A boat excursion from Valdez drops you for the day at the massive Columbia Glacier
I did this trip on a solo flying journey I did up to Alaska and I went out for four days – but it wasn’t that easy. For a family it is much better to take a tour boat out to the glacier for the day from Valdez. Pangaea Adventures definitely does this and others may as well. They drop you and your gear for a day of paddling around the glacier, then back on the boat to head back.
It is an adventurous journey with icebergs, otters, bald eagles. You can sign up for their all-inclusive tour and they will help you with boat and gear, and will ask that you slowly head out from the drop-off bay before really digging in to move around. The water is pretty cold, to say the least, and they don’t really want someone to flip over. If you don’t feel comfortable you can just stay near the shore and the tour boat.
I took the tour boat out, got dropped off and spent 4 days paddling back to Valdez. Surprisingly, fresh water became a problem, the bivy sack I had bought leaked and I struggled a bit to stay hydrated and comfortable. The photos make it look amazing and serene and mostly it was. But not completely – it was a lot of work.