This morning dawned with clear skies and brisk air over glasslike water and glowing white chunks of ice. After a delicious breakfast, we hopped in Zodiacs and spent the rest of the morning cruising between the luminous, sculpture-like garden of drifting ice and exploring the numerous waterfalls cascading off the towering walls of the Tracy Arm Fjord. From Sawyer Island, we could see the top of the South Sawyer Glacier, though so much ice blocked our path that we dipped in to visit the face of the Sawyer Glacier. We marveled at the meltwater river that has formed an ever-growing ice cave. Suddenly, we were “reverse-pillaged” by a ferocious group of cocoa-wielding Vikings, who gifted us sweet, warming beverages (spiked if desired), which we enjoyed thoroughly before returning to the ship for lunch.

All in all, we had a spectacular last full day in Southeast Alaska, and we even had the opportunity to observe five male orcas swimming around the bow on our way back to Juneau.