Tracy Arm Fjord Updates

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#41
37 Posts
Joined Aug 2016
Originally posted by shellgirl61
My son and I just returned home from the June 3 - June 10 Emerald Princess Cruise. We had a great time! We got all the way into Tracy Arm Fjord. Shelley Gill , the on board Naturalist, said we were the first Cruise ship to get in that far. It was definitely a Wow!! experience. She was very excited about it! She had nothing but kudos for the Captains ability to navigate through Tracy Arm. It was one of the high points of the cruise. Tracy Arm is absolutely beautiful. It was awesome watching the ship turn around in such a small area. I think I heard Shelley say that the ship only had a 40 feet clearance. We chose not to do the small boat excursion through Tracy Arm, instead we did the Mendenhall/ Whale Watching tour in Juneau. On the cruise the week before ours, they could not get in tp Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm.


Thanks for the update! I’m sailing July 10th and am thinking we, too, will be able to make it in if you did (tho we’re on Celebrity). I have a balcony cabin and am traveling with a 10 year old so I’m wondering what you all think the pro’s and con’s are to booking excursion vs. staying on balcony. All this assuming the ship has access like you did. What will we miss (sounds like stopping for wildlife) if we choose to stay on ship? Will we see/hear calving? Not worried about price, just the 5hr trip and daughter possibly getting bored. Advice please!


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#42
293 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by seagunthera
Thanks for the update! I’m sailing July 10th and am thinking we, too, will be able to make it in if you did (tho we’re on Celebrity). I have a balcony cabin and am traveling with a 10 year old so I’m wondering what you all think the pro’s and con’s are to booking excursion vs. staying on balcony. All this assuming the ship has access like you did. What will we miss (sounds like stopping for wildlife) if we choose to stay on ship? Will we see/hear calving? Not worried about price, just the 5hr trip and daughter possibly getting bored. Advice please!
Just because they got in last week doesn't mean they will get in next week. It all depends on conditions which are changing all the time.

IMO, if you have the wherewithal to do the excursion, then do it. It's hard to imagine how the excursion wouldn't be a superior experience. As I said above, look at the pictures in reply #10 above.
#43
18 Posts
Joined Dec 2015
Originally posted by shadow8800
Also wanted to issue an apology to the OP for hijacking their thread. I hope some of this information has helped you too. Happy planning

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No problem. It's interesting to see additional information. Thanks.

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#44
La Porte, Texas
294 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
[quote=chelle1715;56211550]

Family of 11 on the 6-3-18 Emerald Princess. 5 of the group decided to take the catamaran, the rest stayed on the ship. We were very fortunate that the ship was able to get up to the Sawyer Glacier. Supposedly the first time this ship was able to go that far in. The group that took the catamaran were very pleased with it. They did get a bit closer to the glacier face. If it is worth the price of the ticket to be more sure you can get to the glacier, that is the way to go.
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#45
Anywhere, USA
2,340 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
June 11 ... X Solstice did not get into Tracy Arm ... there was too much ice at the mouth. Went to Dawes Glacier in Endicott Arm instead. It's a beautiful glacier. Recommend the catamaran excursion from the ship if you want a close look at the glacier ... especially if this is your first glacier experience. We've seen many glaciers and bergs in our polar travels, but it never gets old for us, and we enjoyed the extended time at the glacier at a considerably closer distance than Solstice was willing/able to get to from the terminus.

Had several humpback whale sightings from the catamaran as well.
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#46
37 Posts
Joined Aug 2016
Great to know they made it in one week then not the next. For anyone who has been on the tour- are there bench seats or individual seats? I’m wondering if my 10 year old can lay down on the way back?


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#47
293 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by seagunthera
Great to know they made it in one week then not the next. For anyone who has been on the tour- are there bench seats or individual seats? I’m wondering if my 10 year old can lay down on the way back?
I suppose it depends on the exact crusie line and excursion, however I think Alen Marine runs most if not all of them and they use boats like you see pictured in reply #31 above.

For the Allen Marine ships, while the seats are individual, I think he'd be able to lay down, depends on how fussy he is.

