Today was the fourth and final full day of our expedition in Southeast Alaska. The day started with anticipation, as guests were excited to participate in the polar plunge and new wildlife viewing opportunities. Shortly after breakfast, the naturalists reported a rare bird sighting from the ship’s bow. As we entered Rudyerd Bay among sheer granite walls and snow-capped mountains, a pair of red-throated loons greeted us with the morning sun and begged us to begin exploring. Further into the fjords, guests on the ship’s deck observed five more of these unique birds.

The wildlife made their presence known as we explored the dramatic land and seascape. We observed common loons and heard their hunting calls, while marbled murrelets dove for fish. Then, the naturalists spotted a black bear on the shore. The ship’s crew positioned us all in the best viewing spot — where the wind and waves were so still that everyone could see both the bear and his reflection in the water.

We continued our journey through Rudyerd Bay in small groups via Zodiacs, visiting various sights in a glacial harbor known as “God’s Pocket.” Here, naturalists led guests to discover bald eagles in their nests, harbor seals swimming, and salmon schooling in freshwater streams. Today was a fine day to explore Southeast Alaska.