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Columbia Glacier tour operator

by nettebini Online Now Jun 26, 2006 at 8:59 PM

I'm looking for feedback -- either good or bad -- on Columbia Glacier tour operators. It looks like there are two main operators out of Valdez: Stan Stephens and the Lulu Belle. Does anyone have experience with either of these proprietors or any others?

Thanks in advance!

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5 Answers
  • RE: Columbia Glacier tour operator

    by jackin Online Now Jun 27, 2006 at 12:58 AM

    Hey.

    I know a few who have been on them and said it was okay. I've seen the stan stephens boats go by quite a few times while out fishing in the narrows and it's just not my cup of tea. The boats are often crowded and it's got typical the mic'ed tour guide blaring out facts over a speaker. Actually, they're so hard up for entertainment that when you hold up a fish, they all race over to that side to get pictures. It seems so desperate to want a picture of total strangers holding a fish at 60+ feet away. I know a few guys who run fishing charters and provide such services on the side and that's probably how i would do it if i were to go. The biggest advantage is being able to customize it a little more. Most boat captains know the sights very well and could keep you entertained. If you've never seen it, drawing in a bald eagle with a fish is an amazing sight; that's something i doubt the big tour services would do. A friend of mine has combined things like picking up shrimp pots or stopping for a shore lunch to add a twist. They can add pretty much anything. Of course, the tours on smaller boats cost marginally more per person but you're also getting close to one-on-one service. ...many boats are fully heated, full head (bathroom), etc.

    Have you ever been on a guided bus tour through a zoo? I have and that's how it seems to me.

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  • RE: RE: Columbia Glacier tour operator

    by jackin Online Now Jun 27, 2006 at 2:40 AM

    Hey.

    I know a few who have been on them and said it was okay. I've seen the stan stephens boats go by quite a few times while out fishing in the narrows and it's just not my cup of tea. The boats are often crowded and it's got typical the mic'ed tour guide blaring out facts over a speaker. Actually, they're so hard up for entertainment that when you hold up a fish, they all race over to that side to get pictures. It seems so desperate to want a picture of total strangers holding a fish at 60+ feet away. I know a few guys who run fishing charters and provide such services on the side and that's probably how i would do it if i were to go. The biggest advantage is being able to customize it a little more. Most boat captains know the sights very well and could keep you entertained. If you've never seen it, drawing in a bald eagle with a fish is an amazing sight; that's something i doubt the big tour services would do. A friend of mine has combined things like picking up shrimp pots or stopping for a shore lunch to add a twist. They can add pretty much anything. Of course, the tours on smaller boats cost marginally more per person but you're also getting close to one-on-one service. ...many boats are fully heated, full head (bathroom), etc.

    Have you ever been on a guided bus tour through a zoo? I have and that's how it seems to me.

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  • RE: Columbia Glacier tour operator

    by fishlady2 Online Now Jun 28, 2006 at 6:39 AM

    Can you reccommend a smaller boat and give me a phone number? Is it possible to see much on a shorter trip such as 3-4 hours? My dad & I are traveling in August there and will have our two dogs so I won't leave them in the truck any longer than that.

    Thanks,

    Karen

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  • RE: RE: Columbia Glacier tour operator

    by jackin Online Now Jun 29, 2006 at 3:58 AM

    You can get quiet a bit done in 3 hours, it depends on how choppy the water is, 1.5 hours might not get you out very far. There are a few pet places in town, one might have a baby sitting service, i'm not sure. I suppose you could drop off the dogs at the pet store in the plaza have them washed and clipped. heheh.

    His name is Dave...Vixen charters is his business. I don't know how full their schedule is at the moment. August is right in the middle of peak tourist season. I've been out with him quite a few times, nice guy, knows the area. I'm just guessing a little, but i'm pretty sure he's been in the area 20+ years. I've known him for over 10 years and he was there with his charter business since before the Exxon Valdez spill in the 80's. I've been out fishing with him for salmon and halibut numerous times. Anyways, this is the number.

    907-835-2607 or 907-255-2607

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  • RE: RE: Columbia Glacier tour operator

    by jackin Online Now Jun 29, 2006 at 3:59 AM

    btw, i'll be up there in August too. I'm going up to do some serious fishing when the silvers are in.

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