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Located in the panhandle of Southeast Alaska is Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve’s 3.3 million acres of tidewater glaciers, snow-capped mountains and marine wildlife. The park, as scenic as ever, is now officially open for the summer season. Glacier Bay Lodge, the only lodge within the National Park, opened its doors to guests at the end of May.
Glacier Bay is accessible via air taxi or ferry in the nearby town of Gustavus, Alaska. Through Aug. 25, Alaska Airlines flights to Gustavus will now offer a stopover in Glacier Bay giving visitors the opportunity to take the Glacier Bay Day Tour, the only daily boat tour within the national park. In addition, the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry will offer extended service to Gustavas, including numerous stops throughout the Inside Passage. It also includes a stop in Bellingham, Wash.
“Part of what makes Glacier Bay so beautiful is its secluded location,” said Carol Fraser, director of sales and marketing for Glacier Bay Lodge & Tours. “Thanks to Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry, this astonishing nature preserve will now be easier to get to and enjoy.”
Visitors can expect more presentations and performances from the local Huna Tlingit people this season. Last year, a partnership was established between Glacier Bay Lodge, the National Park Service and the Huna Totem Corporation in order to help educate visitors about the native Huna Tlingit people’s history and culture. Glacier Bay Lodge and Huna Totem Corporation introduced an artist in residency program that featured a series of Tlingit performances and presentations.
This year, Native Tlingit culture will be highlighted through informal discussions and ongoing educational presentations. Tlingit Cultural Heritage Guides will share traditional stories and songs in a program called “Tlingit Fireside Stories” which will be held in the lodge’s lobby each Monday and Saturday evening through the 2012 season. They will discuss traditional art, tools and regalia and lead informal discussions.