Today was loaded with fantastic views and adventures on National Geographic Sea Lion. The base for our activities was the charming town of Haines. With not a cloud in the sky and temperatures clearing the 70-degree mark, the conditions for our adventures were perfect. From town, many of us set out on a number of different destinations to take in the beauty of Southeast Alaska. The first group off the ship set out to hike to the summit of Mount Riley. Among the highlights of the hike were lichen-laden trees, the scat of bears and moose, and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Some hikers were driven to the Canadian border to hike through the tundra. Others opted to fly fish within the river system with experienced local guides. Selections of artisan foods and crafts lined the streets of the town, and many took the day to relax and take in the sights, sounds, and flavors of Haines.
Perhaps the most universally beloved activity of the day was the flightseeing tours above the glaciers surrounding Haines. From the air, guests took in the beauty and power of the ice that has shaped this land over the centuries. The magnificent blues and whites of the surrounding landscape made it easy to take breathtaking photographs. Wildlife was visible from high above the Alaskan wilderness. The flights provided a safe viewing opportunity to witness a mother bear and her two cubs traverse the icy landscape. This firsthand experience also provided a tremendous setup for the evening’s presentation on glaciers.
As we departed Haines, the favorable weather allowed for exceptional viewing from the bow of National Geographic Sea Lion as the sun set beyond the mountains. Snowmelt illuminated by the faint glow of the sun, moored fishing vessels, and lighthouses atop rocky isles were a beautiful sendoff to a phenomenal day.