Glacier Viewing Whale Watching Seward Alaska
Boat tour into the Kenai Fjords National Park!
Glacier Viewing Whale Watching Seward Alaska
The #1 attraction in Seward is a boat tour into the Kenai Fjords National Park! If there is only one “tour” you do during your visit to the Seward area or Kenai Peninsula, it should be one of these boat tours. Below we give an overview of your options. Glaciers can be seen in the Seward area by land, boat or airplane.
Seward is home to the Kenai Fjords National Park, and is surrounded by glaciers. This page details viewing glaciers by boat, into the Kenai Fjords National Park. Boat tours offer amazing wildlife viewing, and whale watching, in addition to glacier viewing, and are a highly recommended activity. During the off-season (March through Mid-May) shorter boat tours offer great wildlife & scenery viewing, combined with whale watching during their spring migration. Visit our page on Hiking(link to hiking page) for information on accessing glaciers by land and our page on Flightseeing (link to flight seeing)for information on accessing glaciers by air.
Be sure to give yourself time to experience some heavenly relaxation in our very special cabins, with spectacular wildlife and scenery surrounding them just south of Seward, Alaska, on the shores of Resurrection Bay, on the Kenai Peninsula.
Summer (May – Sept) “All-Day” Tours
There are several vendors to choose from ranging from large corporations to small family run companies. Depending on the vendor they may call their tour a Kenai Fjords National Park Tour, Glacier & Wildlife Tour, or All-Day Tour. Tours sizes can vary from 15 to 300 people. All tours in this category follow the same basic route, regardless of vendor. They range in time from 5.5 to 9 hours. We always recommend taking one of these tours and highly recommend the smallest boat possible, for the most personalized and intimate tour experience.
Summer (May-Sept) “Half-Day” Tours
(We strongly recommend the all-day tours over the so-called “half day” or “bay” or “value” tours. All these tours are shorter in time and distance and do not enter the National Park and you do not see the same amount of wildlife, and no calving glacier. All “Bay” and “Value” tours follow the same basic route regardless of vendor. Times range from 2.5 to 4 hours.
Off-Season (March – mid-May) Tours
During the Off-Season ( March – mid-May) there are a limited number of Bay Tours or Whale Watching Tours (March – April/early May). Schedules may be limited to once or twice a week (usually Wednesdays and Saturdays). Tours range from 2.5 to 4 hours, generally departing late morning/noon. Weather permitting, this is an excellent activity for the off-season, highly recommend.
Our #1 recommendation is Alaska Saltwater Tours ~ they offer an intimate whale watching, wildlife, natural history and glacier tour for no more than 15 passengers, even though the boat can hold 30. The tour departs at 8:00 a.m. and returns at approximately 5:00 p.m., but may be later depending on what was encountered during the day (a day of active wildlife may mean a longer tour). Lunch is included. This is a small family run company, and this tour is the most flexible; able to accommodate and adapt to varying water, weather and guests needs! Guests rave about this tour! This tour should be pre-reserved since there is limited seating; cancellations due to weather receive full refunds. Please allow us to assist with this reservation! It’s much easier for us to reach these folks in the off season to make reservations.
Major Marine Tours ~ variety of vessels -large boats (160 people), catamaran (290 people),Buffet lunch (extra cost)
Assigned seating, National Park Ranger, Departs 10:00am or 11:30 am returns 5:30 pm. Mid-May to Mid-September
Kenai Fjords Tours ~ large corporation, variety of departure times 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, large boats (160+), lunch included. Mid-May to Late September
For those who experience seasickness: seas are rougher the later in the day, so earlier departure times are best. The smaller boat operators can also be more accommodating than larger boats. Fresh ginger, and ginger ale also can help, as can medication.
Off-Season Bay & Whale Watching Boat Tour Recommendations
Kenai Fjords Grey Whale Watch ~ Tours start in late March. Fri & Sat only in March to mid April, Daily mid April to mid May, Noon – 4:00 p.m. Lunch included
Major Marine Grey Whale Watch ~ Tours start in late March, Noon – 4pm, Beverages provided, snacks for sale