When the first guests started to arrive on the bow of National Geographic Venture at 6:00 a.m., we had already passed through Holcomb Bay and entered Tracy Arm Fjord. Hours away from our final destination at South Sawyer Glacier, the crowd stood awestruck at the sight of the two-thousand-foot sheer granite walls and dramatic valleys beside us as we navigated through the fjord.

Small groups were taken in Zodiacs through the geologic masterpiece towards the viewing distance amongst stunning metamorphic stone. We were sure to maneuver safely through the recently calved ice floating around us and, of course, the adorable baby seals hauled out on them with their nursing mothers. At this time of year, harbor seals use the protection of the fjords to protect them from predation. We are careful not to stress them as we pass, and it is quite easy for guests to get adorable photos of the pairs. There were quite a few misty eyes near the face of South Sawyer Glacier as many were viewing the striking blue of a glacial face at such close proximity for the first time in their life. We were able to spend nearly an hour in the serenity of its shadow.

As we continued the last day of our adventure, photos were collected for the guest slideshow, snacks and laughs were shared, and we convinced our braver travelers to take part in a polar plunge! Off the back of our ship, an audience watched from above as one by one, guests jumped into the icy waters beneath! It was a truly incredible voyage this week, topped off with an impressive slideshow of our travelers’ photos and an amazing sunset. Until we meet again, friends!