|Go To See Alaska
Part 4 - College Fjord
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This is the College Fjord with a total of sixteen glaciers lining the 20-mile long fjord. The fjord contains five
tidewater glaciers (glaciers that terminate in water), five large valley glaciers, and dozens of smaller glaciers.
We were enthralled by the valley after valley filled with massive iceflows. These 16 glaciers are named after
Ivy League colleges (such as Harvard, Yale, Amherst, Wellesley, Dartmouth, etc.) by the Harriman
Expedition that discovered them in 1899. The goal of the Harriman expedition was to find a way to the
Klondike gold fields that did not require a passage through Canada in the Yukon Territory. However, instead
of gold fields, they found an enormous ice field flowing down in 16 glaciers in this fjord.
It took Sapphire Princess cruise ship about one day cruising north from Glacier Bay National Park to reach
this College Fjord which is in northwest corner of Prince William Sound, and is northeast to Whittier.
Map: Click here to see Google Map showing location of College Fjord
All tourists who came out on the deck to enjoy the spectacular views had to put on heavy winter coats because
very strong and cold wind was blowing from the huge icefield on the mountains down into this fjord and there
was no sunshine on this particular day.
Several harbor seals on an iceberg
Many gulls on another iceberg
遠離世俗， 冰清玉潔， 壯觀的哈佛冰川!
Among the 16 glaciers, the most prominent one is Harvard Glacier which is an enormous wall of ice located
just at the head of the fjord as shown in the above two photos. It is one and half mile wide and approximately
225 feet high at its terminal face. Some of these glaciers in this fjord have retreated since the original
Harriman Expedition, but not the largest of them: Harvard which is slowly advancing.
Map: Click here to see Google Map showing location of Harvard Glacier
Zoom in for a closer view of the front of the Harvard Glacier.
Nearby mountains and glaciers. It was a substantial challenge for photography because it was a heavily clouded
day without sunshine. The upper parts and the distant parts of the possibly spectacular mountains were all
obscured and covered by the heavy low clouds. On the other hand, the cloudy day created very charming views
of other parts of the misty College Fjord as shown in the next two photos.
More seals on icebergs here and there. We heard that such field of large number of icebergs near major
glaciers provides a sanctuary for seals. The predators of seals will not come here because the large number
of iceberg is too confusing to their sonar system to locate their prey. Seals give birth on such icebergs.
After College Fjord, it took only a few hours for the Sapphire Princess to cruise from here to reach Whittier
and to complete our 7-day cruise.
This 7-day cruise was organized for the Reunion of the classmates (mostly retired) of Taipei First Girl High
School （臺北一女中學） including spouses, family members and close friends. There were about 100 people
in this group. In addition to the Excursion Tours and regular entertainment programs of the Sapphire Princess,
the classmates reunion had some reunion group activities such as meetings, line dance sessions and demo of
ballroom dancing by experienced members, etc. Therefore, it was a very busy, happy and enjoyable week of
I then got a rental car at Whittier to start my 7-day driving tour of Alaska. (I made the rental car reservation in
Alaska couple months before this Alaska trip.)
The sequence of our 2-week Tour of Alaska is the Following:
One-week Alaska Cruise:
Vancouver in Canada, the starting point of 1-week Alaska Cruise --------> Ketchikan in Alaska (Misty Fjords
National Monument) --------> Juneau (Mendenhall Glacier, Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, Gold Creek Salmon
Bake) ---------> Skagway (8-hour Excursion Land Tour into Yukon Territory in northwest Canada) -------->
Glacier Bay National Park --------> College Fjords --------> Whittier, the end point of our Alaska Cruise.
One-week driving tour of Alaska starts from Whittier as follows:
Whittier --------> Denali National Park --------> Fairbanks (Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge,
Georgeson Botanical Garden, Large Animal Research Station of the University of Alaska) ---------> Town of
North Pole --------> Scenic Richardson Highway going south --------> Boundary of Wrangell-St Elias National
Park ---------> Scenic Glen Highway going west ---------> Scenic Seward Highway going south -------->
Seward, (Kenai Fjords National Park, Exit Glacier) --------> Seward Highway going north to Tern Lake, then
Sterling Highway going west to Kenai, then south ---------> Homer --------> Sterling Highway going north to
Kenai, then east, to Tern Lake, then Seward Highway going north ---------> Alaska Wildlife Conservation
Center --------> Anchorage, the end point of our driving tour of Alaska
Part 5 of 11 of my tour of Alaska is about several attractions at Fairbanks and scenic Richardson Highway. It
is at the following Travelogue web page:
An otter in College Fjord
山在虛無飄渺間， 晨霧迷茫，青山遮不住， 有如仙境，讓人體會
張大千 大師 的 山水國畫的意境。
The cloudy day on August 14 created very charming views of misty mountains and valleys in College
Fjord. Some friends on the Sapphire Princess Cruise ship said that those fantastic views look like
some great Chinese paintings of a famous Chinese artistic painter.
雲的故鄉雪的家， 煙霧濛濛， 有它矇矓之美的魅力。
好一幅晨霧圖! 雲氣繚繞 ! 意境非凡 !