Alaska & Canada: Land, Sea and RV travel blog

Floating on air

Glacier peaks

Flowers and ice

Taku Glacier

Gang of 4


Deflated bubble

We decided to try something totally different than the typical shore excursions offered by the cruise lines. We choose to go scooting across the water in a hovercraft up the Taku river to the Taku glacier. We had to take a catamaran out of Juneau to a World War II era ship that was used to lay anti-submarine nets in the Alaskan waters. Can you really catch a sub-marine in a net? This WWII ship stays anchored out in the river as the base camp for the hover crafts. The hover craft is an amphibious 6 person vehicle that travels over water, ice, sandbars and grasses. It can fly at 35 knots. There is a very strange inflatable tube at the base of the craft that raises it out of the water making it float on a cushion of air. This cushioned air allows it to venture to places other types of crafts can't go. My sis and her hubby decided to join us on this unusual trip.

We took the hover craft out to the Taku Glacier. The Taku Glacier is 37 miles long and is one of the few advancing glaciers in the world. It is the largest glacier in the Juneau icefields. The hover craft landed in the silt at the base of the glacier. We were given special boots that made it easier to climb around on the glacier. We spotted caverns and meringue peaks that reflected the fantastic turquiose blue associated with glaciers. It seemed as if we landed on the moon with rock, ice and crevices all around us. This was so different than the glacier we landed on in Denali. There were grasses and flowers growing in the silt of the glacier. Didn't expect that.

On the way back to base camp we stopped by a small waterfall. An added bonus for me. Saw a few eagles and river otters. It was a very different way to travel on water. Glad we tried it. Not many people can say they flew above water to walk on a glacier.

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