It’s the first full day on board for our new group of adventure seekers on National Geographic Venture, and what a way to start off the trip! The morning greeted us with calmer waters and drier skies than the day before as we made our way through Holkham Bay bright and early. As Allison led an eager and fit group of morning stretch class enthusiasts, we cruised the shoreline, looking for wildlife and gawking at the spectacular scenery. The mountains were oozing fog, and the misty shores were covered with bald eagles eager to catch newly returned salmon amongst the sparkling streams and rivers flowing out of the mysterious forest. Who knows what was lurking just out of sight, hidden by the moss-covered branches of young forest at the mouth of the fjord? We will keep our eyes open as we cruise back out later this afternoon, eager to spot our first big land game…maybe a bear, maybe a wolf!
The morning was spent on field staff introductions, safety briefings, and gearing up for the week ahead. Jeff gave a great talk on photography with lots of enthusiasm and participation from the group. They will be ready with their cameras to get the best shots possible with a little help from the photo instructor.
After lunch, guests ventured out on their first off-ship activity: Zodiac cruises through the ice-filled fjord, Endicott Arm! With the ship anchored in North Dawes Inlet, the Zodiacs made the long trek to the glacier. The scenery was unbeatable, and the ice was incredible. It was a chilly and thrilling ride with the Zodiacs bobbing and weaving amongst the ice. Waterfalls cascaded down towering cliffs, bald eagles soared high overhead while arctic terns flitted about, and hordes of harbor seals peered untrustingly but adorably as we zoomed past. The first day of our cruise was a huge success, and we can’t wait to see what Alaska has in store for us tomorrow!