As if awakened from one dream and into another, last night we crawled out of our beds, snuggled into our warmest coats, and were beckoned to the sundeck to observe the magic of the aurora borealis, or the Northern Lights. What began as a subtle green cloud soon developed green spires and swirls that shape-shifted silently and slowly while National Geographic Venture drifted along, rippling the silky reflection across the water as it went. Soon, the defined and glowing green lines began to dissipate into a soft glow above the silhouetted mountains, and many of us returned to our warm beds. Those who lingered, however, heard the telltale blow of humpback whales that circled the ship’s bow and accompanied it for a few miles along its midnight march.

In the morning, we arrived in Petersburg where we enjoyed muskeg hikes, bicycle rides around the small town, and Zodiac tours of the boat docks. We spent the 70-degree, sunny day with adventures and exploring shops and cafes in the heart of town. After a delicious crab and rib feast, we are excited for a good night’s rest before Glacier Bay tomorrow—if only the magic of Southeast Alaska would let us sleep!