Glacier Bay Charter Vessel Services

charter vessel in Glacier Bay

This page provides information primarily for businesses interested in providing charter vessel services in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. If you are interested in seeing a list of existing charter operators, please see the Park's list of Goods & 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 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 fifteen existing concessioners under a concession contract (listed below).

Concession Services
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.

Authorized Charter Vessel Concessioners
The following is a list of Concessioners authorized to provide charter vessel services in Glacier Bay and a link to their concession contract:

Two concessioners are currently historical operators, as defined by ANILCA section 1307, which entitles them to non-competitively renew their permits, 36CFR, Sec. 13.305.

A prospectus was released and then updated 4/28/04 for charter vessel services to be provided in Glacier Bay. Click here to view the prospectus under which multiple concession contracts were awarded for the operation of charter vessel services within Glacier Bay National Park, or click here to read the press release summarizing the opportunity.

Incidental Services
Charter vessel services are also authorized under Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA) which allow charter services in marine waters west of Pt. Wimbledon, outside Glacier Bay proper and Dundas Bay all year and in Glacier Bay proper and Dundas Bay from September 1 - May 31.

Additional information about the CUA, park specific terms and conditions of this authorization and how to apply can be found on the Park's Commercial Visitor Services page.

We suggest that any prospective applicant contact the park concessions office to discuss their business plans prior to submitting the application form. In general charter services are not authorized on fresh water streams and lakes within the park.

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.).

Bartlett lagoon view


As a reminder, the conditions of a CUA and Concession contract require guides and/or boat operators to submit completed Activity Reports and Charter Fishing Survey Logbook Forms monthly, to be received not later than the 5th of every month for the previous month for all activity including fishing activity conducted within Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. This includes activity in the areas of North Passage and Icy Strait just outside Glacier Bay Proper as well as areas in North Inian Pass, Dundas Bay (CUA use allowed only between September 1-May 31), Icy Passage, Excursion Inlet, and park waters out to three miles offshore along Glacier Bay National Park's outer coast. To obtain a laminated NPS statistical area map for your guides and permitted vessels contact Chad Soiseth at 907-697-2659 or e-mail us

The following are the reports to be completed by the Concessioner and/or the CUA holder

  • Activity Use Report form due by the 5th of each month in operation (Concessioners & CUAs)
  • Sportfish Report form due by the 5th of each month in operation (Concessioners & CUAs)
  • Annual Financial Report form due March 1 (Concessioners only)
  • Franchise Fees are due annually on or before November 1. (Concessioners only)

If no fishing activity occurred in the prior month please note "No fishing" during relevant month in an email or on the submitted blank Logbook Form. Please submit completed forms and/or associated information to Concessions Specialist Melanie Berg at the park address or by FAX (907.697.2654) or e-mail us.

Helpful Resources for Charter Vessel Operations:

We also wish to take this opportunity to briefly highlight a few topics relevant to the health and well being of visiting National Park anglers, as well as some specific measures aimed at protecting and conserving park resources. These are posted with the objective of better informing you, your staff and Glacier Bay National Park visitors:

Contact Concessions Specialist Melanie Berg by e-mail or telephone (907) 697-2230 for more information.

Last updated: June 14, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus, AK 99826


(907) 697-2230

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