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Safari Quest Cruise Review

Itinerary: Famed Inside Passage - May 2007

Safari Quest

The last three days have been amazing! We arrived into Glacier Bay National Park on Wednesday and from there it was nothing but surprise after surprise! The trail loop walk was enjoyed by many while the lodge and the gifts shop were explored by others. Our Ranger Janeane Driscoll arrived at 10:30 am and greeted the guests with her usual welcoming smile! We launched from the dock as lunch was being served. We arrived at Boulder Island to enjoy views of sea otters in small groups of two or three, then larger groups of 20+. We enjoyed watching them play for quite some time then chose to move on the South Marble Island to enjoy puffins, sea lions, mew gulls, pigeon gillamonts, common mures, and even a juvenile bald eagle! The life on this island is quite amazing!

Wondering what was in store for us next we moved on to North Sandy Cove where upon entering the small bay in between the two inlets, we found two black bears! They sauntered along the shoreline for quite some time, eating grasses and checking out the inner tidal zone. Guests on the sundeck enjoyed the views from a telescope that a guest had brought. Reports of seeing the bears teeth ran through the boat! A few kayakers ventured out, while others went off to view the bear by skiff.

We left North Sandy in hopes of catching a bit of the remaining day light on Gloomy Knob just outside Tidal Inlet. With the clouds lifting our daylight lasted longer than expected so we cruised into Tidal where we hit another jackpot of animals! Our first mountain goat cruised the rocky mountain side just inside the inlet and shortly after that we spotted a very large brown bear that cruised the rocky shore unaware of our presence! We sat with the goat for about a half an hour before focusing on the brown bear, where we spent another half hour. He was still cruising the beach as we headed on. Outside Tidal we found lots of mountain goats with babies on Gloomy knob. All the guests were out on deck to enjoy!

The Next morning was filled with glaciers! Our first stop of Margerie and Grand Pacific gave us quite a bit of nice calving and a beautiful view before brunch. At Jaw Point we discovered Johns Hopkins Inlet and Johns Hopkins Glacier! An absolutely beautiful sight to see the winding glacier make its way up into the Fairweather Range. We next stopped at Lamplugh for a slow cruise checking it out and then moved onto Reid Inlet where almost all guests chose to do a walk along the shore in front of Reid Glacier. Noted as the Highlight of the trip all were full of smiles on their way back to the boat.

We cruised back to Bartlett Cove that Night to drop off Ranger Janeane and head out to Jacks Cove for the night. Along the way we spotted a humpback whale in the distance that was rolling in the water just enjoying him/herself. It even waved to us as we passed by with its wing like pectoral fin.

We awoke this morning to sunny blue skies and white capped mountains all around us. We spent the morning enjoying a humpback whale side skimming on the surface and then sea otters in large rafts on our way into Idaho Inlet. We anchored and brought a group of guests ashore for an inner tidal walk where the Expedition Leader explained what was being seen. Another group of guests set out on the kayaks and spent some time alone reflecting on the beauty and serenity. Once all returned onboard, we had a few crazy takers for the rope swing and some good old fashioned swimming. The breathtaking water, though bitter, was refreshing. Lunch service was called and during lunch we headed out in search of more marine life. Along the way there were additional opportunities to see black bears, otters, humpbacks, sea lions, harbor porpoise and an amazing view of the surrounding snow capped mountain ranges.

—Shawnda Gallup

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