Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Alaskan Cruise Nature Adventures

IMG_20140911_132901_749s (5)s(Jan) Cruising to Alaska is special because of the magnificent natural beauty of this land. The cities, such as Juneau, above, are perched along the water at mountain’s edge. High lights of the trip were cruising Glacier Bay National Park, Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm Fjord.

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When we entered Glacier Bay National Park a NP Ranger came on board our cruise ship to talk about the area and narrate as we cruised up the Bay. This area is rich in marine and land mammal life but because of the rainy, overcast weather we missed seeing any. We were treated to a magnificent view of Margery Glacier which flows into the Tar inlet from it’s start in British Columbia, Canada.

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P9090191The following day we were able to view Hubbard Glacier. Both Hubbard & Margery are tidewater glaciers meaning that their terminus is at water’s edge. Hubbard Glacier flows 76 miles from Mt Walsh & a shorter tributary from Mt Logan, Yukon Territories, Canada to Alaska’s Disenchantment Bay. At it’s face the ice of the glacier is 7 miles wide and 100’s of feet tall and is the size of Rhode Island. At it’s terminus it is joined by the Valerie Glacier, also flowing from the Yukon. We were able to visit this area on our way north to Whittier and again on our way south.  It was quite rainy and overcast northbound so our cruise ship was unable to get very close. We were blessed with better weather on our way south. Our ship’s Captain got up quite close, turned the ship 360 degrees and we stayed at the site for over an hour. We were able to watch the calving of several icebergs and hear the mighty thunder of them hitting the water. It truly was an astonishing sight.P9090186

 

 

Cruising the Tracy Arm Fjord (below) was something we did not expect. Our 848 ft. long, 108 ft. wide ship cruised 27 miles up the narrow fjord with the walls close beside us on either side. We cruised to with in sight of the Sawyer Glacier. At that point, in a wide place in the Fjord near Sawyer Island the Captain turned the ship around we headed back out to sea. Amazing!

P9110230 P9110234Deck 12 – looking down the side and Jan on the back deck. P9110227     Cruising past ‘the wall’ in the Tracy Arm.

P9040065s (2)sP9040065s (4)sWe spent many hours both on the ships decks and lounges enjoying the ocean, shorelines, mountains and waterfalls. It was one of the most beautiful places we have ever been. We saw a bear, sea lions, whales and porpoise.P9060146s (2)s

P9150401sAt 7 A.M. on Monday morning September 15 we docked back in Vancouver, BC, Canada. We were quite sad to leave the cruise ship but ready to take the Sky Train back to the Raddison Hotel in Richmond P9150303where our Jeep was parked.  Our BC Boomer friends Bruce & Dee met us at the hotel for our first visit in a couple of years. We drove over to the seaside community of Steveston for lunch and strolling along the Fraser river. It was so wonderful that we could see them for this brief time. From there we headed back across the border to pick up our Motor Homes in Ferndale, Washington.

This cruise was everything we wanted and more! We will never forget all of the fun and laughter shared with good friends Betty and Duane, the beauty of Alaska and the joy of cruising on NCL.

1 comment:

Nancy Hurley said...

Jan and Chuck, I was just looking back over your posts from Alaska and realized I had not commented before. Loved seeing the amazing glaciers from your cruise. And your good times on this trip are overflowing in the post. I know you'll be having more fun reliving these experiences down the road.
Nancy

 
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