Bright and early the morning after our Juneau adventure, The Eurodam entered Glacier Bay National Park around 6am. Funnily enough, we happened to watch Titanic the night before embarking on this Alaskan cruise, but I simply didn’t have enough space in my mind to think of anything other than the awe-inspiring views as we cruised through the park. 

As difficult as it was to get out of bed and head outside in the light rain and 20 degree weather, this park has been on my list for the longest time. So I put on two layers of leggings, tucked my hair into a beanie, laced up my hiking boots and braced myself for the cold. 

Visitor tip: If you have the ability to get outside or even better to get on the water in a kayak, do it! It’ll be likely be freezing but it’s so worth it to get surrounded by these views and get up-close and personal.

One of the largest protected parks, Glacier Bay National Park is roughly 3.3 million acres of wilderness. Glaciers cover almost 30% of the park, although about 50 are named and seven are active. It was just in 1980 that this area was named a National Park, but it has been a protected area for almost a century. For thousands of years before that the native Tlingit peoples have lived with and fostered this land. 

(Not so) fun fact: A rare occurrence in the 21st century, Margerie Glacier is actually advancing. With that said, it’s also on the water’s edge so it will likely be receding by the time it deposits enough bedrock fragment to build a stable ground to advance.

Being one of the most protected areas of wilderness in the world, there are strict regulations on the amount of visitors and ships that are allowed access to the park every season. Holland America is one of the cruise lines that have been operating in Alaska for so long that they have access to this national park.

Everything was quiet that morning and after a few hours the weather started to clear. The waves lapping against ice and a few birds chirping were the loudest noises in the air as we glided through the boundaries of the park. I was able to escape the small crowd on the bow of the ship and enjoy the peace from our veranda. 

Glacier Bay National Park was the closest I’ve felt like being on a different planet. The quietness of the park contrasts the magnificence of these giant frozen rivers and you’re left feeling small in the best kind of way.