Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska – near Seward
Dolphins, whales, porpoise, glaciers, puffins, bald eagles, mountains
100+ miles round trip (by boat).
N/A – at sea level
N/A – at sea level
As much time as it takes! A fjords tour can be anywhere from 6-10 hours long.
Not allowed on most boats. Please check guiding service for current rules regarding pets.
Yes. Prices vary by company.
Bring a liter of water. You will be sailing on the ocean which sometimes can be rough.
Summer. Most companies only offer tours of the fjords in the summer months
Most fjords touring companies offer morning to early afternoon tours.
You will be inside a comfortable boat.
On board the boats.
Yes. Near Exit Glacier
Most fjords touring companies offer snacks and other food items for purchase on their vessels.
Good camera, hat, sunglasses, sweater and rain jacket, heavy socks (my feet got cold when I would walk around on the outside of the boat), Dramamine, snacks, food and water.
Seward Harbor: 60.118309°, -149.438349°
Fox Island: 59.929290°, -149.341193°
Aialik Glacier: 59.948041°, -149.743627°
Holgate Glacier: 59.854199°, -149.873584°
Surprise Glacier: 59.839866°, -149.870365°
You might want to consider bringing some Dramamine as people can experience sea sickness or nausea while on a fjords tour!
Note: I am including pictures of all three times I have visited the national park.
Kenai Fjords National Park is a place where you can see ocean, glaciers and mountains all mixed together. I have visited Kenai Fjords National Park three times now and find it more and more fascinating every visit. Since Kenai Fjords National Park is mostly near the ocean and highlights, you guessed it, all of the fjords, you are going to need access to a boat! Or if you simply want to visit Exit Glacier then you can drive up to it (I’ll post about Exit Glacier in a different Trek).
I’m not going to post the name of the boat guiding service that we used for our trips into the national park but we used the most popular guiding company. We simply called their business number and made reservations for the next day. You may want to call or book online in advance as many of these tours fill up quickly!
Our first trip into the national park we were taken to Aialik Glacier via a boat with the capacity to hold about 100+ people. The boats are large, comfortable and very enjoyable with seating for every person – they also provide life vests too. They had large windows and one of the crew gave narration the entire way. Please keep in mind that these cruises can be 4-6+ hours long and you will be travelling 100+ miles round trip.
Our tour departed at 8am and we quickly began our journey with a safety speech and other important information regarding our visit into the park. You can see the Seward Harbor in the picture below.
We very slowly made our way through Resurrection Bay and we were given the history of Seward and how important the bay is for fishing, cruising and other industries.
Many of the places inside the bay featured steep cliffs that quickly climbed thousands of feet. It would be neat to go ashore some of these places and explore around. But at least for our trip we were simply scenic cruising.
Puffins and many other types of birds were along the shores of some of the islands we went by. Puffins are very interesting and fun to watch because they are very playful and they can dive and actually swim under the water for short distances to catch fish.
On this particular visit into the national park, the ocean was pretty rough for about 15 minutes. The captain sped up to try and make the journey more enjoyable but I started to get a little sea sick so I went to the stern of the boat where it was much smoother of a ride.
Our journey went into the Aialik Bay and we saw the Holgate Glacier.
On a different trip, we visited the Aialik Glacier which is also located in Aialik Bay. I think I liked this glacier better because it was larger and it was calving almost every few minutes. The boat we were on spent about 20 minutes watching the glacier and enjoying the nearby scenery. One of the crew even picked up a big piece of glacier ice and brought it on board for people to touch and feel.
Head back towards your vehicle.
Kenai Fjords National Park will always be one of my favorite places in Alaska. There is so much to see and experience, even if you are just watching from a boat. I highly recommend doing a tour here as you may have the chance to see orca and humpback whales, porpoises, glaciers and more.