cruise alaska day 07: glacier bay

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Whole day cruising, the majority of the day was spent inside Glacier Bay National Park, part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site and one of the world’s largest international protected areas. It was probably the highlight of the entire cruise.

We woke up at around 7am but still missed sunrise. Rangers were already on board with commentary, we’d been inside the national park for a couple of hours and were headed straight to our glacier viewpoints. Didn’t want to waste any opportunity to watch the scenery, I went to the buffet and got breakfast back to the cabin. Didn’t feel like a heavy breakfast so mainly watermelon, melon, baked apple with some grits.

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The inside channels were quite narrow, no wonder only 2 ships were allowed in the national park every day. There were pieces of ice debris floating everywhere. The ranger spotted the bald eagle quietly perched on a piece of ice.

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First stop were the Grand Pacific and Margerie glaciers. The GP did not look like a glacier at all, just a big wedge of black soil. The main attraction was Margerie, and it was magnificent.

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The ship stopped a quarter mile from the glacier and for the first 30mins the port side had the view. We went to deck 15 and joined everyone to watch. First sign of calving was a soft rumble, then a scratchy cracking, and then pieces of ice broke off. I was lucky enough to get the pictures on sports mode.

The second 30mins the captain turned the ship around so starboard faced the glacier. We went back to our own balcony to absorb more of the beautiful glacier, no more calving but it didn’t matter. Did not want to leave.

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The next glacier stop was Lamplugh glacier. The ship faced it head on so we went to the bow and got great views. Could see the ice in great detail. It was pretty windy so we didn’t stay long. The ship turned slowly and after about 45mins headed back down glacier bay. What a wonderful glacier experience.

Lunch was at the restaurant: grilled veg & cured meat, gazpacho, salmon cream cheese bagel, blueberry roulade, mint choc ice cream. Everything was good except the gazpacho tasted like diluted ketchup.

After lunch we went to a ranger presentation about why people come, return and stay at Alaska and Glacier Bay. The love of nature and the national park was so evident, I can definitely see the attraction. Fresh air, beautiful scenery, at peace with nature, very few neighbours. Perfect.

Walked about 25mins on deck 7, then spent the rest of the afternoon in our cabin reading or out on the balcony hunting for whales and other animals. Saw a sprout very very far away. There were quite a few seals that swum next the the ship, and birds too. All too far away and too fast to photograph. The memories are just fine.

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Got a pre-dinner snack of bratwurst and fries, just because I wanted to try the deck 14 grill. Opened the second bottle of wine, a really nice cabernet franc. Dinner at the restaurant: goat’s cheese soufflé, quail & venison terrine, salad, strawberry sorbet, diver scallop with cream sauce, chocolate trio, orange sorbet. The soufflé was rich, the terrine was the first fail I tried on the cruise (too salty, weird texture), everything else, especially the seafood, was good.

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Looked for our pictures at the picture gallery, at $19.95 it was too expensive to buy. Ran on the treadmill for about half an hour. Waiting for sunset at 9.39pm. The sky turned gold, then pink and purple. I thought I saw a dolphin; no one else seemed to be around, I felt like it was just me, the water and the dolphin.