First mapped in 1895, The Hubbard Glacier is considered the largest Glacier in North America.
Hubbard its more than six miles wide and the face is approximately 400 feet tall. It is situated off the coast of Yakutat and is 20 miles NW of Juneau.
When on an Alaskan cruise, one of the sea days will include a visit to this Glacier. Depending on the captain and the weather conditions, the ship can go anywhere from 1/2 a mile to 2 miles away from Hubbard and will stay there for about an hour while a guest speaker will read information about the Glacier over the P.A. system for all to hear.
Everyone gathers on the open decks to try and get that perfect shot of the amazing spectacle, so it can get crowded, but the atmosphere is filled with excitement.
A small motorboat with about 4 crew members will go out to the Glacier and collect ice that has fallen into the water. This sounds ridiculous I know, but you would be surprised at how intrigued by ice you can be when it as coming from a massive Glacier.
Once the information has been given, the Captain will most likely get everyone to shout and scream in the hope that the sound waves will cause some ice to break off. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. For us, a monstrous chunk of ice broke off the Glacier and hit the water causing the most magnificent splash. It is quite incredible seeing this in real life rather than just on the TV screen.
Tips for when you stop at Hubbard
The early bird gets the worm
If you can, it’s worth going out onto the open decks at least half an hour early to get a good spot, because as I said, it will fill up and if you don’t get there early you will be stuck at the back so you will have lots of heads in your pictures.
Doing a 360
The ship will spin around so it doesn’t matter what side of the ship you are on, you will get a chance to see the Glacier.
The Tripod tip
As it is so crowded, there is a lot of accidental nudging and shoving that can ruin your picture so having a tripod will come in very handy. Also zooming is necessary, and when the picture is zoomed in it all looks more unsteady, so that’s another reason to have a tripod
Out at the back
The back of the ship seems to be forgotten about, so that can be a good place to get your good pictures, before the rest of the crowd realises they are missing a trick.