I did some research and before coming to Juneau for several weeks and booked a trip with Adventure Bound to Tracy Arm Fjord. Talked 15 people from the seminar I'm in Juneau for into coming with me. We are all frequent travelers and everyone of us agree that it's the best trip we've taken. I can't begin to put the beauty into words. We saw a pod of Orcas that saw next to the boat (a rarity in Juneau) and a humpback that breached not once, but three times. We saw eagles, harbor seals and their pups, porpoises, terns, and a bear. All of the wildlife was amazing, but the glacier was the highlight. Just breathtaking--the color of the ice and the thunder and splash of sections calving off into the fjord.Captain Steve, who is also the owner of the boat, and his fabulous crew--Thomas and his fiancée, Anna(?)--made the trip especially wonderful. Anna and Thomas were funny and filled with information about the trip. They also offered great service and good, inexpensive food for folks who didn't bring their own. The captain pulled us close to icebergs, into waterfalls, and brought us next to the sheer rock face so we could touch it. He is incredibly skillful and maneuvered through an dense field of ice to get us all the way into the fjord where the two other boats we saw couldn't make it past the last turn. Additionally, we stayed at the glacier for well over an hour. In terms of time, I thought being on a boat for 9 or more hours would be claustrophobic, but time flew and we were free to walk around at will. I spent most of my time on deck and felt right in the middle of everything rather than like I was on any kind of tour--dress warm and bring gloves so you can do the same.In the end, five stars doesn't begin to cover it. I use trip advisor often, but have never posted myself. This trip made me finally log on so folks would know a trip to Tracy Arm Fjord on Adventure Bound is an absolute must on a trip to Juneau.
After booking from home as part of our Alaskan vacation a Glacier Bay National Park Boat Tour to witness the Glaciers, we were not sure that we should take another boat tour out to see the Glaciers, but it was soooo.... worth it to see Tracy Arm Fjord with the Adventure Bound Alaska boat tours!!! It was more affordable than our other glacier boat tour, but we just did not know if buying another trip to see the glacier was worth it. We boarded the 56' Adventure Bound, the smaller of their ships, and headed out at 7:45a.m. on what started out a light rainy day, and returned at 6:00pm. We purchased our ticket directly at the downtown location on Egan Drive across from the Goldbelt Hotel, although you can purchase it online. Tracy Arm is a "MUST SEE" as far as our family would say...along the way we saw so many varieties of wildlife, mountain goats, whales, soaring eagles, seals, and many, many more. But the most AMAZING thing because this is a small vessel, it can get into areas that other vessels can not. Our teens are still talking about it!!!! They were amazed at the emerald green water and the rock walls that reach up over a mile high with waterfalls that are cascading down. There was a lot of excitement in the air, and then suddenly, CRASH, a total of 4 enormous pieces each thunderclap into the icy waters!!! Everyone on the boat went silent in awe!!!!! I might add that the vessel was smooth on the waters, and there was a full walk-around deck for viewing. The vessel, as I mentioned is small, and it gets very close to the glaciers. One of the best parts was compared to our other glacier boat adventure, the vessel stayed out at the glacier for about 1/2 hour, we got in a great deal of viewing. All I can say is this was the most incredible experience and would highly recommend it, especially if you only have one day that you will be in the Juneau area!!!!!
I highly recommend the Tracy Arm trip with Adventure Bound! The scenery is indescribable. The water in the inland sea was as calm as a bathtub. Captain Steve Weber is very knowledgeable about the area and was able to manuver right through all the icebergs straight to the glaciers. He even got close enough at some of the waterfalls so those of us who didn't mind getting wet could touch the granite walls on shore. We were lucky enough to see some tremendous calving. Even Captain Steve admitted how extremely rare it is to see such a large shooter (part of ice that breaks from the glacier which is underwater and shoots up after calving). The colors are fantastic! They are just all shades of blue mixed with white.We got to see a couple of whales, two bears, many sea lions lying on the rocky shore and on icebergs and lots of bald eagles. The Adventure Bound has a nice clean bathroom. It has deck area all around the boat, so you can get to a good vantage point to see anything you encounter. It also has a nice warm cabin with seats and large windows if you choose to stay inside. Alyssa, the deck hand took great care of us. She made some delicious sandwiches ($5.00 each). There were also sodas, candy, chips, and hot drinks for sale ($1.00 each). Both Alyssa and Captain Steve were friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and funny. We had a great time! When I was researching our trip in Alaska, my husband was not really enthusiastic about taking a day long boat trip. But now he says if we had skipped this, we would have missed our best adventure in Alaska. If you're in Juneau, don't miss out!
