EDIT – There is a link at the bottom of the post to a Google Photo album full of pictures of Endicott Arm.
I spent the most luxurious day of the cruise sailing in/through
Tracy Endicott Arm Alaska. When I boarded the Grand Princess in San Francisco almost a full week ago, I booked a day in the sanctuary for the day we sailed to Tracy Arm.For a modest $60 fee, I had access to the Sanctuary for the day. I was up before 5am and on deck in the 45 degree, windy weather and ready to see the ice and glaciers. I made a quick return to my cabin for the windbreaker that goes with my fleece jacket.
Now; before I continue, I have to address one small matter….you see….we were scheduled to sail in Tracy Arm. In fact; we did not.
I must quote from the “Captain’s log” to tell the story properly. “30 Aug 2019 – Endicott Arm – During the night Grand Princess sailed through Stephens Passage, towards Tracy Arm. In the morning, at 05:00 am; Grand Princess aborted attempt to enter Tracy Arm due to a large piece of ice in the middle of the bar, and entered Endicott Arm. After many alterations of coursxe and speed to ensure a safe transit the Grand Princess was in position to Dawes Glacier at 08:30. Grand Princess then retraced her track through the Fjord and exited the Arm at 11:35. The two pilots which provided guidance throughout our cruise were disembarked at 14:08 at Cornwallis pilot station and after we proceeded on a South Easterly course towards our next port, Victoia; entering Canadian waters at 22:15. Noon position 57degress41.3’N; 133degrees 44.4’W.
I’m sure there was an announcement somewhere along the way as to the change of course etc….but you will certainly understand after reading the following why I was just slightly confused!
Back to the story & photos….
By 6 am I was settled in the assigned lounge chair, sipping champagne between cups of coffee.The angled glass windows helped break the worst of the cold wind. Located one deck above the bridge it was a great view. Watching the people on top of the bridge in the wind reinforced my decision to book the sanctuary.
In the photo below; you might notice the goats and hats etc on the guests….everyone except the lovely bride!!! This photo was taken about 8:30 am; right in front of the glacier. Up that close to the Dawes Glacier; the wind was not howling like it was in the preceding hours.
Taking pictures required me to get up and move to another area, but it was a great place to spend the day!!
With the red check fleece blanket (s) tucked around my legs, I enjoyed the ear warmer headband provided. Not to long went by and we were served fresh warm cinnamon flop donuts, followed by made to order breakfast omelettes.It was so good I forget to get the picture until the end. Cold air makes you hungry and I ate while it was HOT!
The endless cup of coffee and glass of. Champagne. (Did I mention they greeted us with champagne and the glass was not empty all day?) The travel mug was a complimentary gift, along with all that nice champagne.
After the eggs came the tray of pastry….and more coffee and champagne.
The best pastry on the ship! (Yes…that is chocolate inside) As we progressed up the Arm to the glacier we were seeing ice in the water.
The lovely hostess in The Sanctuary was kind to take a photo of the glacier with me in the shot.About 9:30 am we turned and took the same route back out of the arm. Along the way I managed a little bit of a nap before lunch was offered and served.I chose grilled shrimp and white bean salad with tomato. It was a lovely lunch, followed by more champagne. Naps were taking place all over the place. I managed to sneak in about an hour or so.
Yes, still covered up with the plaid blanket while the day progresses. Supposedly the air temp was 54 degrees at the high point…but that was after we left the arm and were sitting out in the sun out of the wind. (I think it was about 38 starting out with the wind gusting!) (That 54 degrees was a fantasy in my opinion….)
Tea time on the ship means fantastic service in the Sanctuary too.
Small sandwiches being served to each guest while we sail towards Victoria BC.
Loved the egg salad and the soft roll.
I had to skip the round of fancy cookies that came next! And the fancy pastries. I held out for the raisin scones, jam and “clotted cream”.The day ended for me at 5 in the Sanctuary, which was dinner time. I ate very light!!
If you are sailing on Princess to Alaska I highly recommend the scenic day package in the Sanctuary.
Watch for more posts on my 10 day cruise to Alaska in coming installments!
UPDATE – here is the link to the photos –View of Dawes Glacier and Tracy Arm Photos