Located on the Kenai Penninsula, the Portage Glacier is very easy to access from Anchorage, Seward and Whittier. Located in Chugach National Forest, it is viewable by taking a Portage Glacier Boat Tour by climbing on board the mv Ptarmigan and crossing Lake Portage.
The last time I checked out a glacier on a boat tour was in Wrangell, which is in the Inside Passage. That was a jet boat. This was a larger boat, and not nearly as intimate.
It is pretty chilly on the boat. Even in the height of August, I was cold wearing my winter coat. Now, it’s a Texas winter coat and not an Alaskan parka, but it usually keeps me pretty warm. Consider a hat if you don’t have a hood, especially for the kids. They spent quite a bit of time below deck, which was fine. There are large glass windows so that you can see the glacier from every angle.
For Alaskan prices and the location, the Portage Glacier Boat Tour is very affordable. At $34 for adults and $17 for kids, this is one of the bargain ways to see a glacier. The only bargain better is the totally free Byron Glacier hike next door. Definitely do this whether you do the Portage Glacier Cruise or not. They are two very different experiences, and both worth the time and money.
For more information and sail timetables, see the Portage Glacier Cruises website.