If you are doing this with NCL, there is no "trip back" as NCL meets you down by the glacier (OK, maybe 10 minutes to get from the glaciers back to where the ship will be)
#48
California
1,710 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by h2so4
June 11 ... X Solstice did not get into Tracy Arm ... there was too much ice at the mouth. Went to Dawes Glacier in Endicott Arm instead. It's a beautiful glacier. Recommend the catamaran excursion from the ship if you want a close look at the glacier ... especially if this is your first glacier experience. We've seen many glaciers and bergs in our polar travels, but it never gets old for us, and we enjoyed the extended time at the glacier at a considerably closer distance than Solstice was willing/able to get to from the terminus.



Had several humpback whale sightings from the catamaran as well.


That’s interesting. We went up Tracy Arm the day before, June 10, as did a Princess ship as well.
DSCN1988.jpg



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#49
Anywhere, USA
2,340 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by SoBaycruiser
That’s interesting. We went up Tracy Arm the day before, June 10, as did a Princess ship as well.
Attachment 423936
All it takes is one calving to change the conditions... the ice belt at the fjord mouth was quite thick ... would have been fine with an ice hardened expedition vessel ... not so much with a cruise vessel the size of Solstice. We were there at low tide, which could have grounded some of the bergs for while to further create a jam and access issues.
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#50
Florida
54 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
We were on the Emerald Princess June 10-17 sailing and we also were able to get to the North Sawyer Glacier. It was awesome. They tried for the South Sawyer Glacier but there was too much ice. We took the Allen Marine Catamaran tour from the ship and it is one of the best excursions we have ever done. We first went to the south Glacier then to the north. We were within quarter mile from the north Glacier-Amazing!! Saw so many whales it was unbelievable.
#51
119 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Any Eurodam pax have any Tracy Arm luck lately? We sail July 7 out of Seattle


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#52
Concord, California
3,697 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
Today Grand Princess stopped at the split at Sawyer island. In a dozen trips 11 have stopped here. Yesterday I sailed with Adventure Bound from Juneau and spent 2 hours at the face of South Sawyer Glacier. No comparison with the cruise ship.

I love Tracy Arm up close but by cruise ship is about the worst Alaska choice you can make for your Glacier viewing IMHO
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#53
119 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by DougH
Today Grand Princess stopped at the split at Sawyer island. In a dozen trips 11 have stopped here. Yesterday I sailed with Adventure Bound from Juneau and spent 2 hours at the face of South Sawyer Glacier. No comparison with the cruise ship.



I love Tracy Arm up close but by cruise ship is about the worst Alaska choice you can make for your Glacier viewing IMHO


And according to your profile it looks like you have the experience to speak to if! I mean...does Princess just give you keys to the shop to take whenever you want?

Friends were on princess a couple weeks ago and had an incredible viewing at Tracy Arm...got further than any ship this season.

Thanks!


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#54
5 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
My party of 9 just did this excursion from the Emerald Princess 6/19. It was beyond incredible and everyone's favorite excursion. Our group was aged 9-85, everyone loved it. My son was not enthusiastic about being "stuck on a small boat for 6 hours" but he quickly changed his tune. We saw sea lions, glaciers up close (South and North Sawyer), whales, bald eagles, and seals. They had coffee, tea, & hot chocolate for everyone and you could purchase other drinks and food items.
#55
Southern California
159 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Originally posted by Mjmamma
They had coffee, tea, & hot chocolate for everyone and you could purchase other drinks and food items.
This begs the question: paid by cash/credit/ATM card or Princess (or whatever line) cruise card?
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#56
293 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by Yukonjake
This begs the question: paid by cash/credit/ATM card or Princess (or whatever line) cruise card?
If it's an Allen Marine run trip (and most if not all of them are), they took cash or credit card on my excursion a couple weeks ago. No ship's credit though.
#57
32 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
2 yrs ago we were on RCL Explorer thru TAFjords.
The ship went very close to glacier circle 2- 3 times and left. It was awesome. We were as closed as we could get and as close as any other ship..
But they apparently say that to every ship...



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#59
5 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Originally posted by Yukonjake
This begs the question: paid by cash/credit/ATM card or Princess (or whatever line) cruise card?
Cash or credit, not a cruise card.
#60
Brownsburg, IN
297 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Just arrived in Juneau - the Celebrity Solstice was not able to get into Tracy Arm today. Did Endicott instead, and it was breathtaking. The small boat excursions were all cancelled, however, due to the extensive ice. Captain said it was the most ice he’s personally seen.
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