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Friday, September 09, 2011

Day 20: Alaska...Cruise in Kenai Fjords National Park

August 27, 2007, Day 20 of our Alaska trip, was a no-travel day; and it was a real treat for Driver Doug. There had been only one prior no-travel day in these 20 days, and that was the day of our flat tire in Reed Point, Montana on Day 5.

The Renown Tours bus picked us up at the campground on this morning of our half-day cruise. The driver drove us around Seward a little and pointed out points of interest before dropping us off at the Renown Tours office.

100_0350-Kenai Fjords NP with Renown Tours
We boarded the Glacier Express, a large high-speed catamaran, for a tour in Kenai Fjords National Park.

100_0412-Kenai Fjords NP with Renown Tours
The day was overcast, and we did encounter some light rain, but nothing so bad as to spoil our trip.

The swells were pretty high in the the open water, but calm in the areas where we stopped to view wildlife or glaciers. As a precaution, I bought some seasickness pills and took two. But I think I would have been all right without them. There were a few sufferers on board, though.

During the six-hour cruise, we saw sea otters, puffins, a bald eagle, orca whales, harbor seals, stellar sea lions, and a magnificent calving glacier (Aialek Glacier). We were awestruck by the sounds the glacier made. There were sounds like gunshots and others like thunder. It was amazing.

100_0357a-Harbor Seals-Kenai Fjords NP with Renown Tours
Harbor Seals

100_0372-Orca Whales--Kenai Fjords NP with Renown Tours
Orca Whales

100_0376a-Sea Otter-Kenai Fjords NP with Renown Tours
Sea Otter

100_0380-Kenai Fjords NP with Renown Tours
The boat in this picture gives a perspective of the size of the glacier.

100_0384-Kenai Fjords NP with Renown Tours
A closeup of the calving glacier.

100_0419-Stellar Sea Lions-Kenai Fjords NP with Renown Tours
Stellar Sea Lions

The cruise was definitely a highlight of our trip. Besides giving Doug a welcome day off from driving, it gave us the opportunity to see things we'd never seen. Unless you've experienced the sounds and sights of a calving glacier, you just can't imagine the awesomeness of it. And what fun it was to see all the wildlife, too. My photos aren't the best; but, hopefully, they'll give you a feel for what it was like.

6 comments:

  1. Wow! I would be completely overwhelmed. What a trip! Hope I can see some of these sights one day.

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  2. What a wonderful day, and amazing wildlife. I remember some sightings and everyone would run to that side of the ship.

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  3. Thanks, Ruth.

    I hope you can, too, Elizabeth.

    Steve - Ha! That happened on our cruise, too.

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  4. I think those photos are awesome. What a fantastic trip! It sure was one to Behold the Beauty!

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