Spotting wildlife from cruise ships

searching for wildlife
binoculars will help you see wildlife

The best way to find wildlife is to learn about their habits. Ask a Park Ranger what habitats support wildlife in Glacier Bay.

On land, scan over suitable habitat with your binoculars, watching for movement or obvious silhouettes. On the water, use just your eyes first. Watch for any movement or unusual shapes on the surface, then use the binoculars to take a closer look.

Patience and determination are often rewarded and binoculars help magnify the experience.

bears on the beach
Bear often forage on the beach or in meadows near the shore.  Scan these areas with your binoculars, particularly when the tide is low.
Mountain goats prefer steep, precarious cliff sides.  Look for their distinctive white coat standing out from the rocks behind them.
Bald Eagles are a common sight in Alaska.   Watch for white golfball- sized dots in trees and on cliff's edges.  Binoculars make it possible to see more of this grand bird's features. 
When searching for wildlife on the water, use your eyes alone.  Once you have spotted the intriguing black dot on the water, use your binoculars to bring the Tufted Puffin closer.
Humpback whale
Humpback whale

Helpful Links:

Wildlife Viewing
Furred, feathered, and finned

Animals of Glacier Bay
In-depth info on park wildlife

Bird Checklist
Where and when to find all 242 species

Mammal Checklist
An exciting diversity

Alaska Wildlife Notebook Series
AK Dept. of Fish & Game

Southeast Alaska Wildlife Viewing Calendar
When & Where to see What?

Last updated: March 12, 2018

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus, AK 99826


907 697-2230

Contact Us