This is the post I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for and I have so much for show and tell. Glacier Bay Cruising is a highlight of many, many cruise lines for their Alaska trips. I admit we were really looking forward to seeing it. Mendenhall Glacier had only served to whet our appetites for more.
Skagway to Glacier Bay 113 nautical miles 11.5 knots
The Island Princess entered Glacier Bay from Icy Strait named for the multitude of ice bergs the first explorers found floating here. The Island Princess was selling tickets to “The Sanctuary” an adult only area of the ship. The Sanctuary has padded lounge chairs, “Serenity Stewards” to wait on you, blankets and Mimosas all for only $60.00 per person. The Sanctuary is located across the aft end of the ship.
The misty, cold, gray weather that had followed us so far continued to be with us as we entered Glacier Bay. We decided not to spend the money for the Sanctuary because of the weather. Even with blankets it seemed like we’d be warmer if we could keep moving around the deck. We learned later that we missed out on seeing a close up view of a pod of Orcas that frolicked in the wake. Maybe next time I’ll make a different decision. It’s also important to mention here that although Alaska in the spring is known for its rainy weather, we were experiencing much colder, wetter weather than is the norm. Everyone says spring is running about 2 weeks late. Just our luck! 🙁 But that means that you shouldn’t be discouraged about a late May cruise…next year could be glorious sunshine.
The Island Princess arrived off Bartlett Cove, Glacier Bay around 6 am where they picked up National Park Rangers. They set up a table neat the Horizon Court on Deck 14 plus they made announcements on the PA describing what we were seeing as we slowly cruised the bay.
I say slowly cruised the bay because Island Princess was moving through an ice field of bergs and small ice floes.
These bergs are a good indication that the glaciers are actively calving. Most of the bergs were pretty small or at least looked that way from 150 ft. up. I wonder if the people on the Titanic said the same thing…Oh they’re just little ice bergs. 🙂
The ice didn’t just drift out of the way. We could hear the bergs hitting the hull before they drifted off or slid down the sides.
Once again I can say it was cold especially when we leaning on the railing to see around other passengers or to avoid the annoying blue windows.
The closer we got to the Margerie Glacier the more the anticipation grew. People didn’t pay any attention to the many smaller glaciers that we passed as we traveled further into the bay.