An Alaskan Cruise Brought Us to the Sawyer Glaciers

When you are on a one week plus Alaskan cruise, you are bound to experience at least one glacier along the way. At the crack of dawn one day aboard the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship, we headed north through the Inside Passage towards Juneau. About 45 miles south of Alaska’s capital city we cut over and into the Tracy Arm Fjord.

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

We were now on a 20+ mile journey through the fjord and its blue icy waters heading toward its apex. It’s there where we would have our first glacier sighting in the Sawyer Glaciers. The decks filled up fast, especially at the bow, once the ship began navigating this narrow passage.

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord on an Alaska Cruise, Celebrity Solstice

Small chunks of ice started appearing randomly floating in the water. We passed by one valley after another, featuring up to 7,000 foot tall snow-capped mountains.

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Before realizing it the face of one of the Sawyer Glaciers was right in front of us. It’s vastness above the surface had me thinking. How far into the water does it go? We got as close as we could safely.

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Throughout our hour to hour and a half stay I did my best to navigate through the masses. I got pretty close to the bow of the ship to capture the beautiful cobalt blue ice that lied straight ahead.

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

If you look carefully you can see a group of people out on the open water in a small tour boat getting a closer look. This excursion took off from our cruise ship. I wonder the views they must have gotten?!

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord on an Alaska Cruise, Celebrity Solstice

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord on an Alaska Cruise, Celebrity Solstice

Tip: If you are there in the warmer months, you might run into some seals and their newly born pups. No sightings for me unfortunately.

Being it was the early morning, it meant lots of coffee consumption while checking out the Alaskan beauty.

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, in Alaska, morning coffee

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, in Alaska, morning coffee

Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, in Alaska, morning coffee

In fact, we would later go on to see the Mendenhall Glacier also around Juneau. Two glaciers in one trip! This mornings Alaskan adventure that brough us to the Sawyer Glaciers was a memorable one.

What are some memorable stops you’ve made on a cruise? Have you had a chance to see a glacier up close?

14 responses to “An Alaskan Cruise Brought Us to the Sawyer Glaciers

  1. Beautiful photos! I’ve only been on a day-cruise to the Bahamas before, which doesn’t really count in my mind. I’ve seen glaciers in Canada though. If you’ve never been to Banff, Canada, it’s beautiful there.

  2. Ahh the serenity. Yes, I was fortunate enough to visit Juneau on two occasions. Both times were amazing. I’ve visited Mendenhall glaciers twice, one time taking a hike through the woods next to the glacier for better views. We also took a float plane over Taku Glacier Field to the Taku Glacier Lodge for a Salmon bake. Thanks for bringing back these great memories. I was brainstorming places that I have traveled for my next blog, and your pictures have been an inspiration.

    • Aaron - elatlboy

      Beautiful glacier experiences you’ve had. πŸ™‚ No problem. Wish could have gotten closer to the glaciers. Should consider a plane/helicopter excursion next itme around one. Will have to check out your upcoming blog post. πŸ™‚ Cheers Stephanie!

  3. Aaron, your photographs are terrific. My husband, sons and I took that cruise on the Solstice at the end of May. We went up the Endicott Arm because there was so much floating ice at that time the Captain didn’t think it was safe to go up the Tracey Arm. It was beautiful, and we saw an amazing calving. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Aaron - elatlboy

      Thanks Liz! Your welcome. Sounds like you guys had an amazing Alaskan experience too. I heard some boats don’t make it up the Tracy Arm for that reason and the sharper turns through there. WIll have to look up the Endicott Arm. Cheers! πŸ™‚

  4. Great shots. I’ve taken 2 cruises that were supposed to go to Tracy Arm and ended up in Endicott Arm both times due to ice blocking the entrance to Tracy. My favorite one was SumDum Glacier, which I think you can see from Tracy as well. At least it looks that way on the map. It’s on the way in on the side of a hill. Not that big and impressive like the one at the end, (which is Dawes in Endicott). I just like the name. Because you can say “I went to Alaska and saw SumDum Glacier.”

    • Aaron - elatlboy

      Haha I like it. The name of that glacier has a nice ring to it. Thank you so much! Hope you do have a chance to see the Sawyer Glaciers sometime. Beautiful, just beautiful. Hope myself to checkout some of the other ones in the area. πŸ™‚

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