Why did I decide to do this excursion? Mainly to see how other excursions operate and to see what photo options there were on the small boats.
Allen Marine, has large 78 foot 140 passenger multi deck catamarans. Nice for moving people, but not so much for photography with a large group.
Gastineau Guiding has small 30+ foot 20 max capacity boats. The sides actually open up for better shooting visibility. They are a more agile and better maneuverable boat.
That being said, there is something to be said for the stability of larger vessel and the wide stance of a catamaran. The small boat did rock more, even with the rubber flotation bladder on the outside. This made it harder to stay focused on the subjects when using my 70-200 lens with a 1.4 teleconverter.
The bus ride to the harbor was in a small van/bus with a guided tour and multimedia presentation on all legs of the trip. Allen Marine uses 53 passenger Gray Line Alaska coaches.
On the tour we were able to see quite a few glaciers:
Mendenhall Glacier from Brotherhood Bridge.
Eagle Glacier from Faust Rock Buoy, with a Sea Lion.
Eagle Glacier from Favorite Channel.
And my favorite image a humpback whale tail with a sea lion breaching.
Then we headed to Mendenhall Glacier where we hiked the Trail of Time.
Where we passed through groves of Devils Club.
Viewed many types of mushrooms and moss.
Got a few perspectives of the glacier.
A couple glances of a Bald Eagle perched outside of the visitor center.
Last but not least we were able to view some Glacier Ice...
where we found out that people take pictures of glacier ice in many different ways....