Information for our Cruise Ship Guests
You can easily book online. Payment in full is required.
If you prefer to book directly with us, please call or email and we will make the arrangements. A deposit of $50 per person is requested to secure a reservation. Deposits and payments can be made by credit or debit card. Reservations made after April 1st require full payment.
We meet you at the port’s Excursion Hub and return you to the port in our van. It takes approximately five minutes to travel from the port to where you board the boat for your excursion.
One of the biggest concerns visitors to Alaska have is how to prepare for the wide range of weather conditions they may encounter as they travel across our very large state. While some visit only a small region or single destination, others will cover as many as a thousand miles. Being prepared for whatever Mother Nature may throw at you can be a daunting task.
In the paragraphs below, we share suggestions based on a lifetime spent in Alaska and what we’ve learned from our guests over the previous 20 years.
Two hats are of primary importance if you spend time out in the elements. First, a fleece or wool cap that covers your ears, and second, a baseball cap or other hat with a brim. The stocking cap keeps you warm when you venture out on the days where exposure across the water, in open areas, or at higher elevations can result in temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below the temps in an urban setting. Having one of these tucked into your bag or pocket can mean the difference between blissful comfort and downright misery. A hat with a brim is invaluable when the sun is beating down on you while you hike the glaciers or when on the water, it is also extremely useful to keep the mist and rain from splattering your glasses or eyelashes while you trek, boat, or simply stand and enjoy your surroundings.
While a good deal of body heat escapes through your head, even more can find its way out through your shoulders and upper body. For that reason a well-planned system of layers is desirable. Unless the weather forecast is for sunny and 70 with light winds and you will be doing a brewery tour, we suggest you start with a base layer of either long sleeved polypropylene or Merino wool. The poly is just fine and is a more affordable option. Merino wool is excellent but a fair sight more expensive.
A second layer, generally a long-sleeved cotton tee shirt is a fine choice. If it does happen to warm up beyond your wildest expectations, either of these two layers will be adequate to keep you comfortable. The long sleeves will also help you to keep your Alaska Tan.
If the weather is cool and dry, a layer of fleece, wind-block is preferred, can be worn over the bottom two layers.
If you are out in dry weather with wind, it is essential to have a layer that can block the wind from penetrating your dry layers to keep the chill out. The same layer that you choose to keep the wind at bay can also be relied upon to keep out the rain. The durability of your outer layer is of great importance. You can spend as little as five dollars and as much as 500 dollars on a shell. A cheap, simple plastic poncho will keep the rain off and some of the wind out but will leave you exposed around the waist, limit your mobility, and can be a source of annoyance to your fellow travelers when it whips up in their face. A plastic or rubberized raincoat is adequate for activities in which mobility is not a priority, for example standing on the deck of a whale watching boat or walking from a tour bus or car to the edge of the road to look over the scenic viewpoints. If you plan to exert yourself at all, a poly raincoat will keep your body heat and moisture in and after a time you will be wet under the raincoat.
If you’re walking and hiking, it is desirable to allow the heat and moisture (sweat) to escape while you are exerting yourself and then button up the shell when you need wind protection or during periods of heavy rain. For these activities it is suggested that you consider a product made from GoreTex or a similar breathable material that sheds water and blocks the wind. These products are more expensive but can make your time spent outdoors much more enjoyable. Many of these shells have zipper vents that allow extra heat to escape or air to enter the shell, affording you greater control over your comfort.
For the lower half of your body you can get by with one to three layers.
If you’re strolling the shops along the cruise port on a sunny day, a pair of jeans or slacks will be adequate. If you plan to venture out on a day that is less than perfect weather, a base layer of polypropylene or Merino Wool worn under your jeans will keep you comfortable for those periods when you are out in the elements.
If wind and rain are in your forecast, a shell layer to match the jacket described above will suffice. If hiking and climbing where you will be on your knees scrabbling up a hill, a pair of rain pants with reinforced knee pads will save you finding replacements while on the trip. Also worth consideration is the fact that while a rainproof shell will keep your upper body dry, if you don’t wear the pants to go with it, most of the water shed will end up on your pants…
Your choice of footwear is a very important consideration and can greatly impact your ability to enjoy your outdoor experience. If you will be hiking or walking off-road which covers a good deal of Alaska, a good pair of water resistant or waterproof hiking boots should be part of your gear. Again, the price of a pair of boots ranges from twenty dollars to five hundred dollars. Choose a pair that are comfortable for you, try them out for a while before you come. If your boots don’t fit well they will make your outdoor activities less enjoyable.