For me, it was a very serene/divine experience to be at Tracy Arm fjords. It's a day long trip - starts at around 7.30 am and ends at around 6 pm (Tracy Arm Fjord is 45 miles south of Juneau.) but absolutely worth it. The weather was great for us and our tour guide/hostess, Alissa was absolutely fantastic - she is from Juneau and is very knowledgeable about the area/history. The first couple of hours are a little bland as you just look at the water but after that it gets fascinating - we saw two bears ( a brown and a black) at pretty close quarters, sea otters,saw some beautiful falls and the scenery is amazing. Once you enter the fjords, its magical. You see blue colored icebergs,some of them were pretty large ones and with birds and seals on them. As you approach the Sawyer Glacier, the air becomes cold and you stare at this huge blue colored glacier with seals floating on the iceberg all around you. We saw lots of glacier calving which happens with a huge roar and you feel the water going up and down ( it's was all safe as the captain was very experienced and the boat was US Coast Guard certified). The experienced boat captain and Alissa were able to alert us as they were able to spot the calving earlier than us. All in all, it was a great experience. PS: You can buy freshly prepared turkey and ham sandwiches for lunch but you can also bring your own food. If you are vegetarian suggest you to bring your own food for the trip, else you can have granola bars and potato chips/light snacks.
aving done the Alaskan cruise thing earlier this year, I felt like I really missed out on what Alaska, particularly Juneau and Tracy Arm fjord, are all about. I yearned to see more and I'm so glad I made the trip back! Flew into Juneau and stayed for 4 amazing days. I decided I wanted to go back through the Tracy Arm fjord on a small boat, via Adventure Bound, to have the opportunity to get even closer to the glaciers and wildlife. I AM SO GLAD I DID! What an amazing and unforgettable experience. A little over 20 people on a small boat. Comfortable seats, inexpensive snacks, beverages and sandwiches. All you bring is your sense of adventure and your camera. It's very apparent that Steve Weber, the captain, loves his business. He doesn't miss an opportunity. Stopped the boat and turned off the engines to let no less then 15 Humpback whales surround us. So close we could hear them "talk"! Parked next to an iceberg so we could touch it! Spotted a bear on the shore once we were in the fjord and got us so close I could hear the bear munching on mussels! He even spotted some mountain goats up on a ledge which provided some great photo ops! The glaciers themselves are breathtaking, immense, and make you realize how small we are in this world. I can't recommend Adventure Bound enough. Great people, genuine appreciation for the area, no price gouging like some of the other cruise ship "owned" companies, and ready and willing to provide you with a once in a lifetime experience you will never forget.
While this day trip was a splurge for us, it was so worthwhile! The scenery was spectacular and the wildlife sightings were great. We rode on the slightly smaller boat, Adventure Bound, with Steve as our captain and a very pleasant deck hand on board. It takes a couple of hours to get into the fjord and we appreciated that Steve pointed out a few things on shore, but did not give a running commentary. It was a pleasant ride. Once we were in the fjord, everything was beautiful--steep mountain sides, blue ice bergs, waterfalls, and wildlife. The close-up views of the glaciers are indescribable! Steve allowed plenty of time for viewing and picture-taking and made sure that everyone on board had a good view of everything. On the way back to Juneau, we passed different scenery and spotted more wildlife. The deck hand was very personable and knowledgeable and sold snacks and beverages in the small galley. We brought our lunch, snacks, and drinks with us, which is no problem. Restrooms are available on board, but are very cramped with small, low toilets, which could be difficult for some people. The indoor seating is very comfortable and passengers are welcome to spend as much of the cruise outside as they'd like. If you plan to do that, bring warm clothes, including a winter hat. We had a wonderful day on the boat and could not have chosen a better activity for our last day in Alaska!
These folks were incredible. From the first contact with them to book our tickets they were personable, friendly, knowledgeable, and generous. It feels like cheating to write about our experience on the cruise because I feel like we got lucky with all the things we saw, so I won't focus on that suffice to say we saw bears, eagles, seals, sea lions, orcas, humpback whales, and amazing glacier activity on a perfectly calm, sunny day. Outside of those things the company didn't necessarily provide (the nature, the lucky of the weather, etc.), every employee on the boat was knowledgeable about what we were seeing and where we were at any given point on the journey. They could all speak freely about the nature that we were seeing (animal behavior, animal identification, etc.) and the history of many places along the way to Tracy Arm. They balanced being professional with being genuine, down to earth people. The way they subtly managed having a full boat of people helped to ensure that everyone was able to view all the wildlife and glacier sights. The captains both brought a good sense of humor, which ultimately made the trip more fun. The price of the cruise was really a steal for what we got in terms of the sights and the overall experience. We would certainly go again and would recommend them to anyone.
Tracy Arm fjord contains a long series of glacier carved valleys that are incredibly scenic. The sides of the fjord range from 4,000 to 6,000 ft. above the water, and are practically vertical in one section. There are several domes that could be called comparable to half dome in Yosemite, although several of us commented that Tracy Arm is more scenic than Yosemite valley. Make sure you go outside to fully see the fjord walls, as most people sit in the ship through the trip until they reach the glacier. The terminus is Sawyer glacier that rises as high as 800 ft. over the water with a beautiful range of shades of blue and white. The Capt. Stopped for 30 minutes at the glacier to provide an opportunity to see ice calving. The passage to the glacier is covered in ice that has calved from the glacier. The Capt. has been leading Tracy Arm tours for many years and his experience is important as he picks his way through the ice fields. We saw harbor seal breeding grounds, several mountain goats, 2 black bears, several humpback whales, Dahl's porpoises, and an orca as well, although we did not see any wildlife on a prior trip other than the harbor seal breeding ground.