The National Park Service (NPS) has granted American Cruise Lines (ACL) additional access to Glacier Bay during prime season with a new five-year contract that takes effect on Jan. 1 for the company’s spring tours.

In order to protect and preserve the park’s resources, regulations allow only three tour vessels in Glacier Bay proper each day, with access limited to companies holding concession contracts with NPS. ACL was one of four companies to strike a deal with NPS, and its American Sprit was named exclusive tour vessel by NPS, a bureau of the Interior Department.

“The increase of prime use days is a testament to the ongoing partnership between American Cruise Lines and the National Park Service. We’re delighted to be part of the ongoing preservation and conservation of Glacier Bay,” said Charles A. Robertson, CEO of ACL. “We are continuously looking for ways to provide our guests with the most memorable cruising experience and the rare glimpse of the world’s most magnificent biosphere does just that.”

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s largest biosphere, covering 3.3 million acres, Glacier Bay is located roughly 60 miles west of Juneau on Alaska’s Inside Passage. The American Spirit cruises to Glacier Bay by way of its Southeast Alaska itinerary, and the new arrangement with NPS brings new benefits for travelers. An NPS ranger will speak to passengers on the area’s marine wilderness, and a Huna Tlingit cultural interpreter will provide information on Glacier Bay’s native populations.