Glacier Bay National Park contains 3.5 million acres of forest, inlets, mountain peaks, and beautiful glaciers.
Reid Glacier was the first of many we came across during our day of scenic cruising through the national park.
We had the pleasure of securing two spots in the adults-only section of the Island Princess known as The Sanctuary! This limited-access area provides paying guests the luxury of having the back of the boat all to themselves. There were no more than 15-20 people in this secluded area.
Complimentary mimosas was just one of the many perks provided to Sanctuary guests.
Like most other days on our Alaskan Cruise, we had gorgeous weather, which only enhanced the spectacular turquoise color of the glacial waters.
Everywhere we looked, there was beautifully defined scenery with intense blues and greens!
Another perk to booking in The Sanctuary was enjoying a complimentary drink of the day- hot chocolate with Irish cream, chocolate syrup, and fresh whipped cream.
Margarie Glacier is one of the many highlights of the national park.
We spent close to an hour floating in front of the glacier waiting for the ice to calve. Fortunately for us, this particular glacier has one of the state’s most active glacier faces, and we were able to experience the booming cracks as the ice broke off and fell to the sea below (see our video at the end of this post.)
The glacier is a mile in width. The ice face reaches 250 feet above the waterline…
… and the base is about 100 feet below sea level.
While in the Tarr Inlet we also gazed upon the Grand Pacific Glacier (pictured below) which stretches well into Canada.
As we returned back the way we came, we again glided through the glowing azure waters and past remarkable and scenic landscapes.
Next, we sailed into John Hopkins Inlet.
John Hopkins Glacier is a 12-mile glacier located around the bend at Jaw Point.
We passed yet another one of Alaska’s 100,00 glaciers (Lamplugh Glacier) as we continued on our journey out of Glacier Bay.
As I was taking pictures of the glacier, I heard that now-familiar cracking sound and looked over just in time to see part of the glacier calving into the sea.
In addition to the beautiful landscape and the calving ice, we felt fortunate to see some local wildlife from the cruise ship.
We saw several sea otters (above), and a few beige sea lions sunbathing on a rock (below).
Because we had a park ranger on board the ship, we learned a lot that day: how glacier valleys are formed (below), what makes the glaciers appear blue, why they look dirty in parts, and much more.
We truly could not have asked for a more beautiful day!
The scenic cruising near the mouth of the bay reminded me of tropical islands.
Check out a quick video of our trip through Glacier Bay below!