A magical place with nature that will make you think you dreamed the entire experience! – Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park covers an area of 669.984 acres (2,711.33km²). The park includes the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States, and Exit Glacier, which you can hike and come really close to. The park got its name by the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field. There are about 40 glaciers in the area.
Most of the National Park is water which is why it is necessary to book a tour in advance that will take yo out with the boat to explore the park! We booked our tour with Pursuit – Alaska Collection. We choose the “Kenai Fjords National Park Tour” it is 6 hours long and departs everyday from May 5th to September 29th at 8:00am and 11:30 am you should just make sure to arrive one hour prior to your tour. Its highlights are Marine Mammals and Glaciers. The tour coasts $162 for adults and $81 for children (2-11) without taxes. If you book 48 hours in advance you will get 10% off the price ($146/$73). The price also includes lunch which is a chicken wrap, Alaska chips, fruit, a granola bar and a cookie.
Departing from Seward, this cruise glides pass seals, whales and puffins as we explore coastal rainforests, tidewater glaciers and remote Alaskan islands. Experienced and engaging captains narrate the trip, so you walk away knowing a whole lot more about Kenai Fjords National Park and its wonders. – Pursuit Website
I really recommend this company. If you decide to take the first tour they offer at 8:00 am this company is definitely your best choice. They are the first ones to get into the park everyday so you can actually enjoy the magic of an awakening wilderness.
They are in operation since 1974 and have most experience of all the other companies with knowledgeable captains, sailing the newest fleet of costom sightseeing vessels.
On our visit we saw many whales, sea lions and sea otters. Our tour started off with driving out of the port of Seward into Resurrection Bay. Tons of otters were swimming next to us until we saw the first whales jumping out of the water. Mostly we saw Humpback Whales but towards the end of our tour one of my biggest dreams came true and we saw 3 Orca’s. Orca’s are not seen that often because they swim really fast and can disappear from one second to another. One second they can be on the right site of the boat an another second later they can be on the opposite side. They usually come out of the water every 3 minutes which gave us the chance to look at them really often. Since the water is so clear you can see the whales from a far distance already. On our way to the glacier the drove by a dead narwal which was very interesting to see since normally you don’t come that close to a whale. Along the rocky cliff you can see many sea lions enjoying the sun on the rocks.
Also we drove by a huge glacier which was my highlight from our entire trip in Alaska. There were little icebergs in the water in front of Glacier, which I have never seen in my life before. That must have been some cold water. It was super impressive but also sad to see a huge part of the front ice falling down in the water. It was super loud and made me see how much power Glaciers really have.
You should definitely check the forecast before making your way to the tour. Generally you should dress in layers for the trip since coastal weather changes quickly. When we were here it was the beginning of June and we it was fairly warm on the mainland with a 0% chance of rain and beautiful clear blue sky. Even though it was pretty cold once the boat started moving. So definitely bring a hat, gloves and a scarf…..just in case.
What I personally loved about the tour is that the Captain was super nice and patient. Whenever there were whales around he directly took off in their direction in order for us to see them but at the same time he totally respected the distance so that the animals don’t feel bothered by us at all. Also at the Glacier he turned the boat many times so that everybody can see it from every angle. We probably spend 40 minutes at the Glacier. Their explanations of the Glacier made sense and helped you understand the National Park. He also inspired many of us to behave a little better so all of this can stay how it is nowadays since nature is the most important thing in our life. No nature – no us.
You should arrive one hour before the tour starts. During that time you should go to their office directly next to the port and get your tickets if you have booked in advanced or register for a tour if spots are available. They also rent out binoculars for $10 and a gift shop in case you want a souvenir after the tour.
I would definitely recommend visiting the park. It was honestly the most beautiful place I have ever been to. I have never seen such blue and clear water in the ocean and so many whales in one place coming up so often from any direction you look into. Even the cliffs all around you look like they are drawn. It is so beautiful here!