Photo Credit: Major Marine Tours

Seward Day Cruises: Kenai Fjords & Resurrection Bay Boat Tours

Take a day cruise from Seward, and from the comfort of your boat, you can get close to whales, sea lion colonies, otter rafts, and colorful puffins. Climb aboard and let experienced captains narrate your voyage, identify a massive tidewater glacier, and explore the history, geology, and diverse wildlife that make up the area. Cruise through a world of towering mountains covered in glaciers and witness the rugged and scenic coastline many wildlife species call home.

Choose from a half-day trip to Resurrection Bay or a whole-day trip to Kenai Fjords National Park. If you have kids, you will want a shorter 3-5 hour cruise on Resurrection Bay, which will give you plenty of wildlife-spotting opportunities and calmer waters. The downside? You won’t see glaciers in proximity. If you want to see a glacier within a half mile of the deck and get more dramatic scenery, opt for a longer 6-9 hour cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park. The downside? You might get choppy waters, which makes a full-day cruise too long for some people.

Whichever you choose, here are the reasons people love Kenai Fjords cruises:

Whales, Whales, and more Whales!

This is the best spot to see whales near Anchorage, and you’ll also see a greater variety of wildlife than on other cruises in Alaska. You have good odds of seeing orca and humpbacks and maybe even minke, fin, and sometimes even beluga and grey whales too! Although you won't see as many glaciers as you would in Prince William Sound, you get to see more dramatic whale behaviors like breaching and feeding - which is a sight to behold.

A Great Day Trip From Anchorage

The 2.5-hour drive to Seward from Anchorage offers spectacular mountain scenery, as does the 4-hour railroad ride. You can also access some of the best-maintained hiking trails in Alaska along the way if you're driving. Outside of Seward, you can even take an easy hike to touch Exit Glacier, the only glacier that is accessible by road in Kenai Fjords National Park. Take a guided hike along the glacier, or just take in the breathtaking views from the visitor center.

Seward is a Great Town, Beyond the Boat Tour

You can easily cruise out of Seward as a day trip from Anchorage, but if you have more time, we recommend spending at least one night here. Seward has a charming harbor-village atmosphere and many other activities like hiking, kayaking, dog sledding and fishing. Not to mention the famous Alaska SeaLife Center, where visitors can learn about marine life and participate in interactive exhibits.

More Variety in Cruises—and Stopover Options

Some tours are geared toward small groups, while others highlight onboard comforts such as heated cabins, glacial ice cocktails, and prime rib buffets. Some are ideal for families with kids, and some are more active, stopping at an island long enough for you to get out to hike, paddle around a bit, or even spend the night. Check out some of our favorite tour operators below.

Looking for an overnight or multi-day experience in Kenai Fjords National Park? See our list of recommended sailing and yacht excursions ranging from overnight to 6-night trips.

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Day Cruises

Day Cruises

Season: April - Sept
$4,000 Day Cruise, 8 Hrs Up To 6 Guests | $8,000+ Multi-Day, Up To 6 Guests
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Caroline

Spend the after­noon, or a few days explor­ing the waters of Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Prince William Sound aboard the M/V Car­o­line, a beau­ti­ful cus­tom-built yacht set for adven­ture! It’s the per­fect set­ting for a fam­i­ly or small group vaca­tion. Fill your days loung­ing on the fly­bridge, fish­ing, kayak­ing, strolling beach­es and cruis­ing to your next fan­tas­tic destination.

Season: Mid-May through mid-Sept $289 6.5-7 hrs

Inti­mate cata­ma­ran cruis­es into Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park from Seward for just 22 pas­sen­gers, or up to 30 on pri­vate char­ters. Cruise through Res­ur­rec­tion Bay, keep­ing an eye out for hump­back whales, orca whales (killer whales), puffins, Steller sea lions, Dall’s por­poise, har­bor seals, and a large vari­ety of bird species. Then make your way into the nation­al park, and stop at the face of a tide­wa­ter glac­i­er. You’ll enjoy a deli­cious lunch  ...more

Season: May 1 - 3rd week of September $449+ 8-10 hrs

Get up close to the Alaskan glac­i­ers and wildlife you came to expe­ri­ence by tak­ing a cruise into Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park on a cus­tom-built cata­ma­ran out of Seward. The dif­fer­ence from oth­er cruis­es, is that you’ll then get off the boat and into a kayak, pad­dle around ice­bergs, and watch for wildlife from your own vessel.

Season: Mar 14 to Sep 29 4 to 8.5 hrs

This vet­er­an tour oper­a­tor runs a a fleet of fast, mod­ern boats in Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park. You’ll vis­it tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers as you watch for puffins, sea otters, Dall’s por­pois­es, sea lions, and more. Some tours are designed to please bird­ers or shut­ter­bugs, while oth­ers are per­fect for families. 

Season: March 8 - Oct 13 $109+ 3.5 hrs - Full Day

Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Kenai Fjords are great places to see wildlife and glac­i­ers. And Major Marine’s ves­sels, which have cozy heat­ed cab­ins and an out­door view­ing area, can take you out to see both. This fam­i­ly-owned tour oper­a­tor has gone above and beyond to give guests an amaz­ing day on the water since 1990

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3.5 Hr Day Sail, $769 up to 6 people | $2949+ Multi-day 3.5 Hour Day Sail to Multi-Day

Char­ter a sail­boat out of Seward and hit the waters of gor­geous Res­ur­rec­tion Bay! Choose an after­noon tour if you’re just in Seward for the day, or opt for a mul­ti-day cruise. Your char­ter comes with a sea­soned cap­tain, or expe­ri­enced sailors can rent the boat and take the helm them­selves. Sur­round­ed by moun­tains, the bay offers ide­al sail­ing con­di­tions, and you’ll have plen­ty of chances to see wildlife and glaciers.

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