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Alaska - The Last Frontier

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Part 7 - Hubbard Glacier

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Part 7 - Hubbard Glacier
 

Our joy was immense when we woke up to sunshine the next day. We entered Yakutat Bay under blue skies. Lucky us!

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After breakfast with a view, we obviously tried to find a nice spot on deck to see the glacier in all its glory. A murmur went through the marveling crowd on deck when the ship passed through the narrowing Yakutat Bay into Disenchantment Bay: In front of the deep green mountains on the left and the snowy mountains on the right, the Hubbard Glacier sparkled in the sunlight.

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Via the PA system, our captain gave us a brief explanation and seemed almost enthusiastic when he announced that today’s waters were unusually ice-free so that he would maneuver the ship as close to the glacier as possible.

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I’ll let the following pictures speak for themselves... When watching, just imagine a constant roar and rumble, not unlike a distant thunderstorm, and every now and then a rumble and splash from small ice avalanches roaring into the sea.

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In the bay in front of the glacier, the ship turned in slow motion 360° on the spot so that we could see the entire glacier from every angle with all its outstanding individual formations.
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The crew of a small life boat, which was lowered into the water, tried to catch a piece of glacial ice.

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During the rotation, we also got a beautiful view of the Turner Glacier “flowing” into the bay from the west.

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Here is a short video...

Please excuse the poor quality of the zoom and focus of the video. I had the camera on the wrong settings the whole time.

 

 

Meanwhile, the time had come to say goodbye to the glacier and slowly leave the bay.
The piece of ice, which the crew had retrieved from the water, was displayed by the pool and later made into a sculpture.

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On the other side, a BBQ was set up. The smell of BBQ ribs and BBQ chicken was extremely tempting.

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Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one to think so... A long queue had formed and already went all the way through the Solarium to the spa area. Despite my love of good BBQ ribs, I wasn’t prepared to queue for half an hour, so we went to the Windjammer and set in the outdoor area at the stern. From here, we enjoyed not only our food but the beautiful view of the landscape, the glacier disappearing in the distance and the exit of the bay.

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In the afternoon, I joined the “Captain’s Corner” in the theater – a kind of question time with the captain.
The captain was very personable, and answered all questions after his lecture in a friendly and detailed manner.
One of the passengers asked him for his favorite places, to which he replied, “The Mediterranean with all its cultural destinations and, of course, Alaska.”

We were particularly pleased to hear that today’s visit to the Hubbard Glacier was a personal highlight for him, too. Never before had he got this close to the glacier in such beautiful weather. Somehow, this confirmed that this day had truly been something special.

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Since leaving the glacier, we somehow realized that the cruise was coming to an end – but when we reached our stateroom we were reminded of it again when we found the luggage tags on our bed.

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I spent the last afternoon taking photos of the ship.

The covered Solarium Pool

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Outdoor Pool

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Gym

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Rock Climbing Wall

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Park Café in the Solarium area, delicious for fresh salads

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Windjammer buffet restaurant and outdoor area of the Windjammer

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Rita’s Cantina in the passage to the outdoor area

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Dog House

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Main Dining Room

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MyTime Dining area of the the Main Dining Room

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Centrum

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As mentioned in other reviews after cruises on the Brilliance otS and the Serenade otS, the Radiance Class is a very nice class of ship. What it might be lacking in attractions, such as perhaps the Promenade, it makes up for with large glass areas and unobstructed views. Therefore, it is ideal for cruises where the landscape is the main attraction, like Alaska and Norway. To me, one of the highlights of this class is also the possibility to eat outside in the outdoor area of the Windjammer Cafe and enjoy the scenery.

However, on none of our previous cruises did the ship move to the background as much as on this one. It was almost degraded to a means of transport. Not because the ship wasn’t nice, but because the destination was simply so spectacular. I don’t think anything else is needed to summarize the destination – and the pictures also speak for themselves.

So before I continue with the land part of this trip, let me just say this: If you have the opportunity, treat yourselves to something great – book a cruise to Alaska!

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