There’s a great reason to visit Hubbard Glacier, and that is to see it before it melts away. Yes, sadly when you visit such an incredible place, it really hits home that you are indeed lucky to see it. Who knows how many more will see it before it disappears or diminishes? The evidence of the melting is right there in the ocean, with chunks of ice all around.
This is Day 7 of the Vancouver to Alaska seven day cruise (Thursday, May 17, 2012), and sadly the last day of the cruise. Most people think that a seven day cruise finishes on the 7th day, but in reality it actually finishes on the 8th day in the early hours of the morning. We will be disembarking tomorrow morning at around 8am.
So today is a Day At Sea – this is a day to enjoy the ship, and it is as necessary to have these days as it is to have port visits. You don’t just want to be rushing around visiting ports all the time, because when will you find the time to enjoy the ship? The ship itself is a very important factor in your cruise enjoyment, and believe it or not, some people enjoy this part of the experience so much more – that they don’t want to get out at the ports to walk around.
Today is the very important viewing from the ship of Hubbard Glacier. This was to be my second experience of seeing glaciers – the first one was of course, Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. As I was eating breakfast in the Park Cafe, I couldn’t help but be struck in awe at what I saw through the windows of the Solarium, where the Park Cafe was. I saw lots of ice, pieces of ice all over the ocean floor – it was just as though we were floating on ice. It was an amazing sight, and I wish I had taken more pictures of the ice at it’s thickest – but my camera was charging, so this is the picture that I got through the window, and it was taken with my Iphone at approximately 8am. The other pictures were taken with my camcorder, and not my regular camera, so may not be as nice and clear as they should have been.
Then after breakfast, I went outside at approximately 9am, and took pictures from the side of the ship.
Wow, we are surrounded by ice!
Now for a view of Hubbard Glacier itself. It was hard getting a good spot to take pictures, as there were so many people out braving the cold to see the awesome and breathtaking Hubbard Glacier.
We got really close to the Glacier!
More people looking at the Glacier:
Enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee, and trying to stay warm
The Radiance Of The Seas against the backdrop of Alaska, near Hubbard Glacier
Bye Hubbard Glacier, I hope you will be around for many more years to come! Don’t melt away.
We left Hubbard Glacier at around 10:30 am, and the rest of the day was spent taking pictures, attending a brief CruiseOne seminar, and enjoying the ship (as well as packing). Next, I’ll tell you about the four day post cruise tour that I took once I disembarked the cruise ship. The cruise tour was hosted by Royal Caribbean, and involved going on a bus around Alaska – deep into the wilds of this very mysterious place. Thank you for reading.
It is now Day 5 of the cruise – Tuesday, May 15th, 2012, and I had to wake up early because my shore excursion meeting time – for the tour titled Juneau City and Mendenhall Glacier Tour – is scheduled for 9:30 am. This will be shore excursion no. 2 for me, even though it is the third port (I didn’t do an excursion when in Icy Strait Point).
I walked past the train which was right outside where the cruise ship docked, and was half hoping that my excursion would involve a train up to Mendenhall Glacier, but I knew from the tour instructions on my ticket that I would be going on a bus again. It was only a two or three minute walk, but I was almost late, so I ran the last half minute to the bus. I was supposed to have been there 15 minutes before the bus set off. Here are some pictures taken during one of the stops prior to getting to Mendenhall Glacier. We stopped so that we could take some pictures of the Radiance Of The Seas, and of course, I just loved to take pictures of that beautiful ship. Here are some of the ship with Juneau in the background:
Here are some pictures taken from the bus, please excuse the reflection of the windows, I just couldn’t stop taking pictures:
I think these pictures were taken on one of the stops when we got out of the bus:
I could keep going on, and inserting more pictures, but I think I should stop at that. I’m sure you can see how beautiful Juneau is, and why Alaska is worth the visit? Then we went to a place called Chapel By The Lake (it was like a Log Church), and took a quick look inside, but I was mainly keen to get outside to take pictures:
We then drove to another stop to take some pictures of Mendenhall Glacier from a distance:
And now we have arrived at the final destination – first some preliminary pictures of the arrival area:
Then, beautiful Mendenhall Glacier, awesome, breathtaking, what can I say?
Here are some more pictures of the area surrounding Mendenhall Glacier, isn’t the blue color that’s in the glacier incredible?
Well, after all those breathtaking pictures (even though I do say so myself), it seems like a let-down to add pictures of a different kind, but I must finish up, here are some pictures of downtown Juneau, near the cruise ship where our bus took us after the amazing visit to Mendenhall Glacier.
A little background on Juneau: It was discovered in 1880 due to the discovery of gold, Juneau began its history as a prosperous and unique mining town, you can see some of the recommended sightseeing spots by viewing the picture of the sign post below:
You are probably wondering about the food in Juneau, here’s a picture of a menu:
Here’s some pictures I took near to where the cruise ship was docked
PS: If you are going to be in Juneau on June 7-9, 2012, you should not miss Celebration 2012. This is a major dance and cultural festival held every two years. Read more about the festival right here: http://www.sealaskaheritage.org/celebration/celebration_2012.htm and to view beautiful Alaskan Native art showing fabulous Tsimshian culture, please take a look here: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/terrance-h-booth-jr.html?page=2
I really hope that you like my pictures of Juneau, and the Mendenhall Glacier. You just have to visit this amazing place, it was well worth the visit. Gold was discovered here, but there is so much more to discover too.