Glacier Bay National Park is one of the best places in the world to see glaciers. Very accessible now via cruise ship, this amazing landscape takes your breath away. To see the effects and the presence of glaciers up close and personal is one of the world’s most memorable experiences. Passengers are in awe as they look for calving, the breaking off of chunks of a glacier’s leading edge. They are transfixed by the gorgeous mountain scenery in this untouched wilderness.
Let me take you on a brief photo tour of some of the spectacular things you might see. We spent much of our time on the cruise ship in front of Margerie Glacier, which was actively calving. Unfortunately, the calving was minor and did not result in huge chunks breaking off as we had hoped.
Another beautiful spot was the channel to Johns Hopkins Glacier. We were not able to enter the channel because of the presence of baby seals (cruise ship companies are very observant of environmental rules established to protect the wildlife of the area).
The scenery behind the tidewater glaciers (glaciers which flow into the sea) is often incredibly magnificent. The glorious Fairweather Mountains are pictured below.
Grand Pacific Glacier is evidence of the retreat of glaciers worldwide, a symptom of global warming.
Notice that much of the leading edge is dark, indicating a the melting of the snow and ice which typically form the front wall. All that is left here is the dark debris which was pushed ahead of the glacier when it was moving forward but is now left behind as the glacier retreats.
Another noteworthy glacier in Glacier Bay is Lampulgh Glacier.
If an Alaska cruise is not on your bucket list, put it there and take this extremely memorable excursion as soon as possible, before these incredible sights retreat like Grand Pacific Glacier.