Our family is lucky enough to visit Alaska every year. My husband grew up in Ketchikan and currently sits on the board of an Alaskan Native Healthcare Facility in Anchorage called the SouthCentral Foundation.
Every summer we get to tag along with him during one of his weeks of meetings and try to find some new adventures.
This time I googled “Glacier Tours”. One of the first things that popped up was an Extreme Glacier Tour with Alaska Wild Guides. Any time I see the word ‘extreme’ I’m in!
This time though, I had my 8 year old with me, so when I called the group I made sure he was eligible to join me.
If you’re staying in Anchorage, it’s a beautiful and scenic drive to Whittier. You may want to add extra time in to pull over and take some amazing pictures along the way.
Once you arrive, you’ll be brought into the Alaskan Wild Guide’s dressing room where they provide you with dry suits, helmets, gloves and booties. You’ll definitely want to pack and wear extra layers as the weather in these areas can change on a dime from warm to cold, sunny to rainy, and clear to cloudy.
The team leaves directly from Whittier Harbor and you’ll cruise along 21 miles of stunning coastline into Blackstone Bay, viewing 10 glaciers and 2 tidewater glaciers, which produce icebergs that are the ideal habitat for harbor seals. (We saw many of them!)
One of the largest bird rookeries, Kittiwake Rookery, is also in Blackstone Bay. These birds provide great entertainment as you watch them nesting on steep cliffs and fishing in groups on the water.
We were also delighted to see a few bald eagles and otters throughout the ride.
Alaska Wild Guides’ top of the line high-performance jet-skis have nimble handling with state of the art braking systems that allow maximum control while idling in front of the glaciers.
Upgraded stability, extra large cargo and advanced safety features make these machines easy to use for all, even the inexperienced. Rest assured you will not tip over. These machines are balanced even for the most novice rider.
This trip is not for the faint of heart, however. Part of the tour includes riding in the open waters around Prince William Sound which can prove to be a very, very bumpy and wild ride.
My son loved going fast, and I was a bit nervous he might fall off, but our jet ski guide, Derek, assured me he’d be fine. He was right; my son absolutely loved the trip.
If you’re wanting to see glaciers up close, this is the way to do it. As you’ll see in my video, we saw many glaciers calving – the process where a chunk of ice breaks off the end of a glacier – and even saw a massive implosion with a good 6 foot wave reaction.
While I was a bit nervous, having an expert like Derek to follow, assured me that we were clear and safe in his hands. After all, he had done this many many times before!
The scenery is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in Alaska. I’ve been on many Alaskan tours,and safaris, but this experience stand on its own.
I highly recommend this experience for people looking for a wild adventure and an amazing photo opportunity or two. Be sure to bring your camera as you will have ample opportunities to practice your outdoor photography skills.
The other wonderful thing about Alaska Wild Guides is that your guide will take pictures of you, and anyone who may be with you, and then send them over when you’re finished.
We had a spectacular time and I would do this again (and again) in a heartbeat. I’ve always wanted to jet ski amongst icebergs and glaciers so for me it was a great big tick off my bucket list!