Monday, 13 August:
This morning we entered Glacier Bay National Park. Comprised of 3.3 million acres of mountains, glaciers, forests and waterways, it is a highlight of the Inside Passage and part of the 25-million-acre World Heritage Site.
One of the National Park Rangers came onboard and provided a running commentary about the area, its history and wildlife as we made our way to Margerie Glacier. The temperature has dropped to around 6 deg (c) and there are showers of rain, but nothing can take away from the breathtaking sight of this glacier, soaring 20-25 storeys high and over a mile wide.
As we sat with our chairs pulled close to the sliding glass doors, a waiter arrived with all the ingredients for Irish Coffees, which he made for us to enjoy without having to leave the warmth of our stateroom.
The captain took the ship as close to the glacier as was possible, and we enjoyed the view from our balcony for around half an hour, after which he turned the ship for those with balconies on the other side.
What a spectacle! Every so often there was a thunderous roar of an iceberg as it calved into the icy water, the term used when chunks of ice break off glaciers and fall into the water. We looked for wildlife but only some seals were in evidence.
Tonight there was a formal dinner and we were invited to the captain’s table. This only occurred because most of the passengers had not done much cruising. We don’t stand a chance of this happening on the larger ships, so we made the most of it!
We are coming to the end of our cruise. Tuesday, we sailed into College Fjord and saw more glaciers on both sides of the ship, so we made the most of the morning, basically drinking coffee and enjoying all the spectacular scenery.
Busy afternoon as there were bills to be paid and bags to be packed – tomorrow morning we will arrive in Whittier and say farewell to the Island Princess.