A Wildlife Watcher’s Guide To Touring Alaska’s Kenai Fjords

Anyone who dreams of going to Alaska may envision stunning landscapes and snow-capped mountains, but there’s much more to the Land of the Midnight Sun than at first meets the eye. If you’re dreaming of seeing wild animals in their natural habitat, consider starting your Alaskan adventure with a trip to the Kenai Fjords National Park. You can travel deep into Kenai Fjords with the Northwestern Fjord Tour that starts and ends in Seward, Alaska.

Going further into the Kenai Fjords than any other tour, this wildlife-focused, fully narrated boat tour is a journey to the remote Northwest which is home to three tidewater glaciers. It lasts a full 8 hours, weather-permitting, and lunch is served on board the boat. They cater to vegans, vegetarians, and those with other dietary needs when given advance notice.

The boat tour starts in the calm waters of Resurrection Bay. As the tour continues into the Fjords, you’ll see wildlife and glaciers. Some of the animals you may see along the way include whales, sea lions, sea otters, and harbor seals. In addition to humpback and orca whales, some types of whales that have been spotted in the waters off the coast of the Kenai Fjords National Park are gray whales, fin whales, and minke and sei whales.

With seabird rookeries dotting the island, look out for Alaska sea birds that can’t be spotted anywhere else in the park. There are over 20 species of seabirds to be seen, including eagles and puffins.

The natural sights themselves are incredible. The first time you see a tidewater glacier up close in person is likely to be a moment you won’t forget. The Holgate, Northwestern, and Aialik tidewater glaciers can be observed on the tour. You can also take in the park’s large alpine glaciers and the Bear Glacier, the biggest glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Kenai Fjords tours are given aboard three custom-built, 82.5-foot catamarans: the M/V Aialik Voyager, the M/V Callisto Voyager, and the the M/V Orca Voyager. All three catamarans were created to help people feel immersed in the natural splendor with wildlife and glacier viewing while also being sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Where To Stay

The Seward Windsong Lodge offers a mix of understated luxury and direct access to Alaska’s wild beauty. It hugs the edge of the Chugach National Forest by Resurrection River, and it is only minutes from the Kenai Fjords National Park. It has an onsite restaurant that can cater to vegans and others with dietary needs, and there’s also an onsite coffee shop in the lobby.

Getting There

You can take a train or bus from Anchorage to Seward. In fact, there is a bus from Anchorage or Denali that stops directly at Seward’s Windsong Lodge, and some people choose to take the bus to the lodge and take the train back to Anchorage after a few days of exploration. That way, they can experience both modes of transportation and see as much as possible.

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