Tracy Arm Fjord and Sawyer Glacier

Rain tapping on the sliding glass door woke me at 5 a.m. on day 6 of our Alaskan cruise. The ship felt stationary in calm waters. Fog and low clouds swirled around tall mountains rising from the surface of the water. It was time to grab the camera and see the sights.

Glacier runoff waterfall

Glacier runoff and snowmelt rushed down the mountains in waterfalls entering the sea in a splash. Scarred mountain faces wore the signs of a glacier movement from years past.

Glacier carved cliffs

Draped in green, hanging valleys appeared midway down from the peaks.

A waterfall cuts through a hanging valley

The ship sailed through mini icebergs floating in the water, their white and blue colors sparkling under the cloudy skies.

Icebergs come in all shapes and sizes

Years of compression forcing out tiny air pockets between the crystals creates denser glacial ice over time. The dense ice absorbs a small amount of red leaving the bluish tint in the reflected light that we see. Tiny air bubbles are still encased in the ice that we see as white.

Deep blue means denser ice compared to the white
Another iceberg

Shorebirds hitched rides on the icebergs. An eagle even gave us an aerial show. Unfortunately, bears, goats, deer, or harbor seals did not appear for a sighting.

Gulls take a ride on an iceberg
It’s not everyday we see an eagle

As we navigated toward the Sawyer glacier, the overcast skies, occasional rains, and stately mountains on either side of the ship created a spiritual atmosphere that was humbling given the forces of nature that created this magnificent environment.


Humbling sights

We weren’t the only tourists to experience the scenery. We shared the splendor with a smaller cruise ship and a private yacht.

The Seabourn Sojourn
The Serenity

The triangular shape of the North Sawyer Glacier came into view. Although the ship had to keep its distance due to the ice floating in the water, it was a sight to behold. The rubber boat, filled with passengers from the smaller ship, gave the massive cliffs perspective.


Sawyer Glacier
Up close and personal                

Obligatory selfies, of course, were required to document our presence near the glacier.

After seeing the Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm from a distance, we wondered what a trip to Glacier Bay might reveal. Hmm, perhaps another cruise is in our future.

Stay tuned for our next stop Sitka, Alaska.

Safe Travels

4 thoughts on “Tracy Arm Fjord and Sawyer Glacier

  1. Gary Lea

    Leslie and I made that trip several years ago. Unfortunately, the ice floes were so big at the time that we were unable to get up the channel to see the actual glacier. The captain made a comment about not wanting to be another Titanic. Of course, everyone agreed.


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