We had only a few minutes walk from the campsite to the harbor of Seward and could therefore take our time with the departure until shortly after seven. Our site neighbors, a pair of brothers from Mississippi with the son of one of the brothers, left already at 5 am for their fishing trip. And sometime during the night a medium-sized cruise ship moored in the harbor, which probably also provided a large part of the passengers on our tour. Some campers of the meanwhile well occupied Waterfront-Campgrounds belonged however surely also to the 150 passengers on the boat with the booked "National Park Tour".

The boat, the "Tanaina", made a good impression, the crew was friendly and the captain greeted us in a good mood. You could tell that a day with sunny 23 degrees, which is unusual for this area and time of year, is a special pleasure. Nevertheless, all had thought of multi-layered clothing and hats, because it is always a few degrees cooler on the water and the wind does the rest. Fortunately, we had taken this tip into account when booking the tour and were able to spend most of the time outside admiring and enjoying the landscape and wildlife of the fjords despite the good window seats on the upper deck we had caught during boarding.

Sea otters in the harbor of Seward

Even before leaving the harbor we had the first wildlife sighting of the day with one of the cute sea otters. Not very surprising, because we had already observed several of them from the campsite the day before. Nevertheless one is pleased about each time.

Puffins and Humpbacks

The passing scenery and even more so the wildlife sightings were complemented by the captain's informed announcements, which could be heard well over the ship's loudspeakers, even from the outside. Who is not fit in the English language, however, will have little joy in it.

Puffins (Puffins)

Of all the water birds we saw, we liked the puffins best. But they are damn hard to photograph, especially in flight. I was very annoyed that I did not practice using the 70-200 lens for this purpose. Whether this would have brought much, I can not say. On the swaying ship to catch the small birds in the nevertheless quite fast flight, is not completely simple. But even if it did not work out with the photos, at least the memory of the cute little guys remains.

It worked out better to take pictures of the humpbacks, of which we saw at least ten on the way. Whale encounters are always one of our favorite experiences on our tours and somehow these animals give us something very special. On a ship with 150 passengers plus crew one can hardly speak of an intimate experience. But partly we were quite close and the sounds of blowing, exhaling while surfacing, somehow had a calming effect. And even the big pack on board did not disturb the peace with unexpected discipline.

Humpback whaleHumpback whale finBlowing humpback whales


A glacier, which we could see from very close at the end of another fjord, then provided the next awe-inspiring moments. This crunching and cracking, with which the glacier constantly pushes into the ocean, is impressively loud. And on top of that, I was lucky enough to be able to photograph an almost house-sized piece of the glacier as it fell. You can see why we didn't drive closer to the end of the glacier.

More wildlife on the way back

Back to Seward we passed sea lions, which didn't mind the sun, seals and bird colonies under a cloudless sky and a calm sea. We really had caught the perfect day. It was worthwhile to check the weather on the way and not to make a stopover on the way to Seward. But weather forecast or not – it must arrive then also still.

Sea lion sunbathing

Unfortunately, there were no orcas to see that day; that would have been the crowning glory. But we were still very satisfied and didn't shed a tear for the high ticket price. For us it was worth it.

Campfire with a view of Seward Bay

As soon as we approached the harbor of Seward at slow speed, one noticed the warmth of this day when the wind was absent. Because of the contrast with the temperature on the water, it only seemed quite hot to us. Despite the early hour – it was just 2 pm when we docked – we left it at that. A short hike might have been a good idea, but we took a short nap first, then had an early dinner and afterwards looked for hours over our campfire at the life in the bay.


Another highlight was provided by our neighbors, who had returned from their fishing trip in the meantime: We had sashimi (raw fish, cut into very fine slices) of a salmon that had been swimming in the river two hours before. Delicious! In addition they gave us four fillets of another fish, whose name I unfortunately forgot. Their trip was very successful with twelve salmon and some other fish and so they gladly gave something away, which we of course also gladly accepted.

The author fishing

In a spontaneous quick course around 10 pm I was taught snagging, the somewhat brutal, but there usual way of salmon fishing. But apart from some kelp I did not catch anything. Nevertheless, after this day we went to bed very satisfied.


Relaxed drive back

Start and destination Seward, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA Points of Interest Seward, Kenai Fjords National Park Distance 0