Glacier Bay Cruise

First and foremost in any cruise ship voyage is the rooms and you will find those offered on the Glacier Bay Cruise to be above and beyond your expectations! Basic staterooms feature two lower beds that are pushed together to form a queen size bed with a euro-top mattress that is dubbed the “Mariner’s Dream”, the signature of Holland America Line cruises. In addition to this luxury mattress, the rest of the room is plushly furnished and all rooms feature sitting areas, mini refrigerators, massaging shower heads and a host of complimentary amenities to serve any need or desire! All of the rooms on the ship include WiFi accessibility and televisions with A/V hookups and DVD players, though the strength of the WiFi signal does fluctuate depending on the exact location of the room and the area you are in. Another added bonus to all staterooms is room service that is included with your cruise and available 24 hours a day. 

glacier bay cruise staterooms

For an added taste of luxury while enjoying the Glacier Bay Cruise, you can upgrade from a stateroom to one of the suites. In addition to everything offered by the staterooms, the suites aboard the Eurodam feature private verandas overlooking the water. Additional amenities are included as well as the whirlpool jet tubs and spacious accommodations with additional sleeping room on the pull out sleeper sofas. But for those seeking the ultimate in cruise ship luxury, the best choice is easily an upgrade to either the Neptune or Pinnacle suites. The Neptune suite is the smaller of the two, but still features plush accommodations including a sitting area with minibar, a private veranda, queen size bed and sleeper sofa in addition to numerous complimentary amenities including access to the exclusive Neptune Lounge and a private concierge. If you need even more space, the Pinnacle suite boasts all of the above plus an additional 800 square feet of luxury accommodation to relax in while enjoying the sights of the Glacier Bay Cruise. 

glacier bay cruise

Room service

Entertainment 

One of the best aspects of cruising is the entertainment, most of which is often included in the price and the Eurodam is no exception to this rule. Filled with entertainment options to fit any personality, you will find plenty of choices to fill the lull of leisurely sea voyages en route to the destination of the Glacier Bay Cruise. The most exclusive of the options you’ll find on board the Eurodam is Lincoln Center Stage. Through this exclusive partnership, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the best chamber musicians every single night, the price of which is included in your ticket purchase. In additional to nightly chamber music concerts, you can also enjoy periodic afternoon recital sessions, making for a perfect afternoon of relaxation at sea. 

For something a little more upbeat and a lot more funky, stop at B. B. King’s Blues Club. Featuring soulful combinations from some of Memphis’ best, you’ll be able to dance the night away while at sea to the blues and jazz rhythms. Enjoy specialty cocktails during the performances and rest assured that the price is included, removing the stress of a night out “on the town” just steps away from your room! 

The Main stage on the Holland America Line ship Eurodam has nightly performances ranging from comedy to dance as well as music and song but the best offering at this included performance venue is the BBC Earth live show, Planet Earth II. This live concert event is a breathtaking experience that is an exclusive offering of Holland America cruises and fits perfectly within the theme and destination of the Glacier Bay Cruise. For those seeking to get even closer to experiencing nature, there are additional BBC Earth programs available on board through their exclusive agreement. In addition to concerts there are also showings of the popular films. 

glacier bay cruise

Another entertainment option on the Eurodam will get you even closer to the destination for a truly immersive experience. When traveling on the Glacier Bay Cruise, Holland America Line’s Exploration Central will give you the opportunity to dive even deeper into the experience through exclusive programming and opportunities to work with experts, locals and other travel resources through a number of opportunities that will broaden your understanding of the places you will see and visit during the cruise. 

Dining on the Eurodam

One of the greatest perks of cruising is undoubtedly the on board dining options. Most options are included in the price of the cruise, making it effortless to find something for every meal of the day (and then some!)

One of the first places you’ll want to stop on board during the Glacier Bay Cruise is the aptly named Dining Room. Included in the price, you can find delicious breakfasts, lunches and of course fine dinner dining with options to fit even the most sophisticated palettes. For something a little more casual, Lido Market is the perfect place to grab something quick and easy but still just as mouthwatering, from breakfast through dinner and dessert too. Additional all-inclusive spots on board include a poolside burger and hot dog spot, ensuring that you’ll be able to get your fix of any number of classics whenever the craving hits! 

glacier bay cruise

Delicious fig and goat cheese salad

glacier bay cruise

Salmon

glacier bay cruise

Delicious salad

glacier bay cruise

Indian Specialty

If you want to splurge while on board while also getting a closer look at the regional cuisine from the areas you’ll visit on the Glacier Bay Cruise, Pinnacle Grill is an intimate and elegant venue that promises some of the finest dining you’ll experience on the trip. Specializing on ingredients and wine sourced directly from the places you’ll visit, this exceptional dining experience will give you a truly immersive experience of the region without ever having to step off the ship!

