We left Seward on the Holland America Nordham ship at 8 pm Sunday. This was our first time on Holland America, and it was very laid back compared to other cruises we've been on. The ship just pulled out without any fanfare or party. Strange! Monday was an at sea day. It was cool and rainy, so we sat by a large window and watched the scenery.
I got sick on Sunday with a bad sore throat and cold, and Kevin got sick a few days later. The worst part was they had no cold medicine for sale in the shops. Many people were sick. In fact, a few days in they put a letter in everyone's room about the inordinate amount of people with respiratory illness on the ship. I guess all that hand sanitizer didn't help much.
On Tuesday we spent the whole day slowly cruising through Glacier Bay National Park. Park rangers actually came on board for the day. They do what they call a controlled collision where their small boat bumps up along the cruise ship, they throw down a rope ladder, and the rangers climb up. Wow! The rangers gave a talk in the main theater, and also commented throughout the day over the loudspeakers on deck. It was a good idea, but too hard to hear in many of the outside locations. Once again, it was cool and overcast with light rain at times.
The first glacier we saw was John Hopkins Glacier. The actual colors are much more vibrant.
Next up was Lamplugh Glacier.
Only two cruise ships per day are allowed in the bay. We passed this other Holland America ship.
At the end of the bay is Margerie Glacier. This is the big one that you see on travel sites. From what I'd seen on TV, I expected it to be bigger. It was big, as we were on the tenth deck of a ship, but I expected more somehow.
The captain stayed at this glacier for over an hour, doing a complete 360 degree turnaround so everyone could see. There were several times where pieces fell off, called calving, and I heard the rumble from that. Again, it wasn't what I expected based on what I'd seen on TV. It was hard to get any photos, but here is one where the ice just splashed into the water. See the brown splash at the bottom? There was a smaller tour boat closer to the glacier. It gives you a bit more perspective on the size.
Again, the colors were much more vivid in person.
There is another glacier at the end of the bay called Grand Pacific Glacier. It was covered with rocks and debris, so didn't look like much. It goes way back into Canada. Notice the chunks of ice floating in the water. There were pieces of ice like this all throughout the bay.
The scenery all day in Glacier Bay was again breathtaking. We saw several waterfalls.
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