Ice! Cold, blue, beautiful ice. As we arrived at LeConte Bay near Petersburg, the presence of floating ice indicated that we were in the proximity of a tidewater glacier. In the morning before breakfast, we launched Zodiacs to cruise through the icebergs. The clear blue color of many of the icebergs made them look like precious gemstones, and some even appeared to have been sculpted by the hand of an expert ice-carver. We were also able to get a close-up look at glacial ice when we landed on shore to admire large icebergs that had been stranded during the previous high tide. In the afternoon, National Geographic Quest repositioned to the fishing community of Petersburg, Alaska. We had multiple options today, including various hikes in the temperate rainforest and to a bog (muskeg), Zodiac cruises to observe fishing vessels in the harbor, flightseeing over the Stikine Icefield, and a bicycle tour through the backstreets of Petersburg. In addition, there was time to stroll into town to observe Alaskan life. After a traditional fresh crab dinner, the sun slowly set, highlighting the clouds in the west and the tall peaks to the east. All in all, it was a perfect ending to a magical Alaskan day.
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.