Tag Archives: sawyer glacier

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?

Pre-Cruise Concerns, No Worries!

I’ve traveled a lot over the years by car, plane, train and on foot. Never exclusively by water. Never via a cruise ship. A new experience was in store for both my fiance and I as we got ready to go on a Celebrity Alaskan Cruise.

Celebrity Solstice cruise ship in Ketchikan, Alaska

There were a few things, concerns if you will, going through my head beforehand. I love being out on the open road traveling, being able to venture as far or as short a distance as I desire. How I would feel being so-called “trapped” in a small area, with water all around, for two days at a time?

Once on the cruise ship, I started walking and exploring going in a given direction until I met railings outside or a dead-end inside. I had the confined feeling.

Alaskan Cruise, Celebrity Cruise

As time went on though I realized with the width of the cruise ship and the number of decks, there was more than enough things to checkout. With a library, multiple pools, bars, a theater and casino, an outside lawn and more, there was lots of exploration possibilities.

The Library and indoor pool, whirlpool on the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship.

Being on an Alaskan cruise and going through the Inside Passage we were pretty close to land at all times so every time you looked the landscape and water were different and always spectacular. I thought to myself, I wasn’t trapped. There is the Tracy Arm Fjord right in front of us from our concierge room and the mountains from an outside deck with Skagway straight ahead.

Tracy Arm Fjord in Alaska from concierge room

Lawn, Deck 15, Celebrity Solstice in Skagway, Alaska.

Another concern was the weather and the waves and the possible motion sickness as a result.

The first night while trying to sleep, the waves on the open sea didn’t help my thinking. It seemed to be much better when out-and-about and having fun than when parked in one spot or trying to rest in the room. Checking out the waves up close in front of night two seemed to help. 🙂

Throughout the week-long cruise I noticed a lot of people wearing wrist bands and patches by the ear to help combat the motion sickness.

Not packing enough was at the forefront of my thoughts too. Swimming, the excursions, having to pack for all seasons and the formal dinners and functions on the ship all lead to what if I forget to pack something.

It turned out to be warmer than usual so a lot of the heavier clothes never got used. The rain jacket turned out to be my best friend, when it was cooler, raining or just damp like at the Sawyer Glacier.

Wearing rain gear at Sawyer Glacier in Alaska.

While on the cruise ship you could hangout and enjoy everything at your own pace, even more than I realized. What about the formal dinners and other functions? The timing of those was somewhat loose and if you felt like getting soft-serve ice cream and random assortments of food for dinner wearing shorts and flip-flops, you could have at it. There were plenty of shops on the ship and at the ports of call in case something was really needed.

Now on the silly side before the trip I was thinking about what I was going to do about my morning coffee. The excursions and ports of call fun were thought out ahead of time so I knew that there were coffee opportunities off the ship. What was on the cruise ship was more of mystery until we got on it. The first morning put the biggest smile on my face when I read the ships daily newsletter and saw that they had a grind of the day at a coffee shop on board, Café al Bacio!

Café al Bacio, Celebrity Solstice cruise ship, coffee shop

What a sigh of relieve. With specialty drinks and more, that meant it wouldn’t be exclusively black coffee on the open water. 🙂

A lot of the worries and concerns I had beforehand turned out to be an afterthought as the cruise got going. The Alaskan Cruise was an amazing experience for the both of us and next time I can just say, “No worries!”.

What things or concerns were on your mind before your first cruise?