Alaska Cruise 2012: Hubbard Glacier

(Back to Part Two…)

After cruising overnight from Whittier, the destination of our first full day at sea was Hubbard Glacier, perched at the end of Yakutat Bay. But before getting there, I got to simply enjoy the experience of my first full day at sea ever. (My wife had taken a cruise to Cozumel earlier this year with her mom and sister.) The sounds, the smells… and, of course, the views:

The view from our stateroom on the way to Yakutat Bay and Hubbard Glacier.

Another view from our stateroom on the way to Yakutat Bay and Hubbard Glacier.

(This was also the day we entered our first shipboard trivia contest as a team, in this case a general knowledge trivia game first thing in the morning—and we won! A Princess carabiner keychain for our efforts, and it was the first of many trivia contests we would enter while on the cruise.)

But it wasn’t just the incredible scenery—we had some companions alongside the ship as we made our way along. For instance, what I thought were a couple of dolphins bounding in and out of the waves turned out to be a couple of killer whales instead:

A couple of orcas (killer whales) keeping pace alongside the ship.

And then there were the humpback whales who would occasionally make there presence known via a spout of water—or the flick of a tail:

A couple of humpback whales disappearing beneath the waves.

(We never were fortunate enough to see a whale breach completely out of the water, but what we saw did not suck.)

The star of this day was, of course, Hubbard Glacier itself. Up until now, I’d never seen a glacier in person before, and the first look at the impossibly blue wall of ice was quite breathtaking. All you could see was the ice (blue), the water (blue), the sky (blue); all you could hear were the waves lapping against the hull of the ship, the dull hum of the engines, the constant chatter of circling gulls. Incredibly serene—and at the same time, incredibly majestic.

Hubbard Glacier.

But this was only the first of two days of glacier viewing. Our next stop: Glacier Bay National Park…

(On to Part Four…)