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Glacier Bay

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I see the noordam arrives in glacier bay at 7. When does the glacier viewing start? Should i be up for 7am?

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That is when you enter Glacier National Park.  Typically, cruise ships spend the day cruising into and out and it won't be for a few hours before you even get to  the Margerie Glacier - even then, the ship will probably stay there an hour, rotating  so that both sides can view it

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Yeah, Margerie Glacier is the main attraction although the entire trip up the bay can be very nice. I’m up an hour or so before entering the bay as you travel through a humpback whale feeding area.  You’ll pass South Marble Island where there is a sea lion haulout. You’ll also pass by Gloomy Knob where there are frequently goats. It’s not all about glaciers although that may be your priority.

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If you are interested in viewing wildlife, you'll want to be out on deck at least a half hour before entering Glacier Bay and remain on deck for at least an hour or two.  You may see whales (more than one type), sea lions, sea otters, puffins and other birds.  As you get further into the Bay, where the passage narrows and the land is closer, you could see mountain goats on the hillsides, brown bears walking along the shore or browsing the hillsides for blueberries, or even an occasional moose walking along the shoreline.

 

In our 14 Alaska cruises, Glacier Bay has never disappointed us!  In our opinion, the breathtaking glaciers are just a few of the many treasures it holds.  The more you know about Glacier Bay National Park, the more you will enjoy the few hours you'll be spending there. I'd suggest visiting the National Park Service link as a starter...https://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm

 

The waters of Icy Strait, through which you'll be cruising outside Glacier Bay, are also known for the wildlife that inhabit them.  Humpback whales are often seen near Point Adolphus, across Icy Strait from the mouth of Glacier Bay, to the southeast. If you're interested in seeing wildlife from the ship, be sure to have binoculars with you at all times because the wildlife is usually quite a distance away!

 

Hope you have a fantastic and memorable cruise!

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On my southbound cruise, the ship arrived at Glacier Bay around 9 a.m. The naturalist started his commentary on the open decks and one of the television channels at 8:30. We arrived at Margerie Glacier around 1 p.m. The ship stayed around an hour, with both sides given time to view the glacier. We went to Lamplugh Glacier next, arriving at 3:40 p.m. and staying about 40 minutes. In between, the ship sailed within view of Johns Hopkins Glacier and after Lamplugh passed by Reid Glacier. We saw humpback and minke whales and sea otters close to the entrance to Glacier Bay.

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You may get a better feel for timing once on board but as the other posters have suggested I was out early and thought it was a good choice.

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On 8/15/2019 at 12:18 PM, Alaska0799 said:

If you are interested in viewing wildlife, you'll want to be out on deck at least a half hour before entering Glacier Bay and remain on deck for at least an hour or two.  You may see whales (more than one type), sea lions, sea otters, puffins and other birds.  As you get further into the Bay, where the passage narrows and the land is closer, you could see mountain goats on the hillsides, brown bears walking along the shore or browsing the hillsides for blueberries, or even an occasional moose walking along the shoreline.

 

In our 14 Alaska cruises, Glacier Bay has never disappointed us!  In our opinion, the breathtaking glaciers are just a few of the many treasures it holds.  The more you know about Glacier Bay National Park, the more you will enjoy the few hours you'll be spending there. I'd suggest visiting the National Park Service link as a starter...https://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm

 

The waters of Icy Strait, through which you'll be cruising outside Glacier Bay, are also known for the wildlife that inhabit them.  Humpback whales are often seen near Point Adolphus, across Icy Strait from the mouth of Glacier Bay, to the southeast. If you're interested in seeing wildlife from the ship, be sure to have binoculars with you at all times because the wildlife is usually quite a distance away!

 

Hope you have a fantastic and memorable cruise!

 

I'll totally second this post. If you're interested in wildlife, Glacier Bay has innumerable possibilities--but you have to spend the time sitting and looking. If you do, there's no telling what you'll see. On my trip last month, I saw a first for me: two moose swimming across the bay right by the ship. I had to do a double take to figure out what they were, since I totally wasn't expecting that. Otters or sea lions are much more likely...

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Bring binoculars!  DH and I carry ours around the ship, and often just find a place to sit watch the shore or water.  

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