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longbeach1 August 6th, 2012 12:59 PM

Hubbard v. Glacier Bay
I am looking into a cruise to Alaska next year. I read the information correctly (a big if), one cruise line always goes to Hubbard on the voyages I am considering and another always goes to Glacier Bay.

I have never been to either. Glacier Bay is famous, but I know little to nothing about Hubbard. The line that goes there calls it the most active glacier calving location available. That's a pretty good sell, but I thought I'd ask the experts here.


Kuki August 6th, 2012 05:50 PM

Though I believe many will say Glacier Bay is their first choice. Both offer spectacular scenery, and I can't imagine a first time visitor be disappointed in either.

I might recommend making on your choice considering the rest of the itineraries being offered.

PeterC August 6th, 2012 06:59 PM

I think the Hubbard glacier is actually more spectacular than any of the glaciers you'd see in Glacier Bay. That's all relative of course, the Margerie Glacier in GB is awesome. We feel the scenery for Glacier bay as a whole is better and the sailing was smoother. Our next trip we'll go to Glacier Bay again.

MercedMike August 7th, 2012 11:20 AM

Hubbard vs. Glacier Bay
Hubbard Glacier is spectacular. It is a very long frontage, and is indeed known for calving activity. Check out our Hubbard glacier pictures at
Cruising HAL Volendam to Alaska
The day we were there we got very close to the glacier. However there are many reports of ships being unable to get very close.

That said, consider that Glacier Bay is a World Heritage site and a National Monument. There is a reason for that. It is much more than the two Glaciers at the end. The long cruise through the bay is wonderful, and the ships will bring Park Rangers on to give you a complete commentary. The contrast between the two different types of glaciers at the end is amazing. And indeed Margerie Glacier is stunningly beautiful. That is why I, and many others, always recommend Glacier Bay for a first cruise to Alaska.

Check out our Glacier Bay trip reports at
Sun Princess Review
Cruising to Alaska on HAL Zuiderdam

Glacier Bay entrance is strictly controlled by permits issued by the National Park Service. That is why many cruise lines go to Hubbard instead of Glacier Bay. It is, frankly, second choice.

Hope this helps.

MARGINCALL December 17th, 2012 02:26 PM

I had the same quandry and then hit the motherlode-NCL sun northbound next year goes to both -saw that-booked and next August we sail:D

Kamloops Cruiser December 17th, 2012 09:33 PM

Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier are very similar. The big difference is that Glacier bay is usually and all-day visit as Hubbard is less then 4 hrs. With Hubbard you get to spend an hour near the face depending on how many ship there . Depending on the season Hubbard Glacier doesn't open early enough to let ships approach the face due to ice berg bits or ice floes.

busterboy June 3rd, 2013 08:28 PM

Princess Cruises have a Voyage of the Glaciers Grand Adventure for 14 days from Vancouver,BC in June, July and August. You can also book a 7 day cruise from Vancover,BC to Anchorage or from Anchorage to Vancover,BC. The round trip covers both Glaciers. We are going at the end of July and as our second cruise to Alaska, looking forward to it. The scenery is really Fantastic!! Enjoy your cruise , which ever one you take.

Donna June 3rd, 2013 09:30 PM

Hi BB,
My next Alaska cruise will be a one way. Sailed from Vancouver once and Seattle once. Going out of Vancouver was way better, a truly inside passage, I could not understand the cruise out of Seattle as inside at all, totally different....Have a great time, looking forward to hearing about your next Alaska cruise.

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