Today’s highlight was cruising in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is west of Juneau, Alaska and can only be reached by plane or boat. The only road merely connects the small town of Gustavus and its airfield to park headquarters at Bartlett Cove (10 miles). We found the history of Glacier Bay to be quite interesting in that it has been forming for just over 200 years! Glacier Bay was first surveyed in 1794 by a team from the H.M.S. Discovery, captained by George Vancouver. At that time, the survey showed a mere indentation in the shoreline. The massive glacier was more than 4,000 feet thick in places, up to 20 miles wide, and extended more than 100 miles to the St. Elias mountain range. By 1879, however, naturalist John Muir discovered that the ice had retreated more than 30 miles forming an actual bay. By 1916, the Grand Pacific Glacier—the main glacier credited with carving the bay—had melted back 60 miles to the head of what is now Tarr Inlet.
National Park Service park rangers boarded the ship early to provide a narrative about important aspects of our visit, and gave special presentations about the park and preserve.
We spent the entire day cruising in Glacier Bay among icebergs and calving glaciers, though the ship did not dock anywhere in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Though we constantly scanned the shorelines for wildlife, we only saw a few seals, a couple of whales, a couple rainbows, several glaciers, and lots of small icebergs. Obviously, the rain and heavy fog did not enhance our visit.
The entertainment highlight of the evening was a production of the Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots. According to Broadway World, “KINKY BOOTS on the Norwegian Encore is a Broadway Caliber Show…I saw Kinky Boots on Broadway, and I was not expecting the version on the Encore to have the same quality for the sets as the original production, but I was truly blown away by how well they delivered onboard…Not only was I impressed by the technical and physical aspects of the production, I was also incredibly impressed by the cast. Every member of the production brought the level of talent, comedic timing, and emotion that makes Kinky Boots such a special show.”
After this fantastic Broadway show, we listened to several musical groups performing in various venues on the ship.