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Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord Alaska

Updated on March 20, 2011

A 25 Mile Long Fjord And a Spectacular Glacier

November 2009

One of the many highlights of an Alaskan Cruise is coming face to face with a glacier.

The Tracy/Endicott Arm Fjord is one of the many spectacular Fjords dotting the Alaskan coastline. Fjords are basically narrow bays carved out of mountain ranges that border the sea.

Over the course of millions of years a glacier will carve a narrow, V shaped wedge in the mountain as it pushes its way down to the sea. Eventually the the sea fills in the the void creating a narrow bay with towering mountains on either side and the glacier at the end.

The Tracy Arm Fjord stretches some 25 miles from the end of the glacier to the open sea. This provides for a spectacular detour while cruising up the Alaskan coast.

Our Cruise Ship, the Royal Caribbean Line's Serenade of the Sea entered the mouth of the Fjord around 7 a.m. and slowly made its way up the, iceberg dotted fjord over the next three hours.

Wanting to get good pictures, my brother bundled up and spent most of the morning holding a spot in the bow of the boat.  While the temperature warmed up to the mid-60s by the time we reached the glacier, it was about 59 degrees F (15 C) when we entered the Fjord. 

That wasn't too bad except for the fact that the wind chill at the front of the ship as it plowed through the cool northern air effectively lowered the temperature another ten degrees or more causing my brother to bundle up like it was winter in Wisconsin. 

Bella and I decided to take our chances so we strolled along the sides of the ship which were protected from the wind chill.  Bella also took time to do some shopping at the table in the lobby selling Russian Matryoshka Dolls.

As it turned out, there was no need to grab and hold the spot in the front because the captain of our ship was able to first guide the ship right to the edge of the mass of icebergs floating in front of the glacier and then, within the narrow confines of the fjord and taking care to avoid the icebergs, did a complete 360 degree turn so that every part of the deck got to look straight at the glacier.

Location of Tracy Arm Fjord Just South of Juneau, Alaska

A markerTracy Arm Fjord, Juneau Alaska -
Juneau, AK, USA
get directions

Tracy Arm Fjord, located about 45 miles south of Juneau, Alaska

Another Cruise Ship Entering the Fjord ahead of our ship.
Another Cruise Ship Entering the Fjord ahead of our ship.
Passing an iceberg
Passing an iceberg
My brother dressed for the arctic
My brother dressed for the arctic
Our ship makes its way up the fjord
Our ship makes its way up the fjord
One of the many glacier fed waterfalls
One of the many glacier fed waterfalls
We pulled in close to view this double waterfall
We pulled in close to view this double waterfall
My wife shopping
My wife shopping
Russian Matryoshka or Nesting Dolls
Russian Matryoshka or Nesting Dolls
More dolls
More dolls
Another Waterfall
Another Waterfall
I found the side of the ship to be comfortable temperaturewise
I found the side of the ship to be comfortable temperaturewise
A seal next to an iceberg
A seal next to an iceberg
Clouds on the mountain
Clouds on the mountain
A cruise ship making its way out of the fjord.
A cruise ship making its way out of the fjord.
Sailing up the fjord
Sailing up the fjord
Our trip continues
Our trip continues
Fjord getting narrower
Fjord getting narrower
Little boats come up here as well
Little boats come up here as well
Another iceberg that recently broke off the glacier
Another iceberg that recently broke off the glacier
Sawyer Glacier
Sawyer Glacier
Close up of glacieer
Close up of glacieer
Another little boat by glacier
Another little boat by glacier
Sailing away from glacier
Sailing away from glacier
Continuing back to open sea
Continuing back to open sea
My wife relaxing on deck
My wife relaxing on deck
In open water again
In open water again
Passing another cruise ship as night begins to fall
Passing another cruise ship as night begins to fall
My wife on way to dinner
My wife on way to dinner
Good night!
Good night!

Comments

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    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      haaris_1 - glad you enjoyed my Hub and pictures. I checked out your Hubs listed above and enjoyed them and suggest others check them out as well.

      Welcome to HubPages.

    • haaris_1 profile image

      haaris_1 

      8 years ago

    • profile image

      Nan 

      8 years ago

      Your pictures are beautiful and a wonder to us that have never been to Alaska. The cruise must have been a joy, and the scenery was breath taking. I enjoyed the article, as I will never go to Alaska. Glad you went and documented the trip for us at HubPages!

    • HarperSmith profile image

      HarperSmith 

      8 years ago

      Beautiful pictures! I loved this hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • E. Nicolson profile image

      E. Nicolson 

      8 years ago

      Wonderful pictures. Living in northern climes for a lot of my life has made me shy away from such trips, but I might now reconsider.

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 

      8 years ago from Texas

      We took that same trip on the same ship this summer. I thought this leg of the trip was the highlight of the whole week, as the glacier was actively calving while we sat there and watched. It was spectacular, and I would go back anytime.

      Your pictures are wonderful but it is hard to capture the blue of the glacier and the sparkle of those waterfalls. I loved the the trip.

    • bobmnu profile image

      bobmnu 

      8 years ago from Cumberland

      Having done an Alaskan Cruse I can understand you appreciation for the majestic beauty. If you look at cruses and are flexable in your travel time you could get some great deals. When you consider the meals are paid for in the price of the cruse it makes it seem less expensive. The other thing to consider is with proper planning you can pay for the vacation ahead of time and only have to plan for spending money. There are many things you can do ashore that are free or reasonable. Tours book through the Cruse company are more expensive. Careful planning can make a Cruse affordable.

    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Pamela99, Linda-Patriot - thanks for the comments. It was a great trip and the scenery fantastic everywhere.

      Linda-Patriot, I will try to catch the Glenn Beck programs. I do watch him when I can and he is good.

      Chuck

    • linda-patriot profile image

      linda-patriot 

      8 years ago

      nice Hub! Dreamy pics. Tues. Glenn Beck program was really good -you can catch it on Fox news.com. He says Saturdays program is really impt. 3pm edst channel 360 on direct tv. I hope you guys really enjoyed yourselves on your vacation! Your wife is lovely!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from United States

      Great hub. I loved the pictures. This is one of my dream vacations.

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