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). A brief overview of each type of commercial visitor service offered in the park and preserve for the specific type of business you are interested in, or currently conducting, can be found on the Commercial Visitor Service Types page.
Commercial Use Authorization
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 NPS Alaska Region Commerical Services Office currently manages the CUA program for all the Alaska Parks. To find more information on the CUA program visit Alaska regional website.
For more information about commercial filming in the park and how to obtain a commercial film permit, follow the link above.
This page provides information about the different types of Commercial Visitor Services in the park. If you are interested in seeing a list of existing operators, please see the park's Visitor Services Directory on the Goods & Services page.
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.
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);
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].
There is a daily limit of 6 charter vessels per day allowed in Glacier Bay Proper 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 Glacier Bay Proper 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.
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
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 proper 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 Ship Concession Authorizations
Cruise ship services are authorized under concession contracts. A specific number of entries/use days are allocated to specific Cruise ship concessioners to operate in Glacier Bay during the prime season, June - August. These concessioners then coordinate their scheduling to insure compliance with the daily and seasonal limits. Two Concessioners (Holland/America and Princess Cruises) are currently historical operators, as defined by ANILCA section 1307, which entitles them to non-competitively continue their historic use (seventy-one entries), 36CFR, Sec. 13.305. The remaining entries have been competitively allocated.
The six companies authorized to provide cruise ship services in Glacier Bay are Princess Cruiselines, Holland America, Inc., Norwegian Cruiselines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, and Seabourn Cruise Line Limited.
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.
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.
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. They have also been awarded a contract to provide guided day trips in the park (see details below).
Guided Kayak Services
There are three companies authorized to provide guided kayak services in Glacier Bay. One company, Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks, offers guided day kayak services. Two companies, Alaska Mountain Guides and Alaska Discovery, offer guided overnight kayak services.
Guided kayaking services outside of Glacier Bay year round and in Glacier Bay from September 11 - May 31 for 2018 may also be authorized under a Commercial Use Authorization. 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.
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. Several of the U.S. Concessioners are historical operators, as defined by ANILCA section 1307, which entitles them to non-competitively renew their contracts, 36CFR, Sec. 13.305.
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 in Glacier Bay and a link to their concession contract:
Chilkat Guides, Ltd.
Colorado River & Trail Expeditions, Inc.
Haines Rafting Company
James Henry River Journeys
Mountain Travel Sobek
Wilderness River Outfitters
Canadian companies are authorized to operate in Glacier Bay under a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA).