Just for clarification, until the Hobart Bay port opens up, Juneau is the closest port to Tracy Arm. I think what waterart may have run into is the fact that most charter boats base out of the small boat harbor in Auke Bay. It's a part of Juneau, but you have to ride a shuttle 30 minutes each way from the ship, AND it's an extra hour's run each way on the boat since Auke Bay is just farther from Tracy Arm than downtown.
The regular options for Tracy Arm are:
1) Allen Marine - can only be booked via the cruise line since they run a 5-hour tour that meets the cruise ship IN Tracy Arm. They take about 150 passengers per boat.
2) Adventure Bound - runs every day in the summer. Departure is usually 8 or 9 am (at the latest) so if you have a 9 am or later port time, you've "missed the boat". They usually run an 8-9 hour tour so that you can really stop and see whales, bears, icebergs, etc. It's more than just a boat ride getting to a destination and back as fast as they can. They take between 20 and 60 per boatload.
3) Alaskan Marine Adventures - runs Tracy Arm tours regularly, although it is usually a private charter. This is the only one of the 3 regulars that includes meals and snacks. It's also the only charter boat that's 5-Star safety certified that runs to Tracy Arm on a regular basis. It's a very fast boat - their tour is booked as 9-hours, but can easily be scaled back to 7 or 8 when we request it.
I agree with the previous post... I would definately choose Tracy Arm over spending a day in town in Juneau. Remember, a Tracy Arm tour isn't just about seeing a glacier that's 3 hours away from town. This is one of those spectacular areas that just can't be described with words. The steep walls of the fjord also "condense" the wildlife... your chances of seeing bears, goats, sheep, whales, murrelets, deer, etc are much greater than out in the open.
Happy Alaska Travels!
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