We awoke to find ourselves traversing Tracy Arm, nestled at the heart of the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness. A distinct chill hung low in the crisp air; coupled with increasing iceberg sightings, this signaled our approach to South Sawyer Glacier. As the crew hove to and dropped the Zodiacs, we bundled ourselves up and savored the glimmers of sunshine peeking through the wispy clouds overhead. We were shocked at how close to the glacier our nimble National Geographic Sea Lion was able to maneuver, leaving only a short stretch of largely ice-filled waters between us and its brilliant blue face.

An impressive plankton bloom left dark red streaks throughout the icy fjord waters; it contrasted brilliantly with the icy glacial meltwater as we surveyed harbor seals foraging for food and resting with their young pups. South Sawyer itself put on quite the show! Multiple significant calving events occurred, preceded by deafening cracks that echoed throughout the fjord.

Upon our return to National Geographic Sea Lion, our Global Explorers prepared for their Zodiac driving lessons with the naturalists. And finally, what better way to end an incredible week than a polar plunge into a glacial fjord, with waterfalls cascading all around and curious harbor seals watching.