Glacier Bay Cruise Ship Services


This page includes information regarding Cruise Ship concession authorizations in Glacier Bay. For a complete listing of companies that provide commercial visitor services in and around Glacier Bay, please see the Goods and Services page.

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]

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


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. If you are interested in providing cruiseship services in Glacier Bay during the shoulder season, please contact the concession staff below for information on submitting a proposal.

There five companies listed below are authorized to provide cruise ship services in Glacier Bay
(click on the links to view their concession contracts):


News Release
October 17, 2005, Superintendent Tomie Lee announced that more visitors would be able to visit Glacier Bay due to an increase of cruise ship entries that will be available to operators beginning in 2007. For more information, please read the entire Alaska National Parks News Release.

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.) and pollution minimization programs, including stack emissions control, spill prevention and recycling programs.

The Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve Marine Vessel Emissions Program (30 KB .pdf) provides details on how the park applies regulations limiting vessel stack emissions.


Applying for a Cruise Ship Concession Contract:

The normal NPS procedure for soliciting concession services is through issuance of a prospectus which defines the services needed and sets criteria for evaluating and selecting from among applicants. Previous solicitation is shown below. Contact the park to be put on the mailing list to receive updates and clarifications.

May 20, 2008 Cruise Ship Prospectus

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

Last updated: September 15, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus, AK 99826


(907) 697-2230

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