Friday, May 20, 2022

DESINTATION: Endicott Arms, Dawes Glacier and Juneau, Alaska

Our ship sailed through the night and when we awoke we found ourselves nearing Endicott Arms.  

Waking up near Endicott Arms

Spotting our first baby iceberg aka growler


Endicott Arm is a fjord that is about 50 miles south of Juneau, Alaska.  At the end of the fjord lies the Dawes Glacier. The fjord lies in the Tongass National Forest on the Stephens Passage , a strait in the Alexander Archipelago , from which it runs in a southeasterly direction. In 1980, the United States Congress declared the Endicott Arm, along with the parallel Tracy Arm and their environs totaling more than 1000 square miles, as a Wilderness Area under the name Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness , the strictest class of protected areas in the United States.

From the ship, looking into Endicott Arms


On the small boat and pulling away from our ship

Here we go!

Due to the high density of ice in Endicott Arms our ship's captain decided not to attempt to go any further through the fjord.  Thinking that this might happen, we booked an excursion where a smaller boat picked us up from our ship and took us through Endicott Arms and as close as possible to the Dawes Glacier.


We had watermelon margaritas made from THIS small growler







When we boarded the smaller boat there was a naturalist on board that explained to us that Dawes Glacier had calved overnight and the entire fjord was filled with small growlers.  We had to weave in and out of these growlers, going very slowly.  Occasionally we could hear the awful sound of the boat hitting/raking the ice chunks.

As we neared the glacier the boat's captain turned off the engine because the sounds from the engine can cause vibrations that travel through the fjord and cause the glacier to calf even more.

There's Dawes Glacier!



We didn't see any wildlife inside Endicott Arms but once we were heading to Juneau our boat's captain pointed out a single humpback whale feeding near the Stephens Passage.  We only got to see her one time before she dove down to feed and stayed submerged for 15 minutes at a time.



After nearly five hours on the smaller boat we reached the Quantum of the Seas docked in Juneau. After eating lunch on the ship we headed into Juneau for a little sight seeing.  We have to say that out of all of the ports we visited on this trip Juneau was our least favorite.  The town was extremely crowded as there were several cruise ships docked at the same time.  



We attempted to get on the Blue Express Bus to ride to Mendenhal Glacier, however, the tour guide with the Blue Express talked us out of it saying that it was crowded and would take too long.  With only four hours left at port we ended up walking around Juneau, shopping for a few souvenirs and having a beer at the famous Red Dog Saloon.

Tired from our walk and excursion we decided to head back to the ship and enjoy the hot tub while we had the ship to ourselves!  From the hot tub we could see the beautiful mountains surrounding Juneau and watched several bald eagles flying in and around the port.




This would be our last night in Alaska.  The next day was a sail day before we reached our last port of call, Victoria, B.C.




Goodnight from Juneau, Alaska!


If you'd like to see more of our adventure in Endicott Arms and Juneau please visit our YouTube channel by clicking on the video below!