Jim Free’s Big Vacation: Hubbard Glacier and Sitka [PHOTOS]
Wednesday September 4th was our fourth day on the ship and the 6th day of my vacation. The ship was heading for the Hubbard Glacier.
I had no idea what to expect. I honestly thought we were going to sail through walls of ice on either side of us. That's what I envisioned when they said we are going to tour the Hubbard Glacier. It took a while to get to the glacier itself, and we arrived, we had to wait because there was another cruise ship in the cove.
The captain told us that we would be spending at least two hours in the cove and that he would spin the ship, so regardless of where you were on board, you would get to see the glacier up close. As we approached the glacier, Chris and I along with Lori and John, made our way to the front of the ship and watched the approach from there along with a couple hundred other people.
When the other cruise ship pulled out of the cove, our cruise ship pulled in. These pictures just do not do this thing justice. As we're approaching the glacier, Valerie the tour director was explaining that the Hubbard Glacier grows bigger every year and the ice that we would see at the end of the glacier is over 500 years old.
She also told us that if we heard something that sounded like thunder, that would be the glacier shifting and it's a noise it makes sometimes before a chunk drops off into the ocean. We heard the thunder a couple of times. And with all the mountains surrounding the glacier, the thunder would echo around you. It was a very cool part of the trip.
After we were in the glacier's cove staring it straight on for about 40 minutes, the captain began to spin the ship slowly so we made our way back to our room, which had it's own balcony, and we sat out there and stared at the glacier for another 40 minutes or so.
Sailing in and out of the cove the ship passes through icebergs and visions of Titanic were flashing in my head. But the captain did a great job navigated his way in and out without any issues.
The next day we were off to Sitka Alaska. We arrived in port at eight in the morning. Chris and I, along with Lori and John, signed up for the Sitka Pedal and Pub Crawl. There's pictures of our Pub trolley down below.
We were joined on that cruise buy a bunch of other people from our ship that we got to know pretty well while we were pedaling this thing through the streets of Sitka. We went to the oldest tavern in town and our first drink was the shot called “Duck Farts”. It was a layered drink with Kahlua on the bottom, Bailey's on top of that, and it was topped off with Crown Royal. It's the oldest traditional drink in Alaska and we enjoyed ourselves with that.
We visited two more pubs after that enjoying beers in microbrews before pedaling our way back to our ship. We also did some sightseeing in Sitka including the national rain forest and we saw hundreds of salmon swimming upstream to spawn.