Before breakfast, we woke up to the sound of the ship’s hull breaking ice plaques in the water. The captain warned us that we were sailing next to Hubbard Glacier, so we got dressed in a hurry and ran to the observation deck (level 12). 

The glaciers were spectacular. Amazing. Breathtaking. And any other similar adjectives you can think of.

Their intense blue is due to the way they are formed: layers upon layers of heavy snow compresses the bottom, squeezing any tiny bubble of air out, until only pure ice crystals remain, glacier crystals, which are intense and beautiful blue.

It was freezing, but as we sailed closer and closer to the edge of the glacier, we all stood there, speechless (and perhaps also a little frozen), in front of the spectacle of nature. We saw several “calvings”, which occur when large chunks of ice from the glacier break and fall to the water causing a great splash, and heard very clearly the “white thunder”, caused by calving inside the glacier.

We were extremely close to the glacier, but the captain decided not to get any closer to avoid “shooters”, which are pieces of ice that fall into the water, and “shoot back up”, which could easily pierce through the ship’s hull. Nobody wants to star in Titanic II.

After lunch, Stephanie (blog, web site, twitter) organized a galley tour, much to the delight of the few passengers that had the opportunity to join us. During the tour, executive chef Guido Scarpellini and his assistant Jerry Garcia throughly explained the clockwork process by which they, and the other 65 chefs onboard, manage to prepare a very wide range of dishes, including accommodating many “special requests”, while achieving a consistency and perfection that is hard to be found even in small restaurants.

A bottle of Jacquart champagne and a J.L. Godard movie was awaiting for us in our state room, to say farewell to Alaska and a marvelous cruise.