Photo Credit: Major Marine Tours

Kenai Fjords & Resurrection Bay Cruises

Take a glacier cruise of the Kenai Fjords, out of Seward, and you won’t see as many glaciers as you would in Prince William Sound. But as a trade-off, you get a lot more opportunities to see wildlife, and the makings of a great trip-within-a trip to Alaska.

The big choice you need to make with a Seward cruise is whether you want to stick with a tour in Resurrection Bay, or take one that goes all the way into Kenai Fjords National Park. Resurrection Bay cruises are shorter (no more than 5 hours) and will get you plenty of wildlife-spotting opportunities as well as calm waters—it’s great for families. The downside? You’re not really getting to see any glaciers with any proximity. If your cruise goes into Kenai Fjords National Park, you’ll get a longer trip (more like 9 hours), see glaciers within a half mile of the deck, and, get more dramatic scenery. The downside: You might get some choppy waters, which for some people, makes a full-day cruise too long.

But either way, here are the reasons people love Kenai Fjords glacier cruises:

  • A great day trip from Anchorage. While Whittier is also a short drive from Anchorage, the 2.5-hour drive to Seward offers more spectacular mountain scenery, as does the 4-hour railroad ride. If you’re driving, you can also access some of the best-maintained hiking trails in Alaska. Just outside Seward, you can even take an easy hike to touch Exit Glacier.
  • More wildlife. This is the best spot to see whales near Anchorage, and you’ll also see a greater variety of wildlife than on cruises out of Whittier. You have pretty much a guarantee of seeing sea lions, otters, bald eagles and colorful puffins—depending on the season, even mountain goats and bears, too.
  • Seward is a great town, even without a glacier cruise. While you can easily do a cruise out of Seward as a day trip, you’ll probably want to spend at least one night here. Seward has a charming, harbor-village atmosphere and a multitude of other activities: hiking, Seward kayaking, Seward dogsledding and Seward fishing. You can easily combine a day cruise with an overnight on a nearby island or in Seward itself—not something you’d really be able to do in Whittier.
  • More variety in cruises—and stopover options. Some are geared toward small groups of birders, while others highlight onboard comforts, such as heated cabins 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 and hike or 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

Season: Year Round
$435+ Day-trip | $470+ Multi-day
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: Mar 11 to Sep 26 $105+ 5 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: Mar 06 to Oct 10 $89+ 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

Season: May 1 - 3rd week of September $399+ 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.

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