Alaska Cruises: Glacier Bay National Park
Spread across an impressive 3.3-million acres, southeastern Alaska’s scenic coastal islands, narrow fjords and substantial wildlife offer an inspirational glimpse of the pristine beauty of Glacier Bay National Park.
The highest concentration of tidewater glaciers on the planet can be found here. Access to this natural wonderland is extremely limited and not all cruise lines can offer this access. But as an Alaska cruises leader, Princess Cruises is proud to include Glacier Bay on every one of our exclusive Voyage of the Glaciers and Alaska cruisetours (combined cruise and land tour) plus on many Inside Passage itineraries.
A Changing Landscape
When John Muir discovered Glacier Bay in 1879, he surveyed the unblemished panorama and declared it "still in the morning of creation." Nearly a century earlier, George Vancouver's ships sailed right past it because a wall of ice sealed off the entrance to the bay. But over the last 200 years, the ice has been steadily receding, revealing a stark landscape that is slowly being taken over by vegetation unable to resist the fresh rock and soil. The result is a lush, temperate rainforest of spruces and hemlocks that carpets large portions of the stunning terrain.
At the head of Glacier Bay is the Tarr Inlet, where scientists have found exposed rock that's believed to be more than 200 million years old. The Tarr Inlet is home to the Grand Pacific Glacier, an active body of ice that's slowly making its way toward the Margerie Glacier, which it last touched in 1912.
Johns Hopkins Inlet
As you cruise by the northeastern edge of the robust Fairweather Range, you'll enter the Johns Hopkins Inlet, home to no less than nine glaciers. Framed by rocky slopes that stretch skyward more than 6,000 feet, these wondrous glaciers are eclipsed only by the mighty Mount Fairweather itself, which at more than 15,300 feet is the highest point in southeast Alaska.
With such a diverse landscape, the park provides a variety of habitats for animals, big and small. Large colonies of seabirds, migrating ducks and geese, black bears, seals, sea lions, porpoises and whales are all common here. Witness it all for yourself on board Princess Cruises to Alaska.
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