Photo Friday: Polar Bear Plunge in Glacier Bay, Alaska

Earlier this summer my family took a week-long Alaska cruise vacation with Un-Cruise Adventures, an upscale small ship cruise line, throughout the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska. We kayaked, hiked, paddle boarded and took small boat excursions to view wildlife, glaciers and waterfalls.

While the level of difficulty varies for each excursion there is one activity that many consider to be a rite of passage of the cruise — the Polar Bear Plunge. Children, parents and grandparents jump into icy cold glacier-fed waters (in Glacier Bay water temperatures average 37-50 degrees) and emerge as champions of the sea.

The Un-Cruise staff is always on-hand for polar bear plunges and has the outside shower ready to go to take some of the chill out.  There were several polar bear plunges on our cruise — not all were in water as cold as the Glacier Bay — that my husband and son did on a rainy afternoon.  Many passengers, especially the kids, do multiple plunges throughout the cruise.

Alaska with Kids: Polar Bear Plunge in Glacier Bay

Mentally Preparing for the Polar Bear Plunge


The moment of panic and truth on the platform. Photo by Un-Cruise Adventures

The Plunge


There’s no turning back now. Photo by Un-Cruise Adventures

The Look of Shock After Feeling the Freezing Water


The cold water is colder than you imagine. Photo by Kristi Marcelle

The Best Shower in Your Life


A warm shower to wake up the body. Photo by Kristi Marcelle

The Jacuzzi: A Well Deserved Reward After a Polar Bear Plunge


A different day and another polar bear plunge but the ending is always the same. Photo by Kristi.

Relevant Links

10 reasons to visit Alaska with kids

Un-Cruise Adventures small ship luxury cruise in Alaska with kids

Tips for Planning a Family Vacation in Alaska

Two Weeks in Alaska with Kids by Air, Land and Sea

8 Days of Discovery in Alaska with Un-Cruise Adventures

 History, Hollywood and Adventure in Haines, Alaska with Kids

Best hotel in Juneau with Kids


  1. Sounds like an awesome way to see Alaska.. The polar plunge looks cold, you are all very brave! Thanks for sharing your trip, have a happy weekend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • separated by commas

Insight. We constantly hear from parents that our insight into what works well for families with kids of different ages is unmatched.

Time. The Internet is filled with too much unqualified information for time-sensitive parents. We cut through the noise to help families plan vacations better and faster. 

Customized. Everything at Ciao Bambino! is customized. There’s just no substitute for reliable one-to-one advice on where to go, where to stay, and what to do with kids.

Virtuoso. Ciao Bambino! is part of the exclusive Virtuoso network and we pass incredible values to our clients at Virtuoso Preferred Suppliers.