Our 2006 Alaskan Cruise/Tour

Page 5

On Thursday and Friday we cruised Glacier Bay and College Fiord. The scenery in Glacier Bay is spectacular! It's wild and rugged and barren. The mist and clouds made it look even more dramatic.

This is one of the glaciers in Glacier Bay. It is about 1 mile across and 100 feet high. Like the Mendenhall Glacier, it originates in the Juneau Icefield.

We thought we'd see a lot of wildlife in Alaska. We didn't see a lot. If we did see some it was usually a long way off so I augmented my photos with shots from museums and/or postcards. Sorry...

When we weren't out on deck sightseeing we usually went to the Lido Deck. This is the food deck. It was also a warm place to hang out near a window. When we weren't on the Lido Deck we were in our "stateroom" keeping an eye on things. Our room was small, but quite comfortable.

After a day in Glacier Bay we cruised overnight to the College Fiord. This aerial view shows the head of the fiord. There are numerous glaciers in this fiord. They were named by a number of Ivy League scholars who made initial forays into Prince William Sound in the late 1890's.

(PS I took this from my hot air balloon.)

Here are 2 more glacier shots (taken from my Zodiac). The panorama of the Harvard Glacier is composed of 6 separate photos. The actual glacier is 3 miles across and over 300 feet high. It also is about 500 feet under water. The noise from the glacier moving and calving sounded like a WWI artillery duel. It was a steady "Crack", "Bang", "Boom", and "Crunch".

This is something I never heard of: A "Shooter". These occur when ice breaks off the bottom the glacier underwater. The ice "shoots" to the surface in a huge boil of ice, water and froth. Small boats have been capsized by "shooters".

We disembarked the cruise ship early Saturday AM in the rain in Whittier, AK. (It's shittier in Whittier.) We now started the 4 day "Tour" portion of our 11 day Cruise/Tour. We boarded one of the special domed Princess railroad cars for the 5 hour ride to Denali. As the morning progressed the rain stopped. Each car had a "Tour Guide" trip narrator, served food, and was generally quite comfortable.

Our Guide pointed out some Dall Sheep on the craggy ledges above the train. Again, they were too far for a good camera shot. This is a postcard.

Our train ride ended in Talkeetna. After a tour of town (15 minutes) we boarded busses for the 1 hour ride to the Princess "Wilderness" Lodge located just inside Denali STATE Park.

We had a lovely room with a great view! Denali (aka Mt. Mckinley) cooperated and showed herself.

(Actually, I cut and pasted the view.)

This is Ranger Larry. He led a very interesting walk/talk. We learned a lot about the native plants and animals and how the early Alaskan natives used them.

Go to Home Go to P.2 Go to P.3 Go to P.4 Go to P.6 Go to P.7 Go to P.8