Stretching and yawning the sleep out of our eyes, we wandered up to the bow of National Geographic Venture extra early this morning to take in stunning views of Johns Hopkins Glacier. We had traveled all the way into one of the most northern fjord arms of Glacier Bay National Park. The robust reputation of this park did not lead us astray. Massive walls of ice loomed at the end of the inlets and even let loose a tumble of ice in a thunderous boom. We spent the day navigating down-fjord while viewing coastal brown bears on the beach, whales and otters in the water, and birds aplenty. Later, we cruised by South Marble Island, where eagles, puffins, murres, gulls, and sea lions all congregate. An amazing spectacle and a true tribute to the value of our nationally protected lands.
National Geographic Quest
National Geographic Quest arose amidst light clouds within the protected waters of Ushk Bay. This area is known for a salmon stream and yields plenty of opportunity for kayaking and exploring the vast meadows of its inner waterways. On this day’s occasion, guests were able to hike and paddle their way along the coast of Ushk Bay and witness firsthand the life cycle of Pacific salmon making their way upstream. As we transited through Peril Strait, we were lucky to see humpback whales. These immense mammals were “lunge feeding” very near our ship. Being able to witness this event was unique for guests and staff. Lunge feeding is process through which individual whales push their gaping mouths through the surface and collect any fish or planktonic invertebrates in the process. Witnessing this behavior was truly a remarkable experience for all. We will cherish this moment for a lifetime.