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Alaska’s appeal lies within its very wildness. It’s a destination filled with brutally beautiful untamed landscapes, teeming with rare wildlife. Perhaps Alaska’s most mesmerising feature are its glaciers; epic ice structures which shift and carve up the freezing waters.
On an Alaskan cruise with Celebrity Cruises, we’ll take you sailing to some of Alaska’s most awe-inspiring glaciers. Read on to find out more information about each one, and what to look out for during your trip.
This tidewater glacier is located 200 miles away from Juneau, just off the Yakutat Coast. While the glacier is still for the moment – leading some to dub it the “Sleeping Giant” – it has had an active past, surging twice in the last three decades alone.
One of the most impressive things about Hubbard Glacier is its sheer size – it reaches almost seven miles wide at the point where it meets the ocean. It also has a reputation for calving, shedding icebergs three or four stories high. The glacier began to form about 400 years ago, from tumbling snow from the sides of Mount Logan. Admire the many angles of Hubbard Glacier from the top deck of your Celebrity Cruises ship.
Mendenhall Glacier is just 12 miles outside of the city of Juneau. It’s said to have first formed 3,000 years ago, during the Little Ice Age. It spans for a massive 13 miles, forming part of the Tongass National Forest and ending at the Mendenhall Lake.
Key things to look out for at Mendenhall Glacier include wildlife: you can expect to see mountain goats, spawning salmon and beavers on your way past. Icebergs floating in the lake are also a serene sight, while the thundering Nugget Falls make for striking photographs. For a different view, take to the skies in a helicopter where you’ll soar over deep crevasses before exploring the glacier up close by foot.
In south east Alaska, 45 miles south of Juneau, you’ll find Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier. Quieter than some of the more well-known glaciers, this spot feels authentically peaceful and unspoiled. Endiscott Arm stretches for 30 miles, and along the way, you’ll discover powerful waterfalls, lonely icebergs, still cobalt waters and more.
Part of this journey is Dawes Glacier, a tidewater glacier known for its calving displays. From your Celebrity Cruises ship, you’ll have a front row seat as it produces enormous, floating icebergs. The glacier is over 600 feet tall, and over half a mile wide. There’s plenty of wildlife to be spotted here too, such as brown bears, bald eagles and whales – so remember to bring your camera.
From the city of Skagway, we’ll take you sailing past Davidson Glacier, which was originally discovered back in 1879. Once tidewater, it’s now a valley glacier with its very own lake (much like Mendenhall Glacier). Davidson is around four miles long and has its source in the Chilkat Range. Why not get up and close to Davidson Glacier by renting a canoe or kayak?
Exit Glacier is part of the Harding Ice Field in the Kenai Fjords National Park, not far from Seward. It is one of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska, with plenty of trails to follow in the area. Along the way, you’ll see markers which demonstrate how much the glacier has receded in the last 120 years.
In total, the glacier measures around eight miles long. It’s also home to the Exit Glacier Nature Center, which is the trail head for the Harding Ice Field Trail: an 8.2-mile round trip through some of the most spectacular landscapes in Alaska.
Within the Kenai Fjords National Park, there’s a total of 38 glaciers, including Ailik Glacier and Bear Glacier. Bear Glacier is positioned at the entrance to the park, and is also the longest in the area, measuring a huge 13 miles.
Discover these awe inspiring glaciers for yourself on one of our Alaska cruises. Browse all of our itineraries and ports of call.
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