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Friday, June 8, 2012

Fjords Cruise

Have you tried taking a cruise? Would you want to share with us your favorite cruise, and your best memory from that cruise? Or maybe, your dream cruise? Unlike what most people think, cruises are not limited to several days on the sea and only a few hours exploring on land. There are a variety of cruises that will suit everyone's interest. My present dream cruise is Norweigan Fjords Cruise which I found from MSC Cruises. Since my Kenai Fjords National Park experience, I had dreamed of exploring more amazing fjords. A fjord is formed when a glacier cuts a U-shaped valley. One of the reasons why I wanted to take a Norweigan Fjord Cruise is that the fjord estuary ecosystem is one of the quietest places on Earth (not so well known), yet, they are one of the richest essamblages on Earth that are found only in six locations around the planet: Chile, Norway, New Zealand, Alaska, Greenland and Antartica.
a tidewater glacier that flows out of Harding Icefield
Because taking the Norweigan Fjords Cruise is still a dream for me, let me share with you a similar cruise experience, the one that has inspired me to see the six fjords estuary on Earth. The Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise. Why this cruise was very meaningful for me because a day before this cruise, we hiked the Harding Icefiled Trail. 
Hiking Harding Icefield Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park, AK
Harding Icefield covers 700 square miles of mountains in glacier ice, connecting a network of 38 glaciers. When we were still hiking the Harding Icefield Trail, I never knew that the very strong freezing wind that were mercilessly whipping us at the end of the trail was coming from the frigid Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Alaska. 
Harding Icefield from the Cruise
Physically, mentally, emotionally, the forces that shaped Harding Icefield will continue to inspire and move me. This is a hike and cruise I will never forget. One of the special moments for me was when I took the trail to the edge of the Exit Glacier. At that time, I had never been up close to a glacier yet. Alone in facing the edge of Exit Glacier and listening to it cry through its many waterfalls, slowly, my eyes also became a waterfall of tears. I realized how blessed we all are to have met the tears of the glaciers through the river streams and the ocean we swim. 
A Stream of Water Falling From The Melting of Glacier
In the midst of the loud grumbling of the glacier, I prayed silently, " Lord, I trust in you, that everything happens for a good reason, for a purpose. Grant me the wisdom and a heart to help take care of Mother Earth, this amazing and wonderful home you gifted us with." 
I almost would not leave the edge of the glacier that night if not for my group who I knew must be waiting for me. With deep respect for what nature has unfolded before me, I rushed my strides towards where my family and friend were waiting for me. The next day, we took the Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise, which was the continuation of our Kenai Fjords explorations. 
Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise
If up close at the edge of the Exit Glacier the previous day, I saw the glacier cry and heard it grumbled loudly through its many waterfalls, in our Kenai Fjords cruise, we experienced one of the tidal glaciers roared like a thunder during glacier calving.
Aialik Glacier Calving 
Aialik glacier is one of the glaciers that is fed by the Harding Icefield
It was such an experience to be witnessing glacier calving. The booming sound was many times louder than a thunder or a building demolition. Masses of ice were falling from the glacier several hundreds feet high and throwing water into air. As loud as the glacier roared, were the surprised "ohhs" by the crowd on our boat. The surprised "ohhs" soon simply turned into silence, stunned by the amazing power and force of nature. Soon, after the loud roaring of the Earth, was admirable silence. The birds were flying into the glacier again, 
and the wildlife, were as stunned and prayerful as us probably. For the sea otters and seals, the ice is their answered prayers from heaven.
The sea otters and seals use ice as their refuge from their terrestrial predators such as bears, and the killer whales don't hunt in ice choked fjords. I would have not appreciated it more had I not been in the cruise, I would probably just simply think right away of one negative of glacier claving: the earth is warming, the ice is melting! I would have not seen the positive side to the glacial calving, which is providing refuge to the wildlife, 
allowing the fjords to be one of the richest assemblages on Earth. Though we love hiking the most, but we acknowledge that there are other parts of the world that our feet cannot bring us. Like experiencing the Kenai Fjords deeper. It is for this reason, that we do not close our travel doors to cruises. I am hoping one day, I will again be on board MSC Cruises for another amazing fjords cruise, the Norweigan Fjord Cruise. 


  1. i have never been on a cruise, for several personal reasons!! i don't have a dream cruise!!

    your story is amazing and the images are spectacular...i would not be able to do what you do!!

  2. Oh me too, Betchai! My next cruise I'm hoping to go to Alaska to see the glaciers. So far, my cruises were more toward the South, as I needed warm weather, but I've heard that Alaska cruise isn't that bad as far as weather goes!

    Love your photos!

  3. that joyful,youthful photo of you in red is adorable Betchai! and Harding Icefield is such a beautiful place to visit....one sweet day how I'd love to explore Earth with you!

  4. I can't imagine the feeling of hearing the power of that ice coming down at that speed, must be an amazing feeling to have that experience.

    I am already relaxed just looking at these awesome places... how much more to be there !





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