Going 'North' to Alaska travel blog

Lamplugh Glacier in Glacier Bay NP.

Birds perched on an ice floe, resting before they hunt for their...

Margerie Glacier.

Reid Glacier.

Seals in Glacier Bay. It was SO COLD! I don't know how...

Today the ship sailed into Glacier Bay National Park. Along the way, we picked up a park ranger who came on board to be our guide through this beautiful area. She brought a park stamp with her, so Betty was able to get an unexpected addition to her National Park Passport book.

Up until a few thousand years ago, glaciers regularly grew and retreated throughout North America and then finally receded almost completely. But, just a few hundred years ago, there was what was known as the "Little Ice Age" and Glacier Bay was formed. Around 1750, the glacier here reached its maximum extent and actually covered this entire bay with ice. But, the combination of a warming climate and contact with salty sea water, caused a dramatic retreat of 65 miles to the current locations. So that once massive, single glacier is now several smaller glaciers that are left in the various valleys that lead down to Glacier Bay.

The National Park is only reachable by boat or plane and is 3.3 million acres of mountains, glaciers, forests and waterways, populated by all kinds of wildlife. When outsiders first reached this area, it was inhabited by the Tlingit native Alaskan tribe (vs. the Athabaskan that inhabited interior Alaska), who still consider this area their spiritual homeland.

We cruised past 3 glaciers, all of which are represented in the pictures, but I do believe "If you've seen one glacier, you've seen them all". And it was SO COLD, we could not stay outside for long periods. We were again grateful for our balcony. We kept going in and getting warm, so we could go back out and view the glaciers.

We ate at the ship's buffet tonight vs. a formal dining room. Both have great food, but there is an expectation that you will "dress" for the formal dining room. The formal dining room also has so many people in it! If you don't feel like dressing up and socializing the buffet is the best bet....

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