This page is primarily for people interested in conducting business in the park. If you are interested in visiting the park, please see the Plan Your Visit section or the Area Visitor Services Listing page to see a list of current authroized operators. Whether you're visiting for pleasure or for business, read our Glacier Bay Guide for a visual guide to regulations within the Bay.
A concessions operation is a way of providing commercial visitor services such as food, lodging, and retail through a third party (concessioner) within a national park. These services, provided through the use of concession contracts, must be necessary and appropriate for visitor use and enjoyment. Concession contracts are generally valid for 10 years or less but can extend for as many as 20 years. Concession contracts specify the range of facilities accommodation, and services types the concessioner agrees to offer. The rates the concessioner can charge for these services are approved by the National Park Service and must be comparable to those under similar conditions outside the park.
Concessions Contract Service Types
Charter vessel concessioners are authorized to provide charter vessel services throughout Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve marine waters. Specific approval of the Superintendent is required for other services such as guided fresh water fishing, etc. Each charter operator is authorized a specific number of charter vessel use days into the Bay between June 1 and August 31.
Cruise Ship Vessel Quota Information
The number of cruise ships in Glacier Bay is subject to both daily and seasonal regulatory limits. A "daily vessel quota" limits use to no more than two cruise ships per day (year around). In addition, "seasonal vessel quotas" are in effect for May and September (for convenience we refer to this as the "shoulder season") and June, July and August ("prime season"). For 2017, (and until changed) the shoulder season quota is 92 use days and the prime season quota is 153 use dayss. These seasonal quotas are reviewed annually by the Superintendent and may be reduced or increased (to a maximum of two per day, every day) as needed to protect park values and purposes. [36 CFR 13.1160]
The definition and specifications of a cruise ship can be found in the 36 CFR Part 13 Subpart N 13.1102 Definitions.
Current cruise lines authorized to operate in Glacier Bay are:
Sport hunting is allowed only in Glacier Bay National Preserve (Dry Bay area). There is currently only one hunting guide, Alsek River Guide Service, Inc. authorized to provide guided sport hunting in the Preserve. Hunting (and fishing) services are specifically excluded from the provisions of ANILCA section 1307.
Kayak Rentals Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks is authorized to rent kayaks based out of Bartlett Cove under a historic concession contract. Double and single sea touring kayaks are rented out for the half-day, full day or multi-day trips.
Bartlett Cove Lodging
Glacier Bay Lodge provides accommodations within the park, at Bartlett Cove. The Concessioner also provides a daily boat tour into the West Arm of Glacier Bay during the summer operating season.
Glacier Bay Lodge operating dates for lodging and restaurant, day tours and camper drop-off service are approved by the National Park Service annually and are posted on the lodge website as well as the approved rates for these services. Concessioner rates are approved by the National Park Service. Rates are based primarily on comparability with similar services outside the park. The Concessioner may charge less than the approved rates in accordance with the terms of the contract.
Glacier Bay National Preserve Lodging
Three small lodges are operated on park lands in Dry Bay under concession contracts. These lodges have a small and highly seasonal client base. Two lodge operators are currently historical operators, 36CFR, Sec. 13.305, as defined by ANILCA section 1307, which entitles them to non-competitively renew their concession contracts for their Lodging Services. The third Lodge operation has been competitively renewed.
Alsek River float trips generally begin in Canada on either the Tatshenshini (at Shäwshe/Dalton Post) or Alsek River (near Haines Junction) and end at Dry Bay within Glacier Bay National Preserve. Commercial visitor services on the Alsek and Tatshenshini Rivers operate under the provisions of the Park's Alsek River Management Plan. For general visitor information about rafting the Alsek and Tatshenshini rivers, see our Visitor Activities page. For current streamflow conditions on the Alsek River, see the USGS Alsek River stream flow website.
All commercial operators are required to abide by the requirements of Canadian government entities for portions of the trip in Canada. These include British Columbia and Yukon Territorial Governments, BC Parks, Kluane National Park and Champagne & Aishihik First Nation.
Authorized Guided River Rafting Concessioners
Tour vessel concessioners are required to provide interpretive tour vessel services in Glacier Bay for the purposes of sightseeing. The concessioners are also authorized to provide non-motorized water based and land-based activities occurring off a tour vessel.
Commercial Use Authorization
Commercial use authorizations (CUAs) are granted to private businesses to permit small-scale commercial activities. CUAs may be issued to authorize services that:
The Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) authorizes incidental commercial visitor services that begin and end outside the park. The number of businesses authorized is currently not limited. The Glacier Bay National Park Commercial Services office manages the CUA program for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. To find more information on the Glacier Bay National Park CUA program visit Glacier Bay CUA website.
Commercial Filming and Photography Permits
Permits are required for most commercial filming and photography within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. More information, and permit applications, can be found on the Commercial Filming Permits page.
Bartlett Cove Transportation & Livery Services Policy
Businesses may transport passengers and kayaks along the park road to Bartlett Cove in accordance with the following.
Last updated: August 21, 2023