Seward was originally founded in 1903 as the southern terminus for the Alaska Railroad, a distinction it still holds today. The picturesque harbor with its colorful wood-frame houses and background of soaring cliffs looks out on Resurrection Bay, so named by a band of Russians explorers who found this calm spot along the storm-tossed Gulf of Alaska on Easter Sunday. From downtown Anchorage you can view two active volcanoes, the highest point on the continent of North America (Mount McKinley), and six major mountain ranges.

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  • Kenai Fjords Cruise

    Cruise picturesque, glacier-dotted Resurrection Bay, which is teeming with wildlife that includes whales, sea lions and thousands of birds.

    It's a short transfer from the Seward pier to the local small boat harbor on Resurrection Bay where you will board a vessel designed specifically for wildlife viewing. As you cruise along this wonderful waterway, you will find the scenery is stunning in every direction. Coastal forests, snow-mantled mountains, and several different types of glaciers surround this pristine bay which is protected by numerous barrier islands. In fact, the first governor of Russian Alaska named Resurrection Bay because the waters were so calm, and his ship was able to find refuge here during a harsh storm.

    In this unspoiled setting, wildlife is abundant. Watch for humpback whales breaching the water's surface, orcas, Dall's porpoises, sea lions and seals. Birds are also plentiful and include puffins, kittiwakes, auklets, and the occasional oystercatcher and bald eagle. Resurrection Bay's many glaciers are spectacular, and you may see one calving into the sea with a deafening crash. Perhaps the most notable sight is Bear Glacier, the largest glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park. Once a tidewater glacier, it has receded into the land and become an alpine glacier. Bear Glacier descends out of the Harding Icefield and eventually calves into a magnificent lake.

    Following a relaxing and memorable 5-hour cruise that includes a delicious lunch on board, you will be returned to the small boat harbor where your coach awaits to transfer you back to the ship.

    Please note: This tour includes minimal walking and is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and tour vessel and have a companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. While the waters are calm on Resurrection Bay, guests who suffer from motion sickness may wish to take pre-emptive measures. Weather-appropriate, layered clothing; a waterproof jacket and flat, comfortable walking shoes with a non-slip sole are suggested.

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  • Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise

    This Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise explores the calm, protected waters and rugged coastline of Resurrection Bay.

    You will experience up-close encounters with wildlife as we guide along massive bird rookeries and sea lion colonies, stopping along the route to view passing whales and otters. Learn more about the area as your Captain narrates the scenes and you see the alpine glaciers tucked in the surrounding Chugach and Kenai Mountain Ranges and cruise by Bear Glacier, a piedmont glacier and the largest glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. The protected waters of Resurrection Bay are calmer than the open waters visited on our longer Kenai Fjords National Park cruises, making this tour a better option for those who are prone to seasickness.

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  • Exit Glacier and Alaska Sealife Center

    Walk around the base of a massive glacier, and then visit Alaska's only public aquarium and rehabilitation center to see how injured animals are being rescued.

    Departing from the pier by coach, you will take a scenic drive to nearby Kenai Fjords National Park for a walking tour of Exit Glacier. One of dozens of glaciers spilling down from the massive Harding Icefield (named for President Harding who visited here), Exit Glacier covers four square miles and is easily accessible. It was known as Resurrection Glacier until the late 1960s, when a group of adventurous mountaineers exited here, becoming the first ever to cross the imposing Harding Icefield. Standing near the base of the dense, bluish mass of ice, you may hear it crackle and groan as it imperceptibly inches along. To further enhance your experience, a park ranger will guide you on an interpretive walk and answer any questions.

    Leaving Exit Glacier behind, you will drive back to Seward for a tour of the inspirational Alaska Sealife Center, the state's only public aquarium and ocean wildlife rescue center. Enjoy approximately 90-minutes here, exploring the many exhibits on your own. There is a wide variety of indigenous wildlife here that is housed in naturalistic habitats. Some that you may see include puffins, octopus, sea lions and seals. Many of them are being rehabilitated in hopes of returning them to the wild. You may also observe the center's scientists, who are pioneering research on Alaska's marine ecosystems and especially the animal populations that are declining. Wandering from exhibit to exhibit is a truly enlightening experience.

    Following your visit to the center, you will rejoin your coach for the drive back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 3-hours of moderate to easy walking, at times over uneven and natural surfaces. This tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Weather-appropriate, layered clothing; a waterproof jacket and flat, comfortable walking or hiking shoes are suggested.

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  • Explore the Kenai Mountains

    Experience the endless diversity of the Kenai Mountains by visiting an ancient glacier, riding an aerial tram to a mountaintop, and seeing wildlife up close at a conservation center.

    Traveling by coach from the pier, you will enjoy a picturesque 90-minute drive through the beautiful Kenai Mountains surrounding Seward en route to Portage Glacier. The scenery is simply breathtaking as you make your way to your first stop, Begich-Boggs Visitors Center which is located at the head of the glacier. Portage Glacier was derived from the fact that years ago it was the primary portage route used by the Dena'ina Indians and Russian fur traders. You will have plenty of time to explore on your own at the center, taking in the majestic views and browsing the fascinating exhibits on glaciology and the Chugach National Forest.

    Continuing on, you will next make your way to Alyeska Resort, the only five-star resort in Alaska. Here, you will board an aerial tram for a magnificent ride to the top of Mount Alyeska, which rises 2,300 feet above sea level. From this marvelous vantage point, you can see for miles and will be treated to views of Turnagain Arm, numerous glaciers and the Chugach Mountain range. You may also see moose and bear down below. Following lunch at the top of the mountain, you will head back down to meet your coach for the drive to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. It is here, in this caring and compassionate environment, that injured and orphaned animals are rehabilitated for release back into the wild. While the animals in residence vary, you may see bear, elk, bison, lynx and eagles, all being cared for by the staff.

    At the conclusion of your visit to the center, you will make the leisurely 90-minute journey back to Seward where your ship awaits.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of moderate to easy walking plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during the visit to the Begich-Boggs Visitors Center. There are some uneven surfaces to negotiate at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. This tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather-appropriate, layered clothing; a waterproof jacket and flat, comfortable walking shoes with a non-slip sole are suggested.

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