Alaska SeaLife Center

Call Call Email Address
Alaska Sealife Center  (1:55)

Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium, with wildlife response and education programs. It generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.

This world-class, 115,000-square-foot facility was built with funds from the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and serves to remind visitors - in a highly interactive way - of the importance of understanding and maintaining the integrity of Alaska's oceans.

See life swimming right before your eyes: witness a Steller sea lion gliding past underwater viewing windows, puffins diving in a carefully crafted naturalistic habitat, and harbor seals resting on rocky beaches. Check out a brand new skate exhibit, and engage your senses at the Discovery touch tank. Observe the Chiswell Island Exhibit, where a remote camera sends live video of the Steller Sea Lion Rookery in Resurrection Bay. And view giant Pacific octopuses – three females have laid eggs now three times at the Center!

Besides the standard self-guided tour, the Alaska SeaLife Center offers special Behind the Scenes tours and Animal Encounters. Tours and programs at the center introduce visitors to the wonders of the ocean and allow them to experience opportunities with wildlife firsthand. Whether connecting with an octopus arm to arm in the Octopus Encounter, feeding a puffin on the Puffin Encounter, or getting an up close training and feeding session with harbor seals at the Marine Mammal Encounter!

What to Bring

  • Camera with lots of film and extra batteries.
  • Light sweater.
  • Comfortable walking shoes.
  • Sense of Adventure.

Getting There

301 Railway Avenue
Seward, AK 99664

By Car: Head south into the town of Seward, continue on the Seward Highway, which turns into 3rd Avenue. The Alaska SeaLife Center is located at 301 Railway, at the end of 3rd Ave (mile zero of Seward Highway), on the waterfront of Resurrection Bay.

By Train: Seward railroad depot is located at 410 Port Avenue. From there, walk to the center or hop on the Seward shuttle.

Driving Directions

Prices & Dates

Season Year Round
Rates Adult (13-64) $29.95 | Alaska Resident $23.95
Senior (65+), Military (with ID) $25.95 | Alaska Resident $22.95
Child (4-12) $17.95 | Alaska Resident $13.95
Rate Notes Members & Infants (0-3) Free
Alaska SeaLife Center accepts cash, checks, and credit cards.

Show Map

Highlights of the Sealife Center

Your first impres­sion of the Alas­ka SeaL­ife Cen­ter — a sprawl­ing, $56 mil­lion facil­i­ty built as part of the set­tle­ment of 1989’s Exxon Valdez oil spill — will be a dra­mat­ic one. The facil­i­ty sits on sev­en water­front acres along the shores of Res­ur­rec­tion Bay, and the glass walls behind the tick­et­ing booth allow light to pour in.

As you enter the Rocky Coast Gallery, you’ll see the Dis­cov­ery Touch Pools, bet­ter known as the Touch Tank, on your right. These tanks are open so you can touch any of the crea­tures inside, which include anemones, sea cucum­bers, sea stars, and her­mit crabs that can be found in the ocean all around Alaska. 

North Amer­i­ca’s deep­est seabird div­ing habi­tat (21‑½ feet deep) is home to ten dif­fer­ent species of seabirds — eight of which dive under the water — and you’ll get clos­er to these birds than you ever could in the wild. Here you’ll find King Eiders, Long-tail Ducks, Black Oys­ter­catch­ers, Com­mon Mur­res, Tuft­ed Puffins, Pigeon Guille­mots, Horned Puffins, Har­le­quin ducks, Rhi­noc­er­os Auk­lets, and Red-legged Kittiwakes. 

You’ll find four har­bor seals here: Snap­per, Attun, Ton­gas, and Kordelia. Snap­per was born in Mys­tic in 1984 and arrived at the Cen­ter in 1998; hav­ing par­tic­i­pat­ed in a num­ber of research stud­ies, he’s now retired” and likes to swim laps. Ton­gas, born in 2007, is Snap­per’s son; his moth­er, Chloe, was vis­it­ing from the Anchor­age Zoo. 

You’ll only find these beau­ti­ful crea­tures at three oth­er facil­i­ties in all of North Amer­i­ca — the Mys­tic Aquar­i­um in Con­necti­cut, the Ore­gon Zoo, and the Van­cou­ver Aquar­i­um. Two of the Steller sea lions here, Woody and Sug­ar, have called the Cen­ter home since it opened in 1998. They came from Van­cou­ver and are named for Steller sea lion rook­eries (breed­ing grounds) in that area: Woody is short for Wood­ed Island, and Sug­ar for Sug­ar­loaf Island.  ...more

Alas­ka has five species of salmon and we all know that they fight valiant­ly to swim upstream from the ocean, even scal­ing water­falls to repro­duce at the very stream where they were hatched. But what about their jour­ney down­stream? Don’t they face the same dan­gers? This exhib­it traces the life of salmon, start­ing as eggs.

Behind the touch tank you can look out onto the Alas­ka SeaL­ife Center’s Obser­va­tion Over­look, and see what the researchers are up to.

This is the Cen­ter’s newest exhib­it, focused on the reha­bil­i­ta­tion of sea otter pups. Under nor­mal cir­cum­stances, moth­er sea otters give their pups 24-hour care for the first six months of their lives, then stay with them for at least one year. When a pup is found strand­ed and con­firmed that its moth­er isn’t return­ing, the Cen­ter brings it in. 

Here you’ll find the bot­tom half of the three largest exhibits: the seabird aviary; the Steller sea lion habi­tat; and the har­bor seal habi­tat. Explore the Har­bor Bot­tom,” where wolf-eels (real­ly a fish, not an eel) lie still in aban­doned pipes wait­ing for their next meal. Ven­ture into the Deep Gulf” to dis­cov­er how hal­ibut hide in the sandy bot­tom, and see the Pacif­ic cod swim­ming in a group search­ing for food. And keep an eye out for the  ...more

These hour long tours get you with the Ani­mal Care staff and up close to our res­i­dent ani­mals! This great expe­ri­ence is offered twice a day dur­ing sum­mer and once a day dur­ing win­ter. Con­tact the front desk for more infor­ma­tion and availability.

Alaska SeaLife Center

Call Call Email Address