Exploring Kenai Fjords National Park
Excitement, joy, awe and a bit of humbleness serge through the air as the boat, the Glacier Express, slowly pulls away from a pod of orcas who just completed an amazing dance of breaching, spy hopping, and lob-tailing. According to the Park Ranger on board, this pod was a local pod, one that had been affected by the Exon Valdez oil spill in 1989 and had made a strong come back. She said it looked like the pod was celebrating a catch, most likely completed by one of the younger members of the pod who was learning to hunt. What a magnificent way to end a six hour cruise into the Kenai Fjords National Park!
Experiences like these are very common to Resurrection Bay and many of the national parks located along the coast of Alaska. Seward happens to be one of the few places in Alaska visitors can experience a beautiful National Park on a wildlife boat tour. Unlike the other parks, Kenai Fjords has a special history, its area having been shaped by glaciers, earthquakes, and storms. Opportunities to see sea otters, eagles, humpback whales, orcas, porpoises, puffins and calving glaciers in the wild are at a visitors finger tips.
There are a few glacier and wildlife boat tours visitors can take out of Seward. One company locals recommend is Major Marine Tours. The longer the boat tour, the more a traveler will see and Major Marine Tours offers that. They take care of their patrons very well, no matter what tour they have decided to take and are always on the lookout for any opportunity to see wildlife. They will even extend their time in a location if an amazing show, like the orcas celebrating a catch, happens.
Major Marine Tours recently acquired the Seward Harbor 360 Hotel conveniently located on the harbor in Seward. The hotel is very well maintained, offering a hot breakfast with a night’s stay and amazing views no matter what room you stay in. If a traveler arrives early to take a cruise that day and their room is not ready, the hotel happily stores luggage until the travelers return from their adventures. An added bonus to staying at this hotel is parking is included in the price. To park along the harbor, you have to pay. Staying at the 360 hotel includes parking, allowing travelers to walk along the boardwalk, shop, eat and access touring opportunities.
Major Marine tours now offers package deals that include accommodations, making it much easier to take a longer tour, see more wildlife and explore the other unique aspects of Seward, like the Alaska Sea Life Center or Exit Glacier. Experiencing Kenai Fjords National Park and its surrounding sights are great add-ons to any Alaskan Tour. If you are looking for a way to celebrate the 100-year Anniversary of our National Park System and are visiting Alaska, take some time to travel to Seward, Alaska and tour the Kenai Fjords. The views are breathtaking and the experience is incomparable.
By Catherine Trevor-Roberts