Alaskan Cruise Day 5 – Hubbard Glacier

Today, the itinerary of our Alaskan cruise onboard the Celebrity Mercury called for us to cruise Glacier Bay and visit the Hubbard Glacier. On our last cruise to Alaska, this was a highlight for us.

While Suzanne and the kids slept in late, I arose for an early breakfast at 7:30 with my mother, aunt and sister and her husband. I wanted to be able to get up on deck early for a prime spot to watch the icebergs and scenery on our approach to the glaciers.

The weather couldn’t have been better – clear skies and not too cold. The naturalist on board stated that todays conditions were a once or twice a season conditions with incredible visibility. He was actually giddy with excitement because of everything he could see and relay to us.

It was again neat to see icebergs close up as we approached the glaciers. Of course, some people were a bit nervous to be that close to icebergs and in some cases, pushing them aside with the vessel. Last cruise, we saw seals, sea lions, otters and other animals on the icebergs. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any creatures on the bergs this time. In fact, the icebergs were much smaller in size and fewer this time around too. I don’t know if it has anything to do with it being 2 or 3 weeks later in the season or not.

The glacier was busy with other cruise ships just like the port cities. When we arrived, the Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas was first in line and navigating through the ice field to the glacier. They reported very thick ice up close the glaciers so we wouldn’t be able to get as close as everyone had hoped to get. We stayed back a bit while they took a look at the glacier, then it was our turn.

We had a nice view on the top deck right at the railing. The view was breathtaking. Words cannot do it justice. The naturalist added many nice discussions to the view and let us know what we were seeing. Eveyone was hoping to see the glacier calving (process of pieces falling off into the ocean). However, we didn’t get close enough to see it with the naked eye though the naturalist reported many such occasions using binoculars. We had our video camera zoomed in really far and think we captured a few, but will have to wait until we get home to see for sure.

We stayed as near to the glacier as we could for about an hour taking lots of pictures and enjoying the wonderful view. Then, it was time to go and let the next ship, the Holland America Oosterdam in for her turn. For those who have been reading my daily log, you will notice the many ships we have encountered on this cruise. What’s amazing there is that each place, for the most part, is different ships. This is a busy place this time of year. Cruise ship passengers certainly outnumber the local Alaskan population.

Evening was again another formal night with another fantastic meal. The meal was capped off by the Baked Alaska parade and celebration. We have really enjoyed the evening meals with our group. We don’t always see each other for breakfast or lunch, but have made a point of dining for dinner together except for the one time they were on an excursion.

After dinner, we enjoyed the Celebrity Singers and Dancers production show. It was quite enjoyable. It was also the first show that my mother and aunt have attended as they have been early to bed most nights. They were glad they went. Suzanne sang a couple of karaoke songs later in the evening. The night was capped off by the Grand Buffet. The chefs worked all evening and night to prepare the visual beauty and presentation of the buffet. The first half hour was only for pictures. The eating of the buffet began at 12:30 am. I was still full from dinner and didn’t eat a thing. We were in bed by 1:00 am to prepare for our next destination tomorrow, Ketchikan.