Sailing the Inside Passage to Juneau – Can it Get More Beautiful Than This?

Every time we visit Alaska and sail the Inside Passage, I am always in awe of the serenity and beauty of it all. Gliding through the narrow channels of the Clarence Strait is always beautiful. The clouds above us had thickened overnight so we awoke to very overcast skies. Amazingly though, the clouds gave a blue/green hue to the icy waters we sailed through seemed more colorful than if the skies above were clear.

With countless small islands on either side of us, we sailed along with barely a ripple on the waters of the Inside Passage. Because the area in southeast Alaska is technically a rain forest, the islands and mountains surrounding us were thick with dense forests. The moss laden trees could be seen everywhere. The inlets and waterways that we passed were so calm, they appeared glass like; and the reflection of the surrounding mountains could be seen so clearly in the water that it was like a mirror.

What made the morning spectacular was all of the whale activity in the area. We were greeted by orcas and humpbacks for several hours. Someone (not us) even saw a black bear on Admiralty Island – which has the largest population of black bears in Alaska – more bears than permanent residents actually. The whales traveled together in groups of two or three. We saw whales spouting off in the distance and coming pretty close to the ship (within 50 yards or so). I got pictures of a humpback rising up above the water and slapping its fin. And, I have some fabulous pictures of a humpback’s tale that was spotted with white barnacles.

Although our original itinerary included a visit to Tracy Arm Fjord and the Twin Sawyer Glaciers, because of tide ranges, we were not able to do so. As pulled into Holkham Bay at the entrance of Tracy Arm Fjord, many of us noticed a huge hanging glacier on the left bank of the entrance. I do not know the name of the glacier, but it was spectacular. The colors of turquoise were quite noticeable. The turquoise color is the result of the density of the glacial ice. The darker the colors of b