Daybreak aboard National Geographic Sea Bird was met with a chorus of gull calls and friendly greetings amongst new friends. The vast blue sea constrained by the magnificent walls of metamorphic rock. Naturalist Al Trujillo had a smile plastered to his face. This, as he often reminds travelers, is his favorite place on earth. It is easy to see why. The walls of the canyon rise 2,000 feet and are lined with low-hanging clouds. Blue glacial ice flows by and provides temporary refuge for tern and eagles until it meets the end of its current phase of the water cycle.
The highlight of our day was undoubtedly our Zodiac cruises. As we weaved through the ice, we dodged both bergs and critters: seals abounded in the murky depths and periscoped on occasion to survey our movements. Deep within the fjord to birth their pups, the animals are charismatic symbols of Southeast Alaska. Their expressive faces show bewilderment as our boats passed by, alien visitors on foreign craft. Although we were careful to avoid disturbing them, the seals were unperturbed by the sounds of our engines and the rapid calving of South Sawyer Glacier.
Back on board, everyone settled in for one final night of recaps, cocktails, and celebrations. It has been an extraordinary cruise for staff, crew, and guests alike. None of us will forget our time in Southeast Alaska.