Get out of the city of Anchorage and take the Turnagain Arm Shuttle to the Portage Glacier Cruise. This self-guided Portage Glacier Cruise is truly ideal for the independent traveler. Your shuttle will take you directly to Portage Glacier Lodge at Portage Valley where you can enjoy a meal and stunning hiking trails like the Trail of Blue Ice and Byron Glacier Trail. You can also take the one-hour cruise on Portage Lake up to the face of Portage Glacier. We really recommend this cruise for the full effect, if you’re up for it, time on the water is life altering! Experience the sheer awesome face of a mighty Alaska glacier on your one-hour cruise aboard the mv Ptarmigan. Standing just 300 yards from a relic of the Ice Age and watch for icebergs to break off the glacier and crash into the water below. The sound of a calving glacier will thunder your chest and make you feel alive. It's a great way to bond with the planet. Always a crowd pleaser, we frequent this cruise ourselves when we can. Come find out why Portage Glacier is Alaska's second most visited attraction!

This self-guided Glacier Cruise Tour allows you freedom to break away from tour groups and explore on your own and return at appointed return times from Portage Lodge. Cruise Departures are at 10:30, Noon, 1:30 PM, 3:00 PM and 4:30 PM. You must make sure you plan accordingly so that you arrive at the Portage Lodge with ample time. Remember this is tour is not for the faint at heart. This is a self-guided tour and you will be out in the wilderness exploring on your own. This means you will also need to get yourself to the boat and back to the lodge to catch the shuttle.

On the way down to the Portage Glacier Cruise you will be traveling down Alaska's most scenic highway known as Turnagain Arm. You will make a stop at Beluga Point, Turnagain Gallery and then on to the Portage Glacier Lodge. You may want to take some of the scenic walks found around Portage Valley – Alaska's Crown Jewel.

What You Can Expect

This self-guided Portage Glacier Cruise Tour allows you freedom to take to the water adding a maritime element to your experience.

When you are ready to continue on simply board the shuttle at your confirmed shuttle departure time at the Girdwood Station near the entrance of Girdwood back to Anchorage. We will be making a stop at Turnagain Gallery and Potter Marsh on the return journey to Anchorage.


  • Beluga Point: Popular photo stop with panoramic views of Turnagain Arm, with possible opportunities to see Dall sheep and Beluga whales.

  • Portage Valley: Enjoy a meal at Portage Day Lodge and enjoy stunning hiking trails like the Trail of Blue Ice and Byron Glacier Trail. You can also rent a bicycle for a relaxing tour of the Valley.

  • Turnagain Art Gallery: Owned and operated by professional, competitive wood carvers, the gallery is full of stunning sculptures, jewelry, paintings and photographic prints.

  • Potter Marsh: With its nearly panoramic view of Turnagain arm, Potter Marsh, peppered by spruce, cottonwood and alder trees, is one of the most accessible and scenic wildlife viewing areas in Anchorage. About halfway along the boardwalk, Rabbit Creek flows underneath and provides a good spot to see spawning chinook, Coho, or humpback salmon from May to August, depending on the species. Moose also frequent the marsh year round. May and June are good times to see these large ungulates standing in the marsh foraging for new growth.

Price: $79

Duration: 4.5 hours transportation - - plan for a six hour day.


Round-trip shuttle service with a tour of Turnagain Arm and pick up and drop off at Indian Valley Gold Mine.


The price of the Portage Glacier Cruise is not included. Plan for $39.00 per person cruise ticket.

Tour Times: 8 AM., 10 AM and 11 AM.

Portage Glacier Cruise tickets may be purchased directly on the website. Discounts may be available for advance ticket purchases online. Tickets are also available from the Portage Glacier Lodge, day of, subject to availability. Prior planning is best, in order to ensure you have confirmed shuttle reservations that work with the Cruise Line's departure and return arrival times that mesh with your confirmed shuttle departure and return times. Advanced booking is the best way to ensure that favorable accommodations are available to best fit your needs. We want your experience to be positive so be careful if you book a cruise day of, coordinate with us to ensure return shuttle seats are available later in the day. If you miss your confirmed shuttle departure time from Portage Glacier Lodge, you may be accommodated, if space is available on the next available shuttle but in some cases you may be responsible for your own return transportation.

(There will not be an option to purchase Portage Glacier Cruise tickets on our Turnagain Arm Shuttle website.)

Prior planning is best, please dress in layers, wind and precipitation are common in the mountains where the sea is close by. Remain well hydrated to ensure your comfort and maintain situational awareness of your time and surroundings for best safety.


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