Glacier kayakingAlaska, USA
While some wring their hands at the mention of shrinking glaciers, a beautiful side-effect of glacial retreat peppers Alaska’s Prince William Sound. A 16-kilometre trail of ever-changing ice sculptures graces the bay, creating a striking landscape best explored by kayak. It’s a two-hour water taxi trip to the Columbia Glacier, but keep your eyes peeled along the way for seals, sea lions and, if you’re lucky, whales.
When you arrive, swap the motor for a paddle and coast around the vibrant blue shards, listening as great chunks of ice crash from the terminus of one of the world’s most rapidly changing glaciers. Scientists predict its retreat will halt in the next five to 15 years, when it will stabilise and cease shedding.
- Witnessing the magnitude of icebergs right up close
- Sipping on your hot drink after you’ve been out on the chilly water
- Seeing whales and seals, if you’re lucky
- The pain in your arms the next day
- You’re at the whim of the weather, so if it’s looking bad the trip will be cancelled
- Waiting for beginners to catch up
Fly from Anchorage in Alaska to Valdez with Ravn Alaska. The flight takes about 45 minutes and the views are spectacular. If you’d prefer to go by car from Anchorage, it’s about a six-hour scenic drive.
Day tours with Pangaea Adventures cost US$259.
The waters are usually calm but you’ll need decent upper body strength to paddle for four hours.
Your hands will get really cold, so be sure to bring gloves.