We didn’t catch a glimpse of the glacier until almost 2:00 PM. As we sailed closer, we saw seals floating on pieces of ice. The two lower, covered decks that wrapped around the ship also became very crowded as passengers tried to grab prime spots by the railings. It got pretty crowded in the beginning but people dispersed after awhile.
The ship did two 360 degree turns once it stopped a few miles from the glacier. The visible glacier face was six miles wide but it was actually 76 miles long from its source in the Yukon.
We saw plenty of calving which is when chunks of ice break away from the glacier and heard it too. It produced thunderous sounds as it broke loose. It took some patience to wait for the calvings to occur but was well worth it.
It was absolutely breathtaking. Be prepared for really cold weather and bundle up. Can you tell it was freezing from our family picture? Our kids were done with glacier viewing after witnessing two calvings and complaints of being too cold. They returned to the warmth of the kid’s club where they met a park ranger and learned some glacier facts. This gave my husband and me time to enjoy the glacier a little bit longer.
The ship stopped within a quarter mile which according to the park rangers was the closest the cruise ships could go. The forward deck area was opened for closer viewing for the brave souls. We tried to stay out there but it was too cold, windy and rainy. It was truly an unforgettable experience to see such a massive glacier with many active calvings.