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.
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.
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
Alaska Saltwater’s small-group whale watching, wildlife, and glacier tours offer daily excursions into the pristine Kenai Fjord National Park. Your captains and crew — experienced and well-versed in the area’s natural habitat — specialize in taking out film crews, professional photographers, serious birders, and guests that want an unforgettable experience.
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.
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.
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.