Get ready for a glacier adventure you will never forget!
This exclusive Juneau tour will take you on a canoe paddle over an iceberg-filled lake, walk on top of the Mendenhall Glacier, and explore it's deep blue glacial pools and crevasses. On this Juneau glacier tour you will also be able to explore the Mendenhall Glacier ice caves if the conditions are safe to enter. Every portion of this tour boasts stunning views and unforgettable environments. The exclusivity of this limited-capacity excursion provides an up-close experience with the glacier away from the crowds.
Your tour guide will transport you from the cruise ship terminal in downtown Juneau to the Mendenhall Glacier. The adventure starts with a native-style canoe paddle across Mendenhall Lake, which is brimming with icebergs and expansive views of the glacier from the water. Along the way, enjoy learning about the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska's history, the local community, traditional ways of life, and the unique Alaska environment from your friendly and entertaining guide.
After the scenic paddle, your knowledgeable guide(s) will beach the canoe next to the base of the glacier and lead your group on a hike onto the glacier's surface with 360-degree views of expansive untouched natural beauty; you'll possibly even discover one of the brilliant blue Alaska ice caves. You will be able to document this experience of a lifetime with multiple photo opportunities; so don't forget your camera!
The tour concludes with a return paddle across Mendenhall Lake and transportation back to the cruise ship terminal.
Inclusions: Bottled water and light snack. Waterproof rain jackets, rain pants, rubber boots, helmet, life jacket, and crampons for the glacier hike portion.
Please note: The Mendenhall Glacier Ice Caves can only be accessed under safe conditions, which is subject to the stability of the ice cave and entrances. This will be evaluated on a per-tour basis. If this portion of the tour cannot be completed, more time will be spent on the surface of the glacier.
Minimum age for participation on this tour is 12 years old. Guests must be between 90-240lbs for life jackets to fit. Full use of limbs is required for this tour with moderate physical activity required.
This tour operates under permit with the Tongass National Forest and is an equal opportunity provider.
Duration: 5-5.5 hours (Roundtrip from cruise ship terminal. Paddle time: 2 hours. Glacier time: 1-1.5 hours)
My cruise ship arrives at 7:00am, will I be able to make the 7:15am tour time?
Yes! When arriving on the Norwegian Bliss or Norwegian Jewel, you will be greeted by our tour guides in front of your cruise ship. It is important that you are ready to exit the ship upon arrival in order to have ample time to meet your guides.
Are the Ice Caves always accessible?
An ice cave can only be accessed under safe conditions, which is subject to tour guide expertise. If no caves are accessible, more time will be spent on the surface of the glacier. Entrance is not dependent on any weather conditions, nor are they more accessible at any specific time of day.
Is there a better month to visit the Ice Caves?
Ice Cave formation is not specific to any month or season. Old caves are constantly melting while new ones are forming, and unlike rock caves, those made of glacier ice are completely unpredictable.
Do I have to paddle?
Yes! We will be using a native-style paddle canoe and everyone is expected to paddle along with the guide.
How large is the canoe?
There are 2 different sizes of canoes that are used. One style holds up to 10 guests and the other holds up to 14 guests. If your group is larger than 10 or 14, multiple canoes will be used at the same time.
How close will I get to the glacier?
You will be on Mendenhall Lake during the canoe portion of the tour and once ashore, you will be hiking on the Mendenhall Glacier itself. From the canoe, you will get about 200 yards away from the glacier.
Will I see any wildlife or bears on this tour?
Bald eagles, herons, shorebirds, artic terns and waterfowl are all common sights, however this is not a designated wildlife tour and specific wildlife cannot be guaranteed.
Is it safe to walk on the glacier and enter the caves?
Entry into the ice caves is only allowed when conditions are deemed to be safe. The glacier surface is not slippery like you would imagine, but you will be outfitted with crampons just in case for extra traction. You will be with an experienced guide(s) the entire tour.
Is it cold on the glacier?
The temperature really depends on the weather, but expect the temperature on the glacier to be 5-10 degrees cooler.
Can I bring a backpack?
Yes, small bags will be allowed during this tour.
Can I bring my own food or drink?
Food and drink are allowed during this tour, but there are no waste bins, so you are responsible for transporting your own garbage.
Are food and drink included?
Yes, a complimentary bottle of water is provided along with a light snack and warm beverage at the conclusion of the tour.
Are there any physical requirements for this tour?
Minimum weight is 90lbs, maximum weight is 240lbs. You must have full use of limbs to get in and out of the canoe, and to assist in paddling the canoe across the lake. You must be able to endure approximately 1 mile of hiking on uneven terrain and 2 hours of canoe paddling.
What type of clothing should I wear?
Weather depending, you are encouraged to wear gloves and light layers. We'll provide you with waterproof jackets, pants, and boots.
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