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A new Twangster blog!! A new Twangster blog!!! I don't care if it's completely fake and all the pictures have been seen before, IT'S A FREAKING NEW TWANGSTER BLOG!!!!!

A new fake feature is the Royal Transporter.  I dropped by just in time to see some new guests arriving from another ship. 📷 :CBS/Paramount Pricing: For $79.95* (plus 18% gratuity)

I have a fever but it isn't from COVID-19.  I have cruise fever and an itch I can't scratch.    So why not join me for a wild and impossible cruise itinerary involving teleporting between cabins,

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All good things must come to and end including a day at Hubbard Glacier.







I could spend several pages on Hubbard Glacier but this is just a sampler to illustrate why I love cruising in Alaska so much.   I really miss Alaska, fingers crossed hoping for a quick return.

Doh!  In my haste to jump over to Radiance I left my SeaPass card on Ovation.  I need to jump back over now since it was free on short range.  

Please enjoy this relaxing aft view Hubbard sail away as I make my way back to Ovation.


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8 hours ago, twangster said:

As we approach the crowds thicken and the weather starts to improve.

It amazes me how few people choose to experience the full effect - see it off in the distance, wonder at the increase in floating ice during the approach (I have some great pictures of blue and white striped chunks over the side of the ship), moving around the ship as it pivots to give everyone a good view, watching the glacier fade off into the distance as we sail away.

Notice the complete lack of chair hogs in all of the photos. And what's up with all the heavy coats, etc.? You're on a cruise, people - put on the shorts and sandals!

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Since we are nearby let's pop into Juneau.  

The Alaskan Inside Passage is used to reach ports of call such as Juneau which turns out to be the Capital of Alaska and a staple of many Alaska cruise itineraries.  



A quintessential element of Alaska is the float plane and while visiting Juneau it's hard not to see some.


These work horses have been a big part of making Alaska what it is today. 



So it seems fitting to do the short walk over to the Seaplane base and go for a ride.



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24 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Did your tour guide happen to explain why the glacier was so much more deeply ridged on the right side of this photo? Really pronounced compared to the rest of the glacier, more than I'd expect from just shot angle or the like.

A glacier is a moving field of snowpack or ice that is being pulled down a valley by gravity.  

As the field of snow pack or ice progresses down the valley it faces turns and curves.  A right hand turn will see the flow field compress on the right and expand on the left.  A left turn will cause the opposite effect.  This plays out in slow motion over many years and it leads to parts of a glacier being full of hidden cracks, crevices and caves.  Some areas of a glacier are not suitable to walk on as you could break through the surface and end up in a crevice or cave hundreds of feet deep.  

The shape of the valley and how twisty it is causes the different surfaces we see.  In some cases the path downhill forks and then rejoins later down stream.  The flow grinding against the sides of the valley causes debris to break off creating the moraine or "dirt streaks".  When the moraine is centered with clean sides you know that is a sign that two flows joined and became a larger flow somewhere "upstream".  

They estimate for Hubbard Glacier it takes 400 years for the journey of the field to flow from the source until it reaches the sea.  Typically many glaciers share the same source, each valley is a path downhill where gravity does the work creating what we see as a glacier.  Each year more snow falls adding to the snow field where it all starts.  

The Juneau Icefield feeds all five of the glaciers I flew over on this excursion plus many more glaciers in the area.  

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Magnificent views and among other things there are hiking trails.


The trails nearest the tramway are easier compared to some that go to the peak.  On other visits I've hiked some of those and they have even better views but it takes time.





You can hike up to here from town but it's a serious hike.  Most folks should just pay for the tramway. 


Keeping the tradition alive using hand tools only.


Lady Baltimore wasn't in her summer home yet on this visit.

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As instructed we got out of the helicopter with the blades still spinning above us and went to meet the guides waiting for us there.


There were three helicopters that flew in formation and landed together.  Here are two of them.


The helicopters rose into the sky to get the next wave of passengers leaving us on the glacier with our guides.



Our guide showed us her “push up” method of sampling the glacier run off water.  Trust me, that water is COLD!  


Melt water creates cracks and crevices on the surface of the glacier.


From a distance when looking at a glacier you can see dirt streaks where it has scraped along the side of a hill or mountain but up close you get see that moraine trail is full of large rocks and even some very large boulders.


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The state flag:


The familiar thump thump thump of helicopters returning told us our time on the glacier was nearing its end.



Our guides helped us re-board with the blades spinning above us.


Taking off we flew towards the front of the glacier and the lake that many people view the glacier from.


This is not an inexpensive excursion but worth every penny.  I have seen many glaciers in the distance on various cruises and having walked on a glacier and seeing one up close that knowledge and experience came flooding back with every glacier I have seen. 


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I've been learning a new video editing program while at the same time going back to my 2017 videos from the helicopter ride to the Mendenhall Glacier.  This is why I've been delayed posting to this thread.

When I took this excursion I was focused on taking still pictures.  I had a GoPro with me so I strapped it to my head to capture the ride without thinking about ever posting the video publicly, it was just for me use to remember this excursion.   I've learned a lot since then including that a GoPro on your head isn't the best way to capture an experience (I didn't use a GoPro to capture the Five Glacier Float Plane video posted earlier).  Nonetheless the GoPro video of the helicopter excursion is what I had to work with so I've put this video together because I think it does a better job portraying the overall experience compared to looking at some pictures.

This excursion remains one of my top excursions ever and it's something I highly recommend.  Every time I have seen a glacier since the memories of seeing the Mendenhall Glacier up close and walking on a glacier come flooding back.  

I booked this excursion through Celebrity and last year as I monitored pricing of my other Royal Alaska excursions it was priced the same as it was back in 2017.  When it went on sale for several weeks cheaper than what I paid in 2017 I was tempted to do it again but had other plans.  The point is to check your excursions for price drops frequently, you just never know.

With all my excuses out of the way (I'm saving blaming the dog for use later) here is the Mendenhall Glacier by Helicopter video:


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