Day #9,191 started and ended at sea. Cruising along the Gulf of Alaska, to be exact.
Not generally being Cruise Ship Folk (chillaxing for too long gives me the willies), Mr. M & I were not entirely sure what to do with our “Day at Sea,” as it were. We soon learned that Days at Sea consist primarily of eating. Lots of eating. Like, Olympic-level eating. With a light dusting of Broadway Spectacular in the evenings.
Luckily for my fast-expanding waistline, there was an activity planned for the afternoon that did not involve stuffing food down my gullet: viewing the Hubbard Glacier along the eastern coast of Alaska.
We’d received notice that the Glacier would be sliding past our ship windows somewhere around 2pm. [That’s another thing about cruise travel… it’s eerily easy. It weirds me out in much the same way the Manhattanite idea of having one’s groceries delivered has bothered me since moving to NYC. Shouldn’t I have to work a bit to travel or have almond milk in my fridge? Die-hard cruisers- and all my neighbors- disagree.] Sure enough, at 2pm a honey-throated voice came over the loud speakers to announce the grand arrival of the Hubbard Glacier like a belle being presented at a debutante ball.
Mr. M & I rolled ourselves away from the frozen yogurt bar and made our way outside to the deck.
As we glided slowly through the Inside Passage towards the wall of ice ahead, the water became more and more speckled with tiny iceberg pieces that had melted away from the glacier.
The icy mini-bergs were a lot larger than they look in these pictures and made for a most stunning waterscape.
Because the glacier was known to be calving at the time (when pieces of the main glacier leave the nest and break off to go the sea alone), our captain wasn’t able to get the ship too close.
Having to keep our distance somehow made me feel better… something so magnificent should not be viewed up close from the warmth of a luxury vessel. Knowing a glacier that intimately seems deserving of a dramatic and daring mission involving an ice pick and crampons, no?
Close or not, there was plenty o’ gorgeous Alaskan coastline to gawk at while we were out on deck.
Our egalitarian-minded boat did a graceful pirouette in the bay so that all sides of the deck had equal access to Hubbard. We were able to admire the steep, wrinkled shore nearby.
It was one more peek at the Hubbard Glacier… and then our mellifluous announcer informed everyone that hot apple cider and cocoa- with or without marshmallows- would be served inside. Presumably to reward us for roughing it and braving the elements on deck. There was a polite stampede inward.
Hubbard and I shared a bemused Look, and then I turned and followed the crowd.
I’m not one to miss out on cocoa.
Details of the Day:
While there are many, MANY cruises along Alaska’s Inside Passage in which to indulge, we were on the Celebrity 7-Night Alaska Hubbard Glacier journey. It reinforced my belief that cruising is best considered when traveling with a very wide range of ages. We were traveling with Mr. M’s family, and our merry band ranged from mid-20’s (us) to Mr. M’s octogenarian grandparents, and everywhere in between. Everyone is able to go at their own speed (mostly…), and it’s easy to find a good balance of solo- and family-together time.
Cruising Downside: I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I’ve really seen a place while cruising (as in, check-it-off-my-list, SEEN it). It’s more about the ease of touristing.