Our visit to Seward, Alaska was prompted by the recommendation of an on-line acquaintance who suggested we go to Seward and take the Northwestern Fjords Tour, in the Kenai Fjords National Park, if we did nothing else. As the date of the tour approached, I started having misgivings about being captive on a boat for nine hours and was wishing I had not committed to that tour.
The tour was all that it had been promised to be by the acquaintance and by the tour company. The boat was a purpose-built tour boat that was very comfortable in its accommodations and motion. It allowed excellent viewing, in every direction, of marine life and geological features either from within the climate-controlled cabin or from the deck.
Addie and I were initially more interested in the marine mammals than rocks and glaciers. It turned out that the rocks and glaciers were as fascinating as the critters. The captain of the tour boat, who had been doing that tour for twenty years, was great. The amount of information he provided along the way, undoubtedly carefully researched and scripted, was voluminous and entertaining. Wildlife was plentiful; we saw Orcas, Humpback Whales, Sea Otters, Seals, Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Puffins and numerous other bird species. The tour’s climax was reaching the Northwestern Glacier. It is magnificent and the captain put the eighty-something foot boat within a boat length or two of the glacier and very slowly pinwheeled in place for thirty minutes so everyone could get all the pictures they wanted. Besides the awesome views in every direction, I thought that was an impressive bit of boat handling.
What I feared would be a too-long day, passed quickly and was over all to soon.