• TRAVEL NOTICE: Learn more about COVID-19
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More
You may also like
Dismiss
Cunard Adds Glacier Bay to 2020 Alaska Cruise Itineraries
Cunard Adds Glacier Bay to 2020 Alaska Cruise Itineraries
Royal Caribbean Drops Glacier Bay Visits on Alaska Cruises
Glacier Bay National Park (Photo: Benny Marty/Shutterstock)

Royal Caribbean Drops Glacier Bay Visits on Alaska Cruises

Royal Caribbean Drops Glacier Bay Visits on Alaska Cruises
Glacier Bay National Park (Photo: Benny Marty/Shutterstock)

November 04, 2019

Larry Bleiberg
Contributor
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

(2:15 p.m. EST) -- After winning coveted spots earlier this year to sail into Glacier Bay National Park, Royal Caribbean has decided not to visit the famed Alaska preserve, forcing it to change itineraries for several 2020 sailings.

The National Park Service confirmed that the cruise line recently elected not to finalize its agreement to visit the park. Earlier this year, the federal agency announced that seven cruise lines had won 10-year park access including Cunard, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Seabourn, Viking Cruises and Royal Caribbean.

This means that Royal Caribbean won't be visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site until at least 2029, when the current agreement expires. Sailings on Ovation of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas have been affected, with the Glacier Bay call being replaced by visits to Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier, or Skagway. Not all the line's webpages have been updated to reflect the change.

Featured Videos

Wonder of the Seas Construction Update: Sea Trials

Wonder of the Seas Construction Update: Sea Trials

Wonder of the Seas Completes Sea Trials

Wonder of the Seas Completes Sea Trials

Icy Strait Point's New Transporter Gondola (POV Video, 2021)

Icy Strait Point's New Transporter Gondola (POV Video, 2021)

Here's What It's Like Onboard the First Large Cruise Ship to Alaska in 21 Months

Here's What It's Like Onboard the First Large Cruise Ship to Alaska in 21 Months

Perfect Day at CocoCay: Here's How We Spent 2 DAYS at Royal Caribbean's Private Island

Perfect Day at CocoCay: Here's How We Spent 2 DAYS at Royal Caribbean's Private Island

Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog

Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog

Live From Adventure of the Seas: What's the Same, What's Different and What's Better?

Live From Adventure of the Seas: What's the Same, What's Different and What's Better?

Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)

Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)

Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises!

Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises!

Alaska 2021: Inside Passage Businesses Talk About A Devastating Season Without Cruise Tourists

Alaska 2021: Inside Passage Businesses Talk About A Devastating Season Without Cruise Tourists

Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021

Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021

Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021

Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021

Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements

Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements

Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video

Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video

Harmony Of The Seas Video Tour – Inside Look At One Of Royal Caribbean’s Most Popular Cruise Ships

Harmony Of The Seas Video Tour – Inside Look At One Of Royal Caribbean’s Most Popular Cruise Ships

Symphony Of The Seas Video Tour

Symphony Of The Seas Video Tour

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying

Sea Beyond: An Innovative Cruise Experience By Royal Caribbean

Sea Beyond: An Innovative Cruise Experience By Royal Caribbean

Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas

Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas

What’s Your Size? Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Vs. Majesty Of The Seas - Video

What’s Your Size? Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Vs. Majesty Of The Seas - Video

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas Photo Tour

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas Photo Tour

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment Of The Seas Highlights

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment Of The Seas Highlights

Harvest Caye Cruise Port Video Tour

Harvest Caye Cruise Port Video Tour

Photo Tour of Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas

Photo Tour of Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas

What It Means To Be Loyal To Royal

What It Means To Be Loyal To Royal

7 Can’t-Miss Experiences on Allure Of The Seas

7 Can’t-Miss Experiences on Allure Of The Seas

Video Tour of Allure Of The Seas' Bars

Video Tour of Allure Of The Seas' Bars

Cruise Pier Runners In Cozumel -- Carnival Liberty

Cruise Pier Runners In Cozumel -- Carnival Liberty

Harmony Of The Seas Youth Place

Harmony Of The Seas Youth Place

Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone

Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone

Harmony Of The Seas Central Park On Royal Caribbean International

Harmony Of The Seas Central Park On Royal Caribbean International

Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk

Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk

Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place

Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place

Harmony Of The Seas Vitality Spa And Fitness Center

Harmony Of The Seas Vitality Spa And Fitness Center

Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas

Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Harmony Of The Seas Cabins - Video Tour - Cruise Critic

Harmony Of The Seas Cabins - Video Tour - Cruise Critic

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Greased Lightnin': Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit

Greased Lightnin': Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit

Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss

Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss

Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Anthem of the Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Anthem of the Seas

Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe

Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe

Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing

Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing

Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance

Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour -- Main Dining Room (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour -- Main Dining Room (2009)

The cruise line made the changes due to "some itinerary planning conflicts," says Royal Caribbean spokesman Jonathon Fishman. "We have removed Glacier Bay from select cruises and those sailings will revert back to their original itineraries. We know this may be disappointing to some; however, we still have several glacier adventures."

Responding to a question on Twitter, the cruise line said it would not be offering compensation to passengers, according to a Cruise Critic discussion board post from user libertyelle.

The news disappointed passengers who said they had specifically chosen 2020 sailings that visit the famed park. "I booked based on visiting Glacier Bay," wrote AlanF65 on Cruise Critic's discussion board, who said the park was on his must-see list. He had even planned two back-to-back cruises in order to increase the chances he'd have good weather.

Another commenter, zepp914 was also surprised. "I convinced my extended family to sign up for this cruise because of Glacier Bay and I am not sure how I am going to tell them."

Zepp914 posted a letter received from Royal Caribbean about the change: "Earlier this year, we were excited to add Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska to our itinerary. However, sometimes things don't go as planned and we've changed back to the original itinerary," the note says. "We are sorry for any disappointment, but we're confident you'll have a wonderful time as we provide you with plenty of opportunities to explore everything Alaska has to offer -- including glaciers!"

The Park Service has a detailed process to award slots for cruise ships to visit the park. A total of 153 use days are up for grabs, allowing no more than two cruise ships per day, with 71 of those use days allocated to Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.

These two lines are considered historical operators, with the right to continue the same level of service they were engaged in prior to 1979. They competed with other cruise lines for the remaining use days.

"The very competitive process resulted in some of the highest cruise tourism environmental standards and best visitor experience quality seen in the world," park superintendent Philip Hooge said when the 10-year contracts were awarded in March, adding that a panel of technical experts reviewed each proposal package.

How was this article?

Featured News

1
Good News For Cruise Lines, As U.S. Eases Restrictions For Vaccinated International Travelers
5
Netherlands to Drop Mandatory Quarantine Requirements for Vaccinated Travelers
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.