The day’s events started earlier than expected with a brilliant showing of the aurora borealis at around midnight. The lights danced above the bow as people captured the show on camera or just drank in the moment.

The real adventure began early as National Geographic Quest docked at Bartlett Cove, the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park. Guests disembarked for some quick early morning hikes, and we took aboard a national park service ranger to join us for the day to provide information and interpretation about the park.

Glacier Bay was in high form today as the blue skies and sunlight poured over calm seas and abundant wildlife. Coastal mountain goats, humpback whales, brown bears, sea otters and tufted puffins were just a portion of the animals spotted from the bow of the ship. South Marble Island provided views of sea otters and pelagic birds of all kinds. The crowning destination of the day was Margarie Glacier, one of the many rivers of ice flowing into the great Pleistocene basin.