Cruising Hubbard Glacier

It’s 05:00 and we’re sailing into Sitka harbor in a cold moderate rain. It was foggy a half-hour ago but that’s now clearing so we may yet get a decent day for our tour with Captain Davey. Regardless of weather, we have high hopes for sea otters and grey whales in particular.

What a scene to start the day! Just west of Mount Fairweather at 04:56 yesterday. You may have noticed that I’m not sleeping much – there’s just too much to see and do 🙂 (Cathy is getting lots of sleep, though)
This is where my days start – the 24-hour coffee station in the Oceanview Cafe. This was shot at 05:10 yesterday.
The Oceanview Cafe at 05:50. The curved bar is for ice cream picked up just to the right out of the picture. The thing on the pole at the right is a hand sanitizer – once more people start coming, a crew member is stationed there and anyone who doesn’t use it has a bottle of sanitizer held out in front of them. We really appreciate the fact that Celebrity goes to such lengths to keep us safe.
The custom-cooked egg and omelette station in the Oceanview Cafe – the main buffet line has ready-mades.
My smoked salmon omelette, almost ready – yuuum!
The visibility was getting quite low by the time we reached the mouth of Yakutat Bay. I hoped that it was just morning mist that would burn off, and it did.
The Malaspina Glacier doesn’t look like much from sea level – only from the air can you see the vastness of it. Fed by some 25 tributary glaciers, it’s the largest piedmont glacier in North America. The satellite view of the glacier offered by Google Maps will give you a better perspective of its size.
The folks from CruiseCritic got invited to a get-together in one of the Penthouse Suites on the aft corner of Deck 6. Very nice! This is a photo of the group taken by the butler, Nelson.
The outdoor jacuzzi tub on the wrap-around deck.
The main living/entertaining area of the penthouse.
The main bathroom of the penthouse. There’s only 1 bedroom and bed, but what a place for a party with 50 or 60 of your closest friends 🙂
A large iceberg – there was so much ice in the water that at one point it looked like we weren’t going to get very close to the glacier at all, but then the captain seemed to decide that he had found a safe way through and we made it another mile or so.
Set up for one of the regular art auctions.
The helicopter pad on Deck 5 was opened for viewing the glacier and was a popular spot.
Hubbard Glacier – glacier viewing just doesn’t get any more impressive than this. Despite all the ice in the water, though, there was very little calving this day.
Hubbard Glacier, Alaska
Hubbard is getting close to damming off Russel Fjord again, and is being monitored by a helicopter-supported glaciologist team camped on that rocky point.
Hubbard Glacier, Alaska
Hot chocolate with just a drop (or 2 perhaps!) of Drambuie helps keep you warm on glacier viewing days 🙂
I had to leave the viewing deck to get ready for my presentation on gold rushes, which was done to a nearly-empty theatre – it’s tough to compete with Hubbard Glacier on a sunny day. I was actually surprised that even 30 people showed up!
The view of Disenchantment Bay from our cabin as we sailed away from Hubbard Glacier.
A near-perfect view of Mount St. Elias is very rare. The peak is right on the US-Canada border, and is the second highest mountain in both Alaska and Canada.

The size and the power of Hubbard Glacier is incredible, and when I have to choose between Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier when choosing a cruise, I usually pick Hubbard. If not for the high level of calving activity at Hubbard, I’d probably not have a real favourite – there’s not question that Glacier Bay is spectacular. You can see my other visits to Hubbard Glacier on the following pages:


Cruising Hubbard Glacier — 7 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing all your adventures, Murray! Have really been enjoying reading them each day- especially since I will be leaving for Alaska on Sunday. Really wish we were able to see your presentations as well (will be on NCL) – would really love to hear your talks on glaciers and gold rushes! You’re doing such a great service to Celebrity for your knowledge – hope everyone on board knows how lucky they are 🙂

    Happy sailing!

  2. We are loving your cruise updates.Thanks so much for sharing them with us.Your weather has been fantastic in fact I’m from California and we would like our weather Back!It’s been drizzly and overcast the whole week.We have done 4 Alaska cruises with Celebrity in the past 6 years.Following your Blog is the second best thing to being there.We also went out with Floyd in Hoonah and had a similar day.Can’t beat whale watching at Pt.Adolphus

  3. Wow that penthouse is pretty impressive!

    Looks like I passed on a pretty fantastic trip! Doh!!

  4. We loved our day at Hubbard Glacier and stuck it out with eyes streaming in the cold. We had never seen anything of this magnitude. Thank you for your photos; I’ve just had a flick back to mine ..

  5. Tks for sharing the nice pictures.
    I will go to AK in Aug , do you think North sail or South sail is better ?
    north sail see College Fjord
    south sail see Hubbard Glacier.
    many tks.


    • For a first visit, I think that the southbound Princess cruises with visits to both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay are extremely good. Then College Fjord for your next trip! 🙂