About halfway through our Alaskan cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas, we were fully enjoying our vacation. We had somewhat familiarized ourselves with the ship’s layout and locations, and we had stopped at two fantastic locations in Alaska (Juneau and Skagway). Our fourth day onboard was a day at sea, however, on this particular day we were sailing through the Tracy Arm Fjord.
When we first booked our cruise, I was most excited about getting off of the boat and enjoying the excursions on land, so I was glad we were going through the Tracy Arm Fjord, but it wasn’t at the top of my list of important things to see on the trip. Boy, was I in for a surprise!
The night before we entered the Tracy Arm Fjord area, our servers told us to be sure and wake up early and get to the front of the ship to see the area. My children (unlike their mother) enjoy waking up at daylight, but we were four times zones away from our typical schedule, so they were in a deep sleep when the alarm went off. My husband went out to see if there were any sights to see, while my kids and I slowly got around to waking up. He returned a few minutes later, telling us that we were in for a treat.
We bundled up in our coats and gloves and headed to the deck. Though the temperatures were pleasant overall, the wind whipping around the boat in this area was the chilliest of our trip. Our children wore toboggans along with their coats and gloves, but I found my coat alone to be warm enough for me.
As soon as I stepped out onto the deck, I could not believe my eyes. Chunks of ice floated alongside the boat, as we passed tall, tree-covered mountains with several waterfalls dotted throughout. Directly in front of our ship was a glacier! There were not a ton of guests out and about yet, so finding a spot to view the surroundings was not too difficult. I was so glad that we went ahead and got up early to see the beauty of the Tracy Arm Fjord. It was well worth every lost minute of sleep.
When we originally planned the cruise, I had a picture in my mind of what I imagined the scenery of an Alaskan cruise would look like, and this was the spot! We spent a couple of hours just staring at the natural beauty around us. My husband and son spotted a seal floating by on a chunk of ice, and my son loved seeing the most beautiful blue ice pass us by. At one point, a chunk of the glacier splashed down into the water below. My eyes were seeing things I had only ever seen on tv, and goodness, it was so much better in person! Here is my word for Alaska again- it was breathtaking!
The cruise handled this area exceptionally. A station, offering hot chocolate and warm soup, was stationed in the area where guests were viewing. This was a great convenience! The captain allowed for plenty of viewing time and even made a slow turn around allowing time for all to be seen from all decks and balconies on both sides of the ship.
I probably took more pictures this morning of our trip than I did the entirety of the week. My hope was to capture the natural beauty of the surroundings, but I know that no picture will do it justice. I will never forget the time we spent cruising through the Tracy Arm Fjord. I am thankful for the chance to have experienced it, and am especially thankful for the natural beauty God has provided for us to explore.
Ready to see Alaska by way of cruise?!