Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Hubbard Glacier, Alaska
Hubbard Glacier, Alaska
A huge block of crystalline blue peels off the craggy face of a six-mile-wide river of ice. As if in slow motion, it plunges into floe-choked waters, accompanied by a shower of smaller chunks. The waters of the bay surge, rocking harbor seals sunning on nearby floes.
A visit to Hubbard Glacier takes you nearly 200 miles northwest of Juneau to the upper end of the Alaskan Panhandle, beyond the sheltered waters of the Inside Passage to Yakutat Bay on the Gulf of Alaska. At the far end of the funnel-shaped bay, 35 miles from the sea, lies Disenchantment Bay and Hubbard Glacier. This is glacier viewing on a grand scale; at its mouth, Hubbard Glacier is 10 times the width of Tracy Arm’s Sawyer Glaciers, and the mountainous backdrop is equally grand. In an era when most glaciers are receding, Hubbard is actually advancing into the bay. The ice currently ends at the junction of Disenchantment Bay and Russell Fjord, and at times dams the fjord’s mouth. Disenchantment Bay is hardly a “Disney” name, but it certainly does not refer to the glorious scenery. The name came from explorer Alessandro Malaspina, who briefly believed he'd found the Northwest Passage.
Like a visit to Tracy Arm Fjord (or Glacier Bay, which is visited by other cruise lines), your time at Hubbard Glacier will be spent on board, amidst terrain that dwarfs your very large ship. There will, no doubt, be much to hear over the ship's public address system, and much to see from the comfort of nearly any vantage point aboard, from the picture windows on deck 3 to your stateroom verandah, a deck chair on the promenade, an exercise machine in the fitness club, or out on breezy deck 10. There may be a naturalist aboard to acquaint you with the local wildlife and terrain. Strong binoculars are a help for spying seals sunning on small ice floes and eagles seeking a seafood snack. Photographers will want a long telephoto to capture the wildlife and a good wide angle lens to encompass the dramatic breadth of the scene. Early risers may bask in the pastels of dawn's early light, starting around 4:30 am.
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 53534) Photo contributed by © Creative Commons
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