Do Business With Us

This page is primarily for people interested in, or currently conducting business in the park. If you are interested in visiting the park, please see the Plan Your Visit section.

Approximately, 80 companies provide a wide variety of commercial visitor services in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. These services are limited to those companies having specific authorization, usually in the form of a Concession Contract or Commercial Use Authorization (CUA). Federal regulations prohibit engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas, except in accordance with the provisions of a permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States. As in other National Park Service areas, commercial visitor services or other commercial activities may be provided only by those holding an authorization from the United States.

Concession Contract
A concessions operation is a way of providing commercial visitor services such as food, lodging, and retail through a third party (concessioner) within a national park. These services, provided through the use of concession contracts, must be necessary and appropriate for visitor use and enjoyment. Concession contracts are generally valid for 10 years or less but can extend for as many as 20 years. Concession contracts specify the range of facilities accommodation, and services types the concessioner agrees to offer. The rates the concessioner can charge for these services are approved by the National Park Service and must be comparable to those under similar conditions outside the park.

Commercial Use Authorization

Commercial use authorizations (CUAs) are granted to private businesses to permit small-scale commercial activities. CUAs may be issued to authorize services that:

  • Are determined to be an appropriate use of the park;
  • Will have minimal impact on park resources and values; and
  • Are consistent with the purpose for which the unit was established, as well as all applicable management plans, park policies, and regulations.

The Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) authorizes incidental commercial visitor services that begin and end outside the park. The number of businesses authorized is currently not limited. The Glacier Bay National Park Commercial Services office manages the CUA program for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. To find more information on the Glacier Bay National Park CUA program visit Glacier Bay CUA website.

Commercial Filming and Photography Permits

Permits are required for most commercial filming and photography within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. More information, including an application, on a permit is available here: Commercial Filming Permits

For additional information on Doing Business with the Park, please contact the Commercial Service Office by e-mail or telephone (907) 697-2230 for more information.

A brief overview of the commercial visitor services offered in the park and preserve may be found below.

a float plane lands on water

Air Taxi Services

The air taxi and flight-seeing services offered in the park require a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA). These services are limited to businesses based outside the park, who are offering flights that do not begin and end in the park or preserve, and who provide unscheduled service to or from the park or preserve.

lodge in trees

Bartlett Cove Lodging

Glacier Bay Lodge provides accommodations within the park, at Bartlett Cove. The Concessioner also provides a daily boat tour into the West Arm of Glacier Bay during the summer operating season.

This fifty-six room lodge is operated by a concessioner, Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services, LLC. In addition to operation of the lodge, the contract requires the following services:

    • Day Tour Vessel services;
    • Camper/Kayaker drop-off services;
    • Food and Beverage service (full service restaurant);
    • Fuel sales;
    • Bus transportation.

Glacier Bay Lodge operating dates for lodging and restaurant, day tours and camper drop-off service are approved by the National Park Service annually and are posted on the lodge website as well as the approved rates for these services. Concessioner rates are approved by the National Park Service. Rates are based primarily on comparability with similar services outside the park. The Concessioner may charge less than the approved rates in accordance with the terms of the contract.

charter vessel in Glacier Bay

Charter Vessel Services

Charter vessel means any motor vessel under 100 tons gross (U.S. System) or 2,000 tons gross (International Convention System) engaged in transport of passengers for hire and certified to carry no more than 12 passengers overnight and no more than 49 passengers for daytime use. Charter vessels also include any uninspected motor vessel measuring less than 200 tons gross (U.S. Tonnage "Simplified Measurement System") and not more than 24 meters (79 feet) in length engaged in transport of passengers for hire. [36 CFR Part 13 Subpart N-§ 13.1102 Definitions].

Glacier Bay National Park, Vessel Management Plan Regulations became effective on January 2, 2007 that revised the definition of a charter (above) and removed the limit of 312 "entries".

There is a daily limit of 6 charter vessels per day allowed in the Bay in June, July and August, seasonal quotas not applicable. Charter vessels are not subject to daily quotas from September through May. Charter vessel use days are allocated among existing concessioners under a concession contract.

Charter vessel concessioners are authorized to provide charter vessel services throughout Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve marine waters. Specific approval of the Superintendent is required for other services such as guided fresh water fishing, etc. Each charter operator is authorized a specific number of charter vessel use days into the Bay between June 1 and August 31.

All Commercial Vessel Services are authorized in accordance with the Park's Vessel Management Plan. The Vessel Management Plan also provides for vessel use restrictions aimed at protecting park resources (humpback whale feeding, seal pupping, etc.).

a tour boat on the water

Tour Vessel Services

Tour vessel means any motor vessel of less than 100 tons gross (U.S. System) or 2,000 tons gross (International Convention System) engaged in transport of passengers for hire and certificated to carry more than 12 passengers overnight or more than 49 passengers for daytime use.

All Commercial Vessel Services are authorized in accordance with the Park's Vessel Management Plan. The Vessel Management Plan also provides for vessel use restrictions aimed at protecting park resources (humpback whale feeding, seal pupping, etc.). Glacier Bay National Park, Vessel Management Plan Regulations became effective on January 2, 2007 that revised the definition of a tour vessel (above).

