There are some experiences that need explaining, lots of wordy details to really properly express the joy, excitement, and emotions of the moments. This is not one of them.
Our day cruise out on the waters of Prince William Sound on the Lu-Lu Belle is a day that will live in our memories forever and is without a doubt one of our all-time favorite experiences in Alaska. There is a lot we could say about it, but we think we’ll just let this one speak for itself.
Wildlife Cruises In Alaska
If you go anywhere in coastal Alaska and don’t take a wildlife cruise, you’re doing something wrong. To say that the wildlife in Alaska is abundant would be a harsh understatement. Land or sea there is always something new and exciting to discover in the 49th State.
Luckily for the inquisitive traveler, there are also lots of opportunities to get out on the water and experience the magic of this landscape firsthand. If your travels keep you to mainland Alaska, you have three excellent locations to start your nautical adventures, Valdez, Seward, and Homer. If you have unlimited time, and a decent budget, we recommend booking a cruise out of all three. The waters surrounding each of these coastal towns vary dramatically, so do the style of cruises available, and in our humble opinions getting to experience all three is worth every penny.
However, if you only have the time and/ or money to do one wildlife cruise in Alaska, The Lu-Lu Belle should be it.
The Lu-Lu Belle Wildlife Cruise
On the Lu-Lu Belle, they do things differently. They do things better. Unlike most other wildlife tours and cruises, you’ll encounter around the state, a day out on the Lu-Lu Belle does not include an overpacked boat, equipped with cold plastic uncomfortable bench seats, and a rehearsed tour script. In fact, the Lu-Lu Belle isn’t really a tour boat at all but a custom motor yacht, instead of cold plastic you’re greeted with plush benches cozy tables, and an immaculate homey interior. In place of a one size fits all tour, Captain Fred who’s been bringing visitors out on the waters of Prince William Sound for over 41 years, customizes the tour to the day.
Captain Fred is an expert on all things Alaska. With years and years of water under his keel, it’s an incredible sight to watch him navigate around towering fjords and frozen ice formations. Our cruise on the Lu-Lu Belle got us closer to wildlife and calving glaciers than we could have ever imagined. It was a dream come true.
What to Expect: A day on the Lu-Lu Belle begins at the historic port Valdez, home to the terminus of the Trans-Alaska pipeline and your gateway to a day of adventure on Prince William Sound. Once on-board Captain Fred and crew weave you along past the towering cliffs of the fjords, spotting otters, whales, puffins, sea lions, and eagles soaring high above on your way to the mighty Columbia Glacier, the second largest tidewater glacier in North America. The Columbia glacier is known to be one of the fastest moving glaciers on Earth and has provided researchers and visitors the opportunity to witness some of the most magnificent calving events on the planet. Patience is key in waiting and watching for these towers of ice to tumble in the sea, and Captain Fred gives you all the time you need to be present to bear witness to this miraculous event in nature with your own two eyes. After an hour or so “on the ice” it’s time to head back in the direction of home.
Length of Tour: 7 hours or more. Captain Fred does is absolute best to give you a memorable once in a lifetime experience, that might mean waiting a few minutes longer to watch a glacier calve or hanging out with a playful pod of sealions. The best thing about cruising with the Lu-Lu Belle is that this is not a corporate tour with a set schedule.
Cost: $150 per person
Where To Make Reservations: We highly recommend making reservations in advance. Word of mouth spreads fast about this incredible tour and cruises book up quickly. You can book in advance online here: https://lulubelletours.com/book/index.asp
When people ask what’s the one thing they shouldn’t miss when they visit Alaska, the Lu-Lu Belle is always on our list of suggestions. We dreamed of icebergs, calving glaciers and playful puffins. Captain Fred and crew made our dreams a reality.
Thank you for being here, for watching our videos, reading our posts, and following along on our adventures. In a world rife with big tour companies, it’s important that we as travelers take time to stop, seek out, and support smaller family-owned companies like The Lu-Lu Belle Glacier and Wildlife Cruises. We are so glad you made it to the end of this post, can’t wait to hear about your own adventure on the Lu-Lu Belle!