What a great day aboard National Geographic Venture. Today we visited Glacier Bay National Park. We started the day with hikes outside of the park visitor center in Bartlett Cove—a great location for birding and enjoying the lush, moss-covered forests. Then we headed up into the park with the ship. Glacier Bay is a large fjord system, where a giant glacier once stood hundreds of years ago, which has since receded. The bay is now filled with water and is accessible by ship. True to its name, a few smaller glaciers still feed the bay today.
While cruising, we were treated to many wildlife viewing opportunities. Steller sea lions were spotted hauled out on South Marble Island in addition to many different bird species, including both tufted and horned puffins. Whales, both humpback and killer, were seen from a distance. Mountain goats were spotted on the cliff faces of a ridge called Gloomy Knob, and a large brown bear was seen at the shore.
At the end of the day, we made our way to the faces of two glaciers, Margerie and Grand Pacific, in the northern part of the bay. We were treated to great views all the way up to Mt. Fairweather as the clouds lifted and the sun was shining. What a day.