A maximum of three tour vessels per day are allowed in Glacier Bay (year around), seasonal limits not applicable.

Concession Services

Tour vessel concessioners are required to provide interpretive tour vessel services in Glacier Bay for the purposes of sightseeing. The concessioners are also authorized to provide non-motorized water based and land based activities occurring off a tour vessel.

cruise ship at near a glacier

Cruise Ship Services

Cruise ship means any motor vessel of at least 100 tons gross (U.S. System) or 2,000 tons gross (International Convention System) certified to carry more than 12 passengers for hire. [36 CFR 13.1102]

Cruise Ship Vessel Quota Information
As of January 2, 2007, new vessel regulations became effective and established two separate seasonal cruise ship vessel quota periods in Glacier Bay and increased the seasonal vessel quotas in both the prime and shoulder season periods.

Cruise ship use in Glacier Bay is subject to both daily and seasonal regulatory limits. A "daily vessel quota" limits use to no more than two cruise ships per day (year around). In addition, "seasonal vessel quotas" are in effect for May and September (for convenience we refer to this as the "shoulder season") and June, July and August ("prime season"). For 2007 (and until changed) the shoulder season quota is 92 use days and the prime season quota is 153 use days. These seasonal quotas are reviewed annually by the Superintendent and may be reduced or increased (to a maximum of two per day, every day) as needed to protect park values and purposes. [36 CFR 13.1160]

Cruise Glacier Bay
Current cruise lines authorized to operate in Glacier Bay are:
Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Seabourn, and Carnival Cruise Lines.

Additional information regarding vessel quotas and the park's vessel management program is available at:

distant mountains and ocean from a beach

Dry Bay Services

Three small lodges are operated on park lands in Dry Bay under concession contracts. These lodges have a small and highly seasonal client base. Two lodge operators are currently historical operators, 36CFR, Sec. 13.305, as defined by ANILCA section 1307, which entitles them to non-competitively renew their concession contracts for their Lodging Services. The third Lodge operation has been competitively renewed.

The concessioners for the three lodges in Dry Bay are:
Johnny's East River Lodge
Northern Lights Haven
Alsek River Lodge operated in conjunction with Alsek River Guide Service, Inc.

a person fishes in a river

Hunting Guide Services

Sport hunting is allowed only in Glacier Bay National Preserve (Dry Bay area). There is currently only one hunting guide, Alsek River Guide Service, Inc. authorized to provide guided sport hunting in the Preserve. Hunting (and fishing) services are specifically excluded from the provisions of ANILCA section 1307.

two kayakers in blue waters near a glacier and mountains

Kayak Services

Kayak Rentals
Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks is authorized to rent kayaks based out of Bartlett Cove under a historic concession contract.

Double and single sea touring kayaks are rented out for the half-day, full day or multi-day trips.

Guided Kayak Services
Three companies are authorized to provide guided kayak services in Glacier Bay. Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks offers guided day kayak services. Guided overnight kayak services are provided by Alaska Mountain Guides, Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks, and Spirit Walker Expeditions.

Incidental Kayaking
Use in Glacier Bay is limited to no more than three trips at a time and outside this area to no more than one guided trip at a time in each Kayak Use Zone as seen on the Kayak Zone Map .

Incidental Kayak Rental
Rental kayaks are also available from businesses located outside the park. These operations are currently allowed to deliver kayaks to Bartlett Cove along the park road in accordance with park policy. They are not authorized to provide any other services within the park, related to the kayak rental service. Unauthorized services would include any sort of kayak orientation, loading/unloading of kayak or gear aboard vessels, soliciting business or accepting money or other forms of payment.The park policy to transport passengers and kayaks on the park road to Bartlett Cove is the Bartlett Cove Livery & Transportation Services Policy.

a raft on a river

River Rafting Guide Services

Alsek River float trips generally begin in Canada on either the Tatshenshini (at Shäwshe/Dalton Post) or Alsek River ( near Haines Junction) and end at Dry Bay within Glacier Bay National Preserve. Commercial visitor services on the Alsek and Tatshenshini Rivers operate under the provisions of the Park's Alsek River Management Plan. For general visitor information about rafting the Alsek and Tatshenshini rivers, see our Visitor Activities page. For current streamflow conditions on the Alsek River, see the USGS Alsek River stream flow website.

Guided raft trips are provided by U.S. companies under concession contracts and Canadian companies under Commercial Use Authorizations.

All commercial operators are required to abide by the requirements of Canadian government entities for portions of the trip in Canada. These include British Columbia and Yukon Territorial Governments, BC Parks, Kluane National Park and Champagne & Aishihik First Nation.

Authorized Guided River Rafting Concessioners
The following is a list of U.S. Concessioners authorized to provide river rafting guide services on the Tatshenshini/Alsek Rivers:
Chilkat Guides, Ltd.
Colorado River & Trail Expeditions, Inc.
Haines Rafting Company
Momentum Alaska
Mountain Travel Sobek
Wilderness River Outfitters

Last updated: November 13, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus, AK 99826


(907) 697-2230

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