Anchorage Sightseeing Tours

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Portage Glacier Cruise & Tour (Self Drive)


Approximately 1 hour

Daily Departures:

May 16 - September 17

10:30am , 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, 4:30pm

Price from

Adult - $39.00

Child - $19.00

  • Easy Activity Level
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Venture on a spectacular cruise across Portage Lake, home to Portage Glacier, on this half-day tour. On your drive, you’ll pass the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center – a notable sanctuary that offers the chance to see native animals up close. Continuing on, board the mv Ptarmigan, the only boat operating on Portage Lake, for an unforgettable one-hour cruise across an iceberg-dotted landscape. Standing just 300 yards from a relic of the Ice Age, you’ll watch for fractures of ice break off the glacier and crash into the water below. Portage Glacier is Alaska’s second most visited attraction and once you see the pristine views in person, you’ll understand why.

mv Ptarmigan Highlights:

  • mv Ptarmigan is the only boat operating on Portage Lake
  • Fully-narrated tour by an on-board representative of the U.S. Forest Service
  • Fully-enclosed, heated cabin
  • Expansive windows for the best views
  • Topside view deck offers a great vantage point for watching Portage Glacier “calve,” and for visitors to enjoy the fresh, glacial air
  • Holds up to 149 passengers
  • 80-foot vessel was built on site at Portage Lake to U.S. Coast Guard specifications
  • 6.5-foot draft for minimal environmental impact
  • Operates on national Forest Service lands of the Chugach National Forest and is operated under a special-use permit from the USDA Forest Service
  • The mv Ptarmigan‘s sound system cannot be heard from the shore, ensuring preservation of this naturally peaceful setting for wildlife and for other visitors
  • Hull designed for safety in ice-filled waters

Cruise Portage Lake on Gray Line Alaska’s dayboat mv Ptarmigan

Get up close to Portage Glacier aboard the mv Ptarmigan. This one-hour cruise includes narration from the National Forest Service. This sightseeing tour is a perfect option for vacationers and visiting friends & family since it is only a one hour drive from Anchorage.

Driving Directions to Portage Glacier

  • Take the Seward Highway south from Anchorage.
  • Turn left on Portage Glacier Road (milepost 78.9) approximately 48 miles out of Anchorage.
  • Travel 5 miles to fork in road, take the right-hand fork, travel a 1/2 mile, and turn left for the Portage Glacier Day Lodge to purchase cruise tickets.