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-   -   Juneau - NCL Sawyer Glacier Cruise (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/alaska-port-chat/4964-juneau-ncl-sawyer-glacier-cruise.html)

fonger 08-31-2010 01:22 PM

I'm going on the NCL 7-day Sawyer Glacier cruise to Alaska, and I need help with an excursion in Juneau. We arrive at Juneau at 7AM, and depart at 1:30PM. One of the cruise offered excursion is to visit the Tracy Arm fjord. We have 2 adult and 2 kids, so at $200 and $140 each, I'm looking at $680 for this side trip. Is it worth it? On the itinerary, the entire 4th day is listed as "cruise Sawyer Glacier." Isn't the Sawyer Glacier reachable only via Tracy Arm? If we spend the entire 4th day on the cruise ship looking at Sawyer Glacier before we head up to Skagway, should I spend $680 to take a catamaran to look at the Tracy Arm? Won't we see glaciers and wildlife from the cruise ship on our way to Skagway? Please help.

Jill SC 08-31-2010 08:57 PM

In Juneau you might consider going to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Centre instead. There is a bus you catch at the pier that takes you there and back. At the centre there are trails and lookouts for pictures.
Here is a link for information. www.mendenhallglacier.net

gdjoslin 09-01-2010 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by fonger:
I'm going on the NCL 7-day Sawyer Glacier cruise to Alaska, and I need help with an excursion in Juneau. We arrive at Juneau at 7AM, and depart at 1:30PM. One of the cruise offered excursion is to visit the Tracy Arm fjord. We have 2 adult and 2 kids, so at $200 and $140 each, I'm looking at $680 for this side trip. Is it worth it? On the itinerary, the entire 4th day is listed as "cruise Sawyer Glacier." Isn't the Sawyer Glacier reachable only via Tracy Arm? If we spend the entire 4th day on the cruise ship looking at Sawyer Glacier before we head up to Skagway, should I spend $680 to take a catamaran to look at the Tracy Arm? Won't we see glaciers and wildlife from the cruise ship on our way to Skagway? Please help.
If your cruise ship is cruising Tracy's Arm you might see Sawyer Glacier. I say might because if there is too much ice in the arm, the ship will not go all the way up.
A small Catamaran will get you up close and personal.
I do not believe you will see any glaciers on the way to Skagway. If I recall you will see a few ice field near Skagway. Same goes for wild life, seeing any from the cruise ship is rare, and usually far away. A small vessel can get closer to shore if they see any wildlife.
I took the Photo Safari by Land and Sea in Juneau. I Loved it. We saw plenty of whales, the Mendenhall Glacier. We also took a short hike near Mendenhall Glacier, while it is not uncommon to see wildlife on this tour, that day we were not lucky.We saw eagle, but they would not be still long enough to get a photo. Below are photos taken on this took. There is also a gps map of the area we toured. The photo show a large number of whales is out of focus because of a little boat rocking, but I wanted to show you the numbers we saw. I think I paid $175.00 for the tour. In the photo of the Mendenhall Glacier if you look at the lower left area of land, you will see how close you can walk to the glacier, still a distance, but a good view.
http://joslin-family-photos.smugmug....21_jhLLJ-L.jpg
http://joslin-family-photos.smugmug....16_CtGR8-L.jpg
http://joslin-family-photos.smugmug....32_DpKVi-L.jpg
http://joslin-family-photos.smugmug....98_4zMv9-L.jpg
http://joslin-family-photos.smugmug....40_RtMhe-L.jpg

fonger 09-02-2010 11:33 AM

Gary,

Thanks for the awesome picture and the writeup. What great weather you guys had. I have to say, the geek in me really love the GPS tracking map. What/how did you do that?

Fonger

gdjoslin 09-02-2010 05:07 PM

Fonger I use a Qstarz Btq1000. It comes with the software you need. It is about the size of a pager.
All you do is charge it up, then turn it on when you want to log your route. If you are at a spot you want to remember, just push the button on the front of the unit. When you download the track the saved way-points will show on your map with push pins.
I have merged this files with my photos, then you know exactly where the photo was taken (within about 10 meters).
The Data logger's time is set from the gps satellite in the sky. If you do not have the time set correctly on your camera, it will not work. Remember ship's time usually is not port time. Also on some excursions, like one in Skagway you cross into Canada, and change time zones. If you do not change the time on your camera, the photos will be messed up.
Below is a map of Glacier Bay. I can match the photos with the map, and know for use what glacier I was taking a picture of.
http://joslin-family-photos.smugmug....68_qQ8f9-L.jpg

gdjoslin 09-02-2010 05:39 PM

Fonger
I merged a few photos on the map below. You can see a camera where the photos are. The image below is a jpeg and not an inactive program If it were the program, all you would do is click on the camera and it would show you the image.
It also shows you when it was taken.
The image below, was taken on July 5 @ 0838:49 at Latitude 58.882497 Longitude -136.532275. this assumes my camera had the correct time on it.
http://joslin-family-photos.smugmug....11_ZM5Zk-L.jpg
http://joslin-family-photos.smugmug....75_7AwJH-L.jpg

fonger 09-03-2010 12:30 AM

That is pretty freaking sweet! I got to get me one of those.

gdjoslin 09-03-2010 07:39 PM

One more thing about the software. It talks to Google earth. The maps have a lot of detail. I tried using the software on ship (you have to have an internet connection). Takes way too much time to download everything. I do not use it onboard any more.
You can also view the map as above, or terrain, or Satellite
http://joslin-family-photos.smugmug....09_KaWx4-L.jpg
http://joslin-family-photos.smugmug....89_nMmsU-L.jpg


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