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Glacier Bay's insider take:

Glacier Bay is, rightly, one of the most famous, most visited spots in Alaska. It's also one of the youngest landscapes in the state; not much more than a century ago, most of the bay was still under ice. The glaciers are receding at a rapid pace, which makes traveling into the bay like traveling back in time—the world gets newer and newer as you move closer to the ice. The bay is a favorite feeding ground for humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, seals, sea otters, puffins, and bald eagles. Many of the big cruise lines extend their trips into the bay, but the best way to see it is aboard Glacier Bay Lodge's Spirit of Adventure, a high-speed catamaran that takes you up the west arm to some of the most active glaciers. Park Service naturalists on board make sure you don't miss anything (866-761-6634).—Edward Readicker-Henderson

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