Our first full day in Alaska had us going on a 6+ hour catamaran boat cruise with Kanai Fjord Tours of the Kanai Fjord National Park.
Apparently, they rarely get sun in Alaska as the crew kept (jokingly) apologizing for the amazingly warm weather. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt but also brought a rain jacket and fleece as instructed.
Heading out from the surprisingly beautiful Seward harbour, we headed out for open water.
Then the trip started to feel like a put on. Kind of like how a cruise like this would be at a Disney resort. “And over here we have our friend, the sea otter, playing in the water” – and presto, a sea otter appears and does many little rolls in the water for the adorning crowds on the boat:
I wasn’t able to get any ‘good’ shots of the whales (there were at least two at this location) other than lots like this as they never really broke the surface…at least from my vantage point.
The wildlife highlight of the trip (for me) was definitely the half hour visit we had with these dolphins (I forget their exact name) which looked like mini-orcas. This was shot from the bow of the ship and apparently there were lots along side the ship as well:
I’m not sure exactly how many there were but my guess was at least a dozen (they are hard to count!). Even the ship’s crew commented they haven’t seen that many at once before (usually only 3-4 at a time). They probably tell all the tourists that.
If you want a sure fire way to make over a hundred people really, really happy, invite dolphins to the party…everyone was euphoric during and after this encounter.
The sounds the ice makes as it breaks up is unbelievably loud…like being front row for a thunderstorm.
After spending a fair bit of time at the glacier, we headed out again and then came across a ton of stellar sea lions:
We weren’t as close to these guys as I got during my zodiac tour earlier this year but close enough to hear them fighting each other for prime sunbathing spots.
Then, after a brilliant day at sea, we headed back to Seward harbour. I still can’t believe the amount of wildlife we saw on the cruise…the brochure really didn’t lie as others on the same trip which took the same cruise the following day confirmed the amount of wildlife they saw as well.
I had heard good things about cruises in Alaska but really wasn’t expecting them to ‘deliver’ in this way…it was an incredible experience. One tip though – you may want to bring some gravol with you. Out of the 6 of us in my party, apparently, I’m the only one with the stomach for the Alaskan seas as everyone else was a little green for parts of the trip. I guess I can submit my application to the Deadliest Catch now!
Here’s a slideshow of all the photos I took during the cruise:
Disclosure: GM Canada paid for this activity as part of the media tour of Alaska that I was on.