Cruises Too Close to Glaciers in Alaska?

Pick up any vacation guide or tourism brochure and you’ll find a host of cruises. One of the most popular destinations for cruises is Alaska, and when you consider everything this untouched state has to offer, it’s no surprise why. Alaska is a rare and wild land, and its icy waters are equally unbridled. Tourists can see all of nature unfold whether its observing a Kodiak bear catching a salmon or a spotting a humpback whale in search of food.

Alaska’s landscape offers the best for any explorer intrepid enough to find it, but with the climate changing, this landscape is already experiencing dramatic shifts. For those who have always dreamed of an Alaskan cruise, this is the time to take one. The waterways of Alaska are the longest protected channels in the world, and the opportunities they offer sightseers are unparalleled. However, as the ice melts and glaciers calve, popular destinations are facing the potential of disappearing altogether.

Though glaciers remain a staple of sightseeing, they have been noticeably receding for decades. Columbia Glacier, for example, has receded nearly 10 miles in the past 25 years. When glaciers recede, the icebergs they leave behind can also present a significant threat to ships as witnessed by the Exxon Valdez accident. With aerial studies showing thousands of glaciers retreating around Alaska, there is no doubt that this landscape will look dramatically different a few years from now.

While ships do their best to minimize their ecological footprint and comply with all environmental policies, many studies highlight the growing dangers cruise ships pose to these areas. With endangered whales and other aquatic creatures coming into contact with cruise ships, the threat these ships pose may shut down or at least reduce access to these locations.

Alaska has always offered residents and tourists alike the chance to integrate themselves with nature without taming it. The climate of Alaska is no different, and those who long to visit Alaska should do so before its fabled sites fade away. As of now, cruises may still visit these sites, so now is the time to take the trip of a lifetime.

This entry was posted in Travel Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.