The current practice of permitting no more than two ships a day in the park will be preserved under the 10-year plan, park officials said.
President Calvin Coolidge declared Glacier Bay and surrounding wilderness a national monument in 1925. It’s only accessible by air and water, and most visitors experience the park from a cruise ship.
“(Cruise visitors) spend a total of about eight hours inside the park waters,” concessions specialist David Lucas said Monday from the park service’s regional business office in Anchorage. “It’s just a very unique opportunity for these folks to get into the park.”
The concessions plan includes a return of Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival-owned cruises including Princess Cruises and Holland America Line.
But the plan also includes newcomers Royal Caribbean Cruises, Viking Cruises and Seabourn Cruise Line.
“It’s just a wonderful place to bring all these numbers of people in at one time,” Lucas added.
The concession contracts — once signed by the cruise lines — would go into effect for the 2020 season, resulting in a total of 153 visits per year.
Officials said further details would become available once the contracts are finalized.