Tag Archives: Alaska cruise

Fun Photo Friday — Off-Season Endicott Arm 1

Today’s Fun Photo Friday is the first of three featuring favorite images from Endicott Arm. Here is today’s photo gallery/slide show:

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Cruising Alaska Off-Season — Bundled Up for Dawes Glacier

Ovation of the Seas entered Endicott Arm very early in the morning, even before sunrise. But we traveled east towards Dawes Glacier at a very leisurely pace, necessitated by the narrow fiord. We also had icebergs to dodge, so there’s that as well. But we enjoyed the view along the way, as there was much to see and photograph. For Cruise 1 you may recall we were in a virtual balcony cabin, so our views this day were from the decks. Thus, we had to bundle up a bit:

Ursula keeping warm in Endicott Arm

I especially enjoyed photographing some of that delightfully colored glacier ice, so be forewarned that you’re going to see a lot of icebergs and growlers during this Endicott Arm series:

Glacier ice — a crystalline study in blue
A growler reflection

The Quantum-Class ships have one truly unique feature located on the forward top deck. This is an observation platform at the end of an articulated arm. It’s called the North Star, and it provides a wonderfully dramatic backdrop for some of your scenery photos:

North Star observation platform

The sheer walls along Endicott Arm provide some really nice photographic subjects, as one might suspect:

Sheer walls along Endicott Arm

And the snow-capped peaks above are interesting features as well:

Snow-capped mountains overlooking Endicott Arm

But the true draw on this leg of the voyage is, of course, Dawes Glacier:

The blue of Dawes Glacier
Dawes Glacier meets Endicott Arm

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Cruising Alaska Off-Season — Misty Endicott Arm

As with most of the stops we made on these off-season back-to-back cruises aboard Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, we visited Endicott Arm twice. And at the end of Endicott arm lies a glacier we had not visited on previous Alaska Cruises — Dawes Glacier. On Cruise 1 our transit of Endicott Arm was cool, damp, and misty, and that’s what you’ll see this week and into next. Starting the middle of next week, the series will show you Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier as they appeared in the sunnier conditions of Cruise 2. After my annual Christmas series for 20 through 24 December, I’ll be returning with one more week of images from Endicott Arm.

Endicott Arm, Alaska

Endicott Arm is but one of two steep-walled fiords contained within the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness. On these back-to-back voyages into this area, we would pass by Tracy Arm and continue on through Endicott Arm to arrive for a brief visit to Dawes Glacier. But before we get to Dawes, let’s look at what happens when glacial fiords meet. The muddy water at the top of the photo below is coming off Tracy Arm, and the green glacial waters below are along Endicott Arm:

Where Tracy Arm meets Endicott Arm

Here is another view where the waters from these two fiords merge:

Tracy meets Endicott

Along our route we encountered both icebergs (larger than 15 meters) and growlers (up to 15 meters in length), and nearly all contained intense blue glacial ice, some of which was clear:

Icebergs and Growlers

Our first visit to Endicott Arm, during Cruise 1, was 29 September. And when I say it was cool, damp, and misty I mean it was…

… cool, damp, and misty

Still, every now and then the sun peaked through and lighted patches of the surrounding landscape:

A patch of sunlight

Along the way, watch out for waterfalls too numerous to count:

Waterfall in Endicott Arm

As you near the end of Endicott Arm, this is where you first glimpse Dawes Glacier:

Dawes Glacier in the distance

Ovation of the Seas is a monstrous Quantum-Class cruise ship, with a gross tonnage (a measure of internal volume rather than actual mass) measuring nearly 169,000. As such we could not get really close to Dawes (My next cruise series will be on the even larger Oasis-Class Harmony of the Seas, which we just took in October-November on a transatlantic voyage from Barcelona to Port Canaveral). Still, we did get close enough that I could zoom in for some glacier shots:

Dawes Glacier at the


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