When we started planning our family trip to Alaska we knew we wanted to have fun, experience the outdoors and try something new. When we had the opportunity to partner with Kenai Fjords Tours we knew we would check a lot off our bucket list.
Bucket List Adventure with Kenai Fjords Tours
We booked the National Park Tour in an effort to fit everything in from whale watching to sea otters and of course some epic glaciers. It is hard to put into words the actual experience you have on board with Kenai Fjords Tours but I'll do my best.
We landed in Anchorage and stayed overnight knowing we had to head out early to make our sailing time because we had a three-hour drive to conquer before we arrived in Seward. I highly recommend planning in advance so you aren't rushed and are familiar with getting to your destination. Kenai Fjords Tours provides free parking and a shuttle from their parking lot to the tour office and harbor.
Dress warm! I can't stress this enough. Wear pants and dress in layers especially kids because if you want to be out on deck exploring you will get cold. We weren't lucky enough to grab a seat indoors when we boarded the ship so we were outdoors on the upper deck in seats. The view was amazing and we got to experience the views unobstructed. But back to my apparel talk, dress in layers and bring a waterproof jacket that also blocks the wind.
With 191 species of birds in Kenai Fjords Nation Park, you're bound to see something special including the penguins of the North – the Puffin! We spotted numerous eagles, common murre, horned puffins and tufted puffin. A fun fact I learned about the puffin is they are extremely good divers and able to reach depths of 250 feet.
Whales!! Did you know that you can identify whales by their tail? We learned on board the boat that if you can get a clear photo of their tale you can track their migrating patterns on happywhale.com, that is if they've been spotted and documented already. We were able to see a couple of pods of whales, mainly humpback, which was a rare sighting because of the warm temperatures Alaska experienced in the previous weeks.
Now for the cutest part of the trip – the mammals. We had many sightings of otters, sea lions, and even a couple of seals. It is hard to believe the wealth of animals in the National Park. It was remarkable the number of wildlife we experienced on the tour and watch in their natural habitats.
The number of glaciers you visit on a Kenai Fjords National Parks tour heavily depends on the sailing conditions and weather. We drove past a few on our way to the Aialik Glacier which was truly breathtaking. From the magnificent colors of the glacier to the sounds of it calving where truly an extraordinary experience.
As we casually pulled into the glacier and the Captain told us the history behind the Aialik Glacier it was a lot to take in. It is remarkable to think how long the glacier has been here, it was one of those silent moments aboard the ship as the captain turned the boat so we could all take in the epic view.
What to Expect Onboard
The entire crew of the ship was friendly and accommodating. They were constantly checking in on the guests ensuring their comfort, answering questions and assisting when they could.
If you experience motion sickness at all I highly recommend taking an anti-nausea pill before boarding the ship. They do have some available for purchase onboard if you forget, but I highly recommend taking it right away if you tend to be a little queasy like I am.
Food. They have food and drinks available for purchase in the tour office and onboard. We purchased the reusable travel mugs that came with unlimited refills of coffee or soda and it worked great for our family and the cost was minimal. They provide lunch, we had chicken wraps and the kids had chicken fingers and fries followed by a warm from the oven cookie! I have to admit it was difficult to eat on deck with the wind blowing but we managed, they did offer to help us find seats inside but there were not four together and we wanted to do the experience as a family.
The four of us had an amazing time onboard the National Park Tour with Kenai Fjords Tours and we hope to take a longer cruise on our next visit. Our day started off eerily foggy and the waters were extremely choppy which wasn't the best combination for the two of us who experience motion sickness but the fog burned off on our way back to the docks and the waters calmed. The fog made photos a little challenging but just being there and sharing the experience with each other is a memory we will never forget.
We had time to explore Seward afterward before we headed to Kenai to call it a day. With a little planning and wearing the proper layers, you are guaranteed a once in a lifetime experience onboard any of the tours in the Pursuit Alaska Collection!
We hope your family has as much fun as we did!