Commercial Filming

Sunset at Margerie Glacier

Capturing the beauty and splendor of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve on film is becoming increasingly popular with photographers around the world. While catching the small diamonds of light on the water as they reflect the mountains in the distance, wildlife and wilderness surround you. This park can be very inspiring for filming.

Do I need a permit to take videos in the park?

The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:
· Outdoor filming activities outside of areas managed as designated wilderness involving five persons or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.
The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:

  • maintain public health and safety
  • protect environmental or scenic values
  • protect natural or cultural resources
  • allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities; or
  • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request.
The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10-day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit.

The following are prohibited:

  1. Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required.
  2. Engaging in a filming activity without a permit if the activity takes place in areas managed as wilderness or if the Superintendent has notified the organizer in writing that a permit is required.
  3. Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action.

Violating a term or condition of a permit issued under to this action may also result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent.

For more information, contact the Glacier Bay Ranger Station at (907) 697-2627 in the summer or (907) 697-2621 during the winter months.

Read detailed information on permitting and frequently asked questions here.

Cruise Ship Photography/Filming Policy

Guidelines for commercial filming of a cruise ship in Glacier Bay for advertising purposes.

Each concessioner is authorized one launch per ship to photograph the ship for advertising purposes, subject to the following conditions:

  • Prior to lowering the launch, the concessioner must advise the Park in writing that the activity is to occur, indicating the company, ship, location and date. This notification may be by fax (907-697-2654), e-mail (e-mail us) or given directly to the Rangers on board.
  • This activity may occur only when no other cruise ships are present.
  • The ship must be at full stop while the launch is in the water.
  • Activities related to the launch and subsequent photography must be inconspicuous and carried out in a discrete manner.
  • The use of drones is not authorized within Glacier Bay National Park.
  • When in the vicinity of a glacier, the launch may not pass between the ship and the nearest glacier face.
  • Additional photographic launches will only be authorized in extenuating circumstances and will require specific approval from the Park Superintendent.

Note: Requests for commercial filming involving aircraft or other off-vessel activities should be handled through the park commercial filming permit office (contact: Chief Ranger). Most cruise lines have made a commitment not to use helicopters for this purpose.

Last updated: April 23, 2021

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Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus , AK 99826


907 697-2230

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