WHAT TO EXPECT ON A HUBBARD GLACIER CRUISE IN ALASKA
July 9, 2016
One reason cruising is such a cool alternative to simply doing a land-based trip to Alaska is because of sailing to Hubbard Glacier. Located between Seward and Skagway, Hubbard Glacier soars impressively into the stark Alaskan skyline from the depths of Disenchantment Bay and is a top sight to see for many visitors traveling to Alaska. Here’s why you’ll want to see this iconic glacier while at sea on a cruise.
What You’ll See at Hubbard Glacier
Seeing Hubbard Glacier from on the water in Disenchantment Bay means you’ll be able to fully take in its large 6-mile long, 400-foot tall face – and that’s only the part you can actually see! It extends much farther underneath the water. Sailing on a Hubbard Glacier cruise means you’ll also be able to get close enough to get a good look at its icy blue streaked exterior and the calving that is consistently happening.
How close your cruise ship can get to Hubbard Glacier while you’re there depends on the weather and amount of ice in the bay. You also may see seals hanging out on icebergs in Disenchantment Bay while you’re sailing through it.
Hubbard Glacier Calving: A “Cool” Natural Phenomenon
Hubbard Glacier is a calving glacier. What that means is that the glacier is constantly shedding its ice from its edge in order to balance itself as it ever so slowly moves forward toward the Gulf of Alaska (yes, though not visibly noticeable, glaciers are always moving and Hubbard Glacier is one of the fastest, hence its nickname as the “Galloping Glacier”). The ice that falls does so in massive chunks that become the icebergs spotted around the sea. As you probably know (possibly from Titanic) icebergs can be incredibly large, so seeing one of those icebergs actually fall into the water is a sight to behold.
At Hubbard Glacier, calving happens several times an hour so if you’re on one of the ship’s decks or your stateroom balcony if it’s facing the right direction (a good reason to book early so you can get a stateroom on the best side for your cruise itinerary) you’ll likely get to witness this extraordinary calving event. Vibrantly blue pieces of the glacier break off and go crashing into the sea below, rippling into a wave around it. It will sound like you’re listening to a thunderous large waterfall as the ice breaks apart and descends. If you’re lucky, you’ll be there on a day when a 10-story tall piece of ice breaks off!
Celebrity's Hubbard Glacier Cruise Itineraries
The Alaska cruise season runs from May to September. To see which itineraries include a day sailing to Hubbard Glacier, visit Alaska sailings.