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. Whether you're visiting for pleasure or for business, read our Glacier Bay Guide for a visual guide to regulations within the Bay.
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:
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
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.
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.
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 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.).
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.
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 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
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]
Additional information regarding vessel quotas and the park's vessel management program is available at:
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:
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.
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
Last updated: November 3, 2022