"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Alaskan Dream Cruise: Tracy Arm Fjord

We woke up to sheer rock outside our cabin window.

Cruise ships often cover their greatest distances while the passengers sleep. Overnight we had travelled into Tracy Arm Fjord, and were making our way toward the South Sawyer Glacier. 

We were already starting to see large hunks of floating ice, some of which had harbor seals resting on them. Harbor seals come deep into the fjords, close to the glaciers, to have their pups in places that are safe from larger predators, such as the orca.

Soon we could see the South Sawyer Glacier. In the picture below we're still at least a mile away from it. Because of all the icebergs, it was becoming increasingly risky to get closer. 

But our captain, a true prince among captains, was slowly making his way closer and closer. Sometimes a crew member would have to get down on the lower deck and verbally guide the captain around a glacier.  This was about as close as we could get.

In addition to the magnificent blue of the glaciers, the colors of the rock and the vegetation in Tracy Arm are simply gorgeous. Just to give you some perspective, the vegetation in the next photo that looks like moss, are actually trees about 6 feet tall in some places.

Tracy Arm is also known for its waterfall. We must have seen close to a hundred over the course of the entire day; many falling thousands of feet down the sheer rock walls of the fjord.  If it weren't for the ice and snow, you might think we were in Hawaii.

Here you can see the Baranof Dream in the fjord near another waterfall.

Our next stop was North Sawyer Glacier, which calves much less ice, making it more approachable. The mountains behind the glacier are at least 5,000 ft. high.  If this were Hawaii those might smoking volcanoes, but they're just clouds.

Again, because there was so little calving and floating ice, it was safe enough to get closer to the glacier in the DIB, the small inflatable boat used to get to and from the ship for excursions. This photo gives you a sense of how huge these glaciers are. We never got closer than half a mile to the glacier.

The rest of the day was spent traveling back out of Tracy Arm, and waterfall spotting. Just look at the colors in those rocks.

At Icy Falls, the captain got us pretty darn close…

Don't you think?


  1. Oh my! Those colors are incredible. You must have been gasping in awe constantly!

    I went to Alaska with my parents in our RV when I was 13 and that trip has stayed with me always. Your beautiful photos are bringing the memories back full force. I would love to visit again some day.

  2. I hope you get there Lisa. Would you RV?


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