In addition to Pinnacle Grill, you can also splurge on other paid options on board the Eurodam. Canaletto is an authentic Italian restaurant and boasts homemade pasta every day.

glacier bay cruise

Canaletto – squid

glacier bay cruise

Canaletto – lasagna

glacier bay cruise

Canaletto – gelato

Tamarind is an Asian fusion restaurant lauded by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top cruise ship restaurants around and features delicious Asian inspired seafood dishes as well as award winning sushi. This is the best restaurant on board (in my opinion) and should not be missed. The food was sensational. 

glacier bay cruise dining

Tamarind – noodles

glacier bay cruise

Tamarind – sushi

If all the excitement is too much and you need to unwind, one of the best dining options offered on the Glacier Bay Cruise is the complimentary 24-hour in room dining available. Each room has a menu available detailing numerous items included in the price in addition to paid options, all delivered right to you door at any hour of the day and night! Whether you need a midnight snack or want to enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at sea, the in-room dining options will surely have something to enjoy without ever having to leave the comfort of your suite! 

Amenities on the Glacier Bay Cruise 

While on board the Eurodam, you’ll find so many more amenities to fill the relaxed afternoons on the open water. While sailing on the Glacier Bay Cruise, stop in at the on-board casino for some thrill and excitement or stroll through the photo and art galleries.

For a truly relaxing afternoon, a visit to the state-of-the-art Greenhouse Spa and Salon will be the perfect way to soothe the stress away and enjoy the peace of the open water. One of the cool perks the spa offers is a a daily pass (only a limited amount are sold, about 40) that gives you access to the hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, etc for the duration of your cruise.

glacier bay cruise

Spa relaxation area

If you’re looking for something more athletic and energizing, the sporting courts or pools will provide a way to burn off some extra energy while taking in the sights at the same time! Not to be left out, Club HAL is tailored for the under 18 crowd, with arts and crafts, sporting and video gaming events and additional activities and learning experiences tailored to the needs of every age group by trained professionals, all allowing the parents or guardians ample time to experience the additional amenities available on board. And of course, don’t forget the Shops of Holland America, where you’ll be able to find souvenirs and luxury items as well as any items that might have been overlooked when packing your suitcase for the Glacier Bay Cruise!

Ports of call and excursions

If you love experiencing the outdoors and seeing wildlife, this is the cruise for you. This cruise was exactly what I thought Alaska would be in its entirety. Keep in mind, you need to book the excursions to get the most out of your trip. If you desire to get up close to various wildlife and glaciers, you will need to book those excursions. I can promise you that this one of the most fantastic sightseeing and exploring cruises I have ever taken and cannot recommend it enough. 

Juneau, Alaska 

glacier bay cruise

Cruising through Tracy Arm Fjord

Juneau is one of the best ports and a place I could see myself returning year after year. For this port I highly recommend the Tracy Arm Fjord Tour. It is a 7 hour tour on a smaller boat that takes you through Tracy Arm Fjord and gets you up close with a glacier. For this trip we were able to get very close to North Sawyer Glacier. Additionally, we saw black bears, whales, rainbows, large chunks of blue ice in the water, and the most majestic scenery. This is by far one of the best Alaskan tours.

glacier bay cruise

North Sawyer Glacier

**The boat is very comfortable and offers food, drinks, bathrooms, etc. 

Juneau is also an excellent place to see whales. Some of the tour operators guarantee whale sightings! You can also indulge in dog sledding while in Juneau.

Glacier Bay Cruise

glacier bay cruise

Dog Sledding

Glacier Bay 

glacier bay cruise

You will not get off the boat in Glacier Bay, but you will cruise the National Park all day with a park ranger on board speaking for the duration. This is one of the most beautiful places in the world to see. You can watch from your balcony (if you book a room with one) or from the decks or bow. 

glacier bay cruise

Sitka, Alaska

glacier bay cruise

If you want to see a bounty of wildlife, Sitka would be the port to do it in. Book the “Otters, Raptors, and Bears, OH MY!” tour and get both on the water and off to see these magnificent animals. 

glacier bay cruise eagles

Ketchikan, Alaska

glacier bay cruise

Take the Misty Fjords tour if you want to get on a smaller boat and explore. This is another place that bigger cruise ships do not go, and I think if you love the outdoors and seeing pristine nature, this is a great way to do it. 

Another fun thing to do in Ketchikan is to explore the Totem Poles and shop on Creek Street. 

Victoria, British Columbia 

glacier bay cruise

This is such a fun town in British Columbia! It is easy to explore on foot or book one of the excursions available. I enjoyed Butchart Gardens and think it is one of the best  gardens in the world. The layout is magnificent and each new garden is just as gorgeous as the last, if not more so. 

glacier bay cruise

Whether you are a veteran cruiser or this is your first open water cruise ship experience, the breathtaking scenery you’ll experience on the Glacier Bay Cruise will be sure to remain a vivid and lasting memory. The Eurodam from Holland America Line Cruises is the perfect ship to experience this once in a lifetime experience. Filled with lively entertainment, mouth-watering cuisine and luxurious accommodations that take full advantage of the beauty and majesty that glides effortlessly past the ship as you voyage without a care in the world, the Glacier Bay Cruise with amaze and awe you at every turn. There is something for everyone on this cruise ship and the amenities, experiences and accommodations will be sure to make this adventure one of the best.

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glacier bay cruise

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Disclaimer: I was a guest of Holland America. As always, opinions are entirely my own. 

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