June 20, 2015
Our first full day aboard the Radiance of the Seas was technically a sea day, but the wonderful thing about Alaska cruises is that no sea day is “just” a sea day; today’s sea day included a trip into the Disenchantment Bay to see the Hubbard Glacier. While there are a lot of glaciers visible on this cruise, including some that you can actually walk on the glacial ice, Hubbard Glacier is unique because of the frequent large calving or breaking off of icebergs from the main glacier into the water. There are reports of icebergs the size of 10 story buildings calving off from the glacier and because of the extreme size of the icebergs ships have to be cautious as they get closer to the glacier, but the Captain is able to get quite close and give passengers excellent views of the glacier, turning the ship slowly in circles so that passengers can experience the full majesty of the sight from both the port and starboard sides of the ship.
Many of the Alaska ports require a smaller ship, but even if that weren’t the case I feel that the Radiance class is the perfect ship to see Alaska. If you don’t have a balcony or suite cabin with a private, unobstructed, balcony the best place on the ship to get a good, full view of the glacier is from the Helipad, which is thankfully open to guests on the Radiance Class of ships. Aside from the Helipad, which can get crowded if you don’t arrive early, the Radiance class of ships have a large number of viewing areas both outdoors and indoors through large windows if you want to avoid the wind, which can be especially harsh when coming off the glacier. Summers in Alaska can be quite warm, but the winds off of the glaciers can be particularly biting, so I highly recommend taking a jacket with you on any Alaska cruise.
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