Alaska - Western Canada Journey

Day 15

Kenai Fjords National Park Boat Tour


We took a day-long boat tour to Northwestern Glacier of the Kenai Fjords National Park. The boat ride was a great experience, with unbelievable sceneries and several wildlife encounters. The only problem was the bad weather with almost nonstop rain and rough seas.

Day Journal

After a so-called continental breakfast, we packed up and left the place we had stayed as quickly as we could. We drove around the town of Seward to get a sense of the place. Seward is a small town with few amenities. We only spotted a Best Western along our drive. The only big thing we found was the RV Park that seemed to be packed with RVs even during this period of bad weather. The Benny Benson Memorial was the highlight of the town tour. Benny Benson designed the Alaska Flag while a student in Seward.


After the quick tour, we board the bus to the boat. We picked a day-long tour to Northwestern Glacier. We would have gone on the bird watching tour but it had been sold out. The boat ride to the glacier was quite interesting with endless beautiful sceneries of glaciers, mountains, waterfalls and various wildlife. We saw a pod of orcas, a school of dolphins, a small colony of sea lions, harbor seals, and most exciting - a 10-minute breaching demonstration by a young humpback whale. The Northwestern Glacier was beautiful with the trademark blue hue. Its topology was relatively gradual sloping instead of the vertical cliffs glaciers along the Inside Passage. As such, it did not show any dramatic calving, at least not on our trip. Photographically, it was a disaster since the whole day was in the rain. Despite my best effort, only about 10% of my images came out acceptable. I could not blame it all on the weather. If I had learned how to deal with bad weather shooting of marine wildlife, I could have had better results. The bad weather also caused rough seas, making several people quite seasick, including my better-half both going and even worse on the return trip. There are many more things that can be done around Seward. I look forward to a return trip with better weather.

After the tour, we discussed whether to stay another day, but with the weather so bad, we decide to pack up and begin winding our way back to Anchorage, and then Valdez. The trip back was marred by the rain. We kept driving until late in the night beyond Anchorage and finally stopped for the night at a motel in Palmer. It was a loooong day, andwe were glad to find a decent bed!