Meares Glacier Excursion and Orca Whale Extravaganza- July 7, 2024

July 7, 2024


Meares Glacier Excursion


Captain Caleb

Trip highlights

Meares Glacier Excursion and Orca Whale Extravaganza

July 7th, 2024


The Valdez Spirit had a spectacular day at Meares Glacier. The day started with lots of fog in the Port of Valdez. Once about 30 minutes outside of the harbor, the mountains began to break through the clouds and guests were able to begin to grasp the beauty that is Prince William Sound. It was an incredibly low tide, so Captain Caleb took the Valdez Spirit through Entrance Island.

Entrance Island sits at the head of the Port of Valdez, welcoming vessels. A great place to find creatures like Bald Eagles and Blue Mussels, and today was no different. The low tide allowed guest to glimpse into the inner-tidal zone, where Blue Mussels, Pop-weed, and the layer of Lichen. Bald Eagles watched from high in the tree tops as the vessel stopped to say hello.

Inner-Tidal Zone at Entrance Island

After traveling through the Valdez Arm and Glacier Passage, the Valdez Spirit found three humpback whales. The whales were close enough together that the boat could see all three from one spot. Each whale gave the boat a great view of the underside of the tail as they dove away

The tail of a humpback whale

Next, the vessel went through Fairmount Passage and up Unakwik Inlet, and arrived at Meares Glacier. Meares Glacier was spectacular. Gorgeous and blue with pieces of ice caving off. Harbor Seals, Sea Otters, and birds were the only other creatures enjoying the glacier with the boat. Captain Caleb kept the Valdez Spirit sideways, allowing everyone to get the best view of Meares.

Guests enjoying Meares Glacier

Leaving Unakwik Inlet was magical. The water was still, the sun at a perfect angle, and it looked like a large lake. Out on the horizon the boat spotted the AE Pod of Orca. Specifically, Comet and his family. Comet let the Valdez Spirit get a great view of him, even swimming over to the boat and breaching, or jumping out of the water. Comet’s family was hunting, giving the Valdez Spirit and guest an amazing view of the fins, underside of the bellies, and even jumped themselves. To prevent a disruption in their natural behaviors, Captain Caleb made the hard decision to leave the whales behind.

Orcas/Killer Whales
An Orca breaching

Once they left the Orca, the cruise stopped at Bullhead, a known Sea Lion haul out. The huge creatures were sliding across the gravel of the beaches, growling at one another as they fought for the best spot on the beach. Horned and Tuffed Puffins, Cormorants, Pigeon Guillemots, and Black-Legged Kittiwakes flew overhead and buzzed the Valdez Spirit a few times.

Traveling up the arm and back into the Port of Valdez, the Valdez Spirit stopped at Anderson Falls. Anderson Falls was beautiful in the afternoon sun, and a perfect way to end the Meares Glacier Cruise.

animals seen

  • Arctic Tern
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  • Bald Eagle
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  • Black-Legged Kittiwakes
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  • Cormorants
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  • Dall's Porpoises
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  • Harbor Seals
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  • Humpback Whales
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  • Loon
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  • Orcas/Killer Whales
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  • Oystercatcher
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  • Pigeon Guillemot
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  • Puffins
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  • Sea Otters
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  • Steller Sea Lions

View Wildlife Typically Seen >


Fog in morning, high clouds in afternoon