Glacier Bay

Trip Report Glacier Bay & Ketchikan

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Our next two days were spent in Glacier Bay and Ketchikan Alaska.  These were our last two days in Alaska as we then started sailing toward Canada as we were on the second half of our amazing ten day cruise to Alaska with Princess Cruises.

Glacier Bay

One of the biggest benefits of cruising Alaska is going into Glacier Bay National Park. It is only accessible by boat and the cruise ships pick up a park ranger who is available on board to provide information while cruising the bay. Our day started quite cloudy and with a light rain, we were actually worried we may not be able to see much. But as we got further into the bay, we were able to see the glaciers clearly. The water is full of ice chunks floating. It also has a different color due to the glacier ice, kind of a cloudy blue. We spent the majority of the time in our cabins running between our two balconies taking pictures, looking through the binoculars and really loving the entire day. We saw eagles floating on mini icebergs. We even saw a small calve from one of the glaciers. The kids would hang out inside when they got a bit bored or cold, which was also nice. We brought hot chocolate to our room in the morning and had a lovely day in Glacier Bay.


Our day in Ketchikan ended up being a bit of a surprise for us. We had scheduled to go on the Lighthouse, Totems and Eagles excursion but the day before our arrival we were notified the trip had been cancelled. All other excursions we were interested in were booked, so we decided to see what we could find when we got there. Ketchikan required that we tender into the port, meaning we had to ride on a smaller boat from our ship to the dock. There were a lot of ships in port, the most we had had the entire trip, and I think the smaller boats were required to do this. We ended up riding on what would have been our lifeboats had anything happened. In truth, it was all handled very well and didn’t take a lot longer than boarding when we were in port. We found a tour company that had room available for us to hop on board a small bus tour of Ketchikan. We were able to see many eagles and learned a lot about the island. The tour guide had a lot of personality and was a great story teller, we found her very entertaining and interesting. She took us to a spot where a bear had been spotted and we did get to see him in the distance across the river (his picture is below). This was our only bear of the entire trip. We also toured the Saxman Native Village and saw the old chiefs house (shown below). Apparently it is the custom to allow the house to be reclaimed by the earth when the chief dies, so that is what they are doing and it is definitely on it’s way. After our tour we had time to walk around the town. We saw jellyfish in the waters near Creek Street. It think that is the first time I have seen them in the wild to be honest and didn’t expect it in Alaska. We found finding a place to eat lunch difficult in Ketchikan, we also found it to be very touristy. After our lunch, we attended the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. While this is definitely a show and I’m not even sure any of the lumberjack’s were from Alaska, it was entertaining and we enjoyed learning about the competitive aspects of lumber-jacking. It was a great way for us to end our day in Ketchikan.

Our Final Two Alaska Days

Our day spent in Glacier Bay was amazing and unique, I doubt we will have a chance to do something like that again. Definitely bring a great camera with telephoto zoom and binoculars for all to enjoy. As I said, I would definitely recommend the balcony suites as we had a wonderful and relaxing day enjoying the bay. We even chatted with some of our neighbors who were doing the same. Ketchikan is an interesting town and we loved learning about it. We were thrilled to see the bear and our tour turned out great. In truth it was probably our least favorite as far as the town itself went but if you plan ahead, and know some great places to eat and maybe take in a longer tour, the area is beautiful and fun.

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