Alaskan Cruise: Part 4 (Glacier Bay National Park)

 John Hopkins Inlet - Glacier Bay National Park

John Hopkins Inlet - Glacier Bay National Park

I woke up early on the day we were scheduled to be in Glacier Bay National Park to the ship's PA system going off with announcements like "If you look off the port side..." and "Straight ahead you'll get your first glimpse of..." I had figured, since we were in the National Park all day, that we would arrive sometime around noon. Nope! As we made our way to the back patio, we realized we were approaching the end of Tarr Inlet. The game plan was that we arrive at the prized location early, stay for around 2 hours while the ship rotated 360 degrees and then spend the rest of the day on the way back out. 

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When we arrived at the end of Tarr Inlet, my breath was literally taken away at the sight of the Margerie Glacier. It was a massive structure that you could see span up into the mountains. Over the course of the hour we spent looking at the glacier, we heard 6 loud cracks followed by large chunks of ice falling into the ocean. It was quite the spectacle. I learned that only 250 years ago, Glacier Bay was all Glacier and no bay! Over the past 250 years though, the glacier has receeded 65 miles inland leaving the deep bay we now cruise through.  

 Margerie Glacier & bonus bird friend

Margerie Glacier & bonus bird friend

To this point in our trip, we had seen things that I really thought could not be topped in beauty. I was just plain wrong. Tarr Inlet and John Hopkins Inlet are some of the most beautiful places on Earth, IMO. To make the moment that much better, Britt's family and I sat at a table and sipped our coffee while taking it all in. It was a rare moment of tranquil bliss in my chaotic life. 

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I've been informed that some Alaskan cruises do not make the trek into Glacier Bay National Park on their itinerary. I would highly consider choosing a different cruise is they do not. This single day on the cruise would have been enough to recharge my life battery and gone home happy. It was truly a blessing to see and experience, and I wish you the chance to see it too one day.