Saturday, October 7, 2017

Alaska: Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay National Park

Alaska Post List

The advantage of taking a Princess cruise in Alaska vs. most of the other cruise lines is they have a license to go into Glacier Bay National Park. With our cruise originating in Alaska we had two full sea days ahead of us to take in the sights. We were dreading the sea days, and if they were on Caribbean or Transatlantic cruises we possibly would have gone crazy with boredom. At least we always had some land to focus on in Alaska.

Found this on the web as an example

The cruise line did a nice job of educating the passengers. There were maps placed around the ship giving us our touring itinerary, we attended the overview with the onboard naturalist, and once in the park rangers boarded the ship to take over narration from the naturalist. We were able to get National Park passport stamps from the rangers and purchase limited merchandise.

The Hubbard Glacier was our first target on Day 1 at sea (not located in a National Park). We spent our time viewing the glacier from our cabin's balcony. The naturalist's narration was broadcasted over the loudspeakers and over the in-room tvs. We lucked out by having some sunny blue skies during our viewing time. We could not get closer because they did not want to disturb the seal colony near the glacier. This is a very wide glacier.

Mount Logan is the second highest mountain in North America

The next morning the rangers boarded our ship once we entered Glacier Bay National Park.

It was a much colder day than the previous two. We decided to hang out on the main deck for a while in order to run to either side of the ship if something interesting happened. For the early morning goat viewing our cabins were on the wrong side of the ship. It was obviously crowded here with folks pushing loungers up to the railing for an all-day camp out.

Some people were actually kayaking out there. Hypothermia city right there!

Goat viewing frustrated the heck out of Dave. Everyone else was spotting them.... even with guidance from the audience it took him forever. We are lucky to have these photos.

Can you spot the sheep?

After all that fun we returned to our cabin and settled in for viewing the Margerie Glacier and Grand Pacific Glacier. Dave hit the buffet and scrounged together some semblance of a cheese plate. While cruising the bay we saw another Princess ship on its way to Anchorage from Vancouver. We were able to see some calving action (glacier breaking). Exposure was not our friend on this portion of the trip. Skies were grey and bright making it hard to see the camera's LCD. Dave took some editing liberties on some of these photos to highlight certain features.

Seal colony

This was a great way to see some of the beauty of Alaska. After two full days at sea we were certainly ready to get to Skagway and be free of our captivity.

Alaska Post List


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