Alaska is the biggest state in the United States, so it naturally has a great wealth of natural wonders. In 2015, I visited Alaska for the first time. I’d never been that for north before. I’d never seen a glacier before, up close and personal. I’d never seen so many mountains that made the “mountains” back home in Georgia look like little heaps of dirt. I’d never seen whales or seals floating on ice or great bird-covered cliffsides.
Luckily, Prince William Sound offered everything. I took a day cruise from Whittier (a very nice town, I might make another post about it in the future) and from there we began our tour of the sound. One thing about Prince William Sound: it’s enormous. On the map it already looks to be of decent size, but you’ve gotta remember that Alaska is gargantuan. Also the boat was slow… so this cruise took up most of the day.
The tour started by just chugging on by some assorted small glaciers, but eventually we got around the area of the big glaciers, the “College Glaciers”. The glaciers around there were simply stunning.Some of the glaciers seemed to be immensely tall, perhaps 150 feet. Littered around the base of the glaciers are massive icebergs, evidence of the chunks that fall off the ice sheets in a process called “calving”. As the icebergs break up and melt into more manageable sizes, they are sometimes occupied by seals which use them as personal flotation devices.
Prince William Sound is also a notable location for whale-watching. When I was there, I did manage to see a single whale, but I’ve heard that there are usually quite a few more than that. The wildlife that stands out the most in my memory, though, are the seagulls. So many seagulls. At one point, I could look out the ship and the entire cliff was coated with white — both seagulls and their post-meal belongings. It was a scene that would have been right at home in some bird-related horror movie.
Anyways, if you’re ever in Alaska or on a cruise of the Pacific Northwestern coast, make sure you get to visit Prince William Sound! As long as the skies are clear and you’re not paying too terribly much, it should be well worth your time.