The original cruise itinerary called for the ship to head to the Tracy Arm fjord and the Sawyer glacier at the end of the fjord. According to the ship captain though, there was too much ice in the Tracy Arm so he took the ship down the neighbouring Endicott Arm instead.
The ship was offering an all you can eat breakfast buffet in the Izumi Japanese restaurant (one of the specialty restaurants on the ship) for the fjord trip for $25/person, so we took advantage of it. The breakfast buffet (more of a brunch thing really) consisted of a ramen station, several types of sushi (rolls and nigiri) various dumplings, omlettes, skewered meats and sliced fruits. Being up on deck 13, Izumi offered a pretty good vantage point for the journey up and down the fjord.
As we ate a leisurely breakfast, we watched the mountains drift by. Quite remarkable. Soon chunks of ice started appearing in the water, and then the glacier was visible up ahead.
At the end of the arm, about 0.5 nautical mile from the glacier, the captain stopped the ship and made it do a 360° spin so that everybody on the ship could get a view of the glacier.
(I did some colour level adjustment of my photos with Gimp, so the glacier appears a little bit more blue than it actually is, but not too much).
It’s a pretty remarkable sight. From where we were sitting in Izumi, the end of the fjord looked pretty narrow without a whole lot of extra room for the ship to spin around in. At a later Q&A session with the captain and some senior officers, the captain said there was at least a couple hundred meters of space between the ship and the sides of the fjord. Plenty of room.
The ship stayed there for a while, letting everybody get a good look at the glacier, then sailed back up the arm.
This was a pretty cool side journey on the cruise.
Next stop – Victoria, BC