If your travels will be more urban than bush, you can get by with a good pair of tennis shoes in most places. While comfort is a primary consideration you should also look for a sole that offers good traction. You will be crossing surfaces that are wet. Metal walkways, wooden boardwalks, etc. all pose a significant slipping hazard if your shoes have a smooth sole.
For those planning on walking on the beach, into the swampy forest areas, or will do a lot of boating, a pair of rubber boots will be a necessity. Choose a pair commensurate with the amount of time you will spend in them. Extra-toughs are the pinnacle of comfort, traction, and durability and are worn by most every working Alaskan when conditions require them. There are many other more fashionable and less expensive choices, just make sure they fit with a good, thick pair of socks and aren’t so stiff that they are unpleasant to walk in.
While your footwear will protect your feet the elements and from slipping, your socks protect your feet from your footwear. A pair of thin nylon socks worn under a second pair of cotton or blended socks goes a long way to keeping your feet warm in all conditions and are an excellent preventative measure against blistering for those who will be walking a lot or hiking, perhaps for the first time in a while. Having extra socks at all times can greatly improve your outdoor experience should you go over your boots in water or work up a healthy sweat while hiking.
Many will have some or perhaps all of the above described items in their daily wear wardrobe, but for others, gearing up for a trip to Alaska will require a significant investment. For those who will lay out a good deal of their hard-earned money for their trip to Alaska, consider returning on a regular basis to get the most value out of your investment.
We will meet you at the Excursions Hub – a large outdoor meeting spot for guests where we will be waiting for you with a sign that says Glacier Wind Charters.
There are now two separate docks at Icy Strait Point. Your ship will be coming into either the OCEAN Landing or the WILDERNESS Landing.
If your ship docks at the Ocean Landing – walk to shore and through the Adventure Center (a big beautiful building) and exit through the clearly marked door #2. Follow the gravel path and look for an Excursions Hub sign that directs you to the right and continue walking that path to the Excursions Hub. From the ship to the Excursions Hub is about a 10 minute walk. If there are mobility issues, please contact us ahead of time for extra details.
If your ship docks at the Wilderness Landing – walk to shore and to the Transporter (a gondola) where you can experience a 5 minute ride to the main area of the port. After exiting the gondola look for the sign directing you to the Excursions Hub and follow the path and signs! From the gondola to the Excursions Hub, the walk may be about 5 minutes. If there are mobility issues, please contact us ahead of time for extra details.
After you meet us, we will drive you in our van to the harbor where you will board the boat. We provide return transport to the port after your tour.
If you need any assistance please call or text Teresa at 907 978 9651.
(Voicemail takes too long to get through…)
We will meet you at the EXCURSIONS HUB. Zoom in on the map below, (the Excursions Hub is located below and to the right of the letter Y in CANNERY.)
Snacks, such as individually packaged chips, and beverages – water and hot chocolate are available on board. Guests are welcome to bring their own snacks, especially those with dietary restrictions.
Our boats are state of the art catamarans with full walk-around decks, fully-equipped with all available safety gear, and a heated enclosed cabin with comfortable seating for all of our guests.
There is a clean restroom on board. We plan to take six guests out on our tours aboard Catabatic with Captain Shawn and up to thirteen guests aboard our brand new boat with Captain Casey.
If you need to cancel your tour, we ask that you give us at least 30 days’ notice. With 30 days’ notice your payment will be refunded. If within 30 days of your tour the number in your group becomes fewer than on your original reservation, that payment amount will not be refunded unless we are able to fill those spaces with other guests.
If, on the day of your trip, the weather and/or water conditions are unusually inclement and the whale watching will not be of the quality we expect, we will still plan to meet you, discuss the options for the trip, and a full refund will be made if you decide not to go on the boat that day.
If your ship cancels its stop in Icy Strait Point, a full refund will be given
For guests with mobility concerns the following information will help you decide if you will be able to join our tours— Guests must be able to climb in and out of a 15 passenger van, a sturdy step-stool can be used and some assistance can be provided. You will have to walk a minimum of 100 yards from the van to the boat. You will have to walk up and/or down a potentially steep ramp to access the floats where the boat will be. We do NOT have space to store any wheelchairs or walkers in the van or aboard the boat during your tour, even if they are the folding type. A CareCart is available to people who cannot make the 400 yard walk from the cruise ship dock to the excursions hub where we meet you. There is a high demand for this service which often presents you with a delay to meeting at the prescribed time.
Check out our FAQ.
Glacier Wind Charters
Glacier Wind Charters
P.O. Box 184
Hoonah, Alaska 99829