The 26 Glacier Cruise is a staple of tourism in Prince William Sound. Although now it is not 26 glaciers. Some have retreated to the point where an arm of land has split them so there are more than 26. Soon I suspect some of the glaciers will no longer be “tidewater” and we will have fewer. The number is a moving target but 26 is traditional.
A week ago, we had the whole family, Brian, Liz, Fiona, Liam, Kevin, Shannon, Elias Suzi and me, in Girdwood, we piled into two cars, went through the tunnel to Whittier and took the cruise. A highlight was the ranger on board who offered junior ranger stickers to the kid who saw the first of any type of wildlife. Liam got stickers for an eagle, sea otter and whale. The ranger told him to give someone else a change so when he spotted a sea lion, he told his sister to report it and get a sticker. At the end of the cruise they were sworn in as Junior Rangers, sworn to protect the environment.
I suspected this would be the highlight for Liam but he said, no it was seeing the glaciers calve when big blocks of ice fall from the glacier front into the sea with a very loud crack, or sometimes rumble, there is a splash and then a wave approaches the boat while the skipper turns the bow to head into the wave.
We had an overcast day with some sun breaking through, which is ideal for watching glaciers, because the muted light brings out the icy blue.
A little over a week later Suzi and I flew out of Anchorage and the route the plane took was right over where we had been watching glaciers at sea level the week before, out over Prince William Sound, the Malaspina Glacier and Glacier Bay. To see those pictures, click here.