A cruise to Alaska is an adventure like no other. You could be sailing past glaciers in the morning, photographing wild bears in the afternoon, and dining on fresh caught salmon at dinnertime. The port of call at Seward, Alaska, offers all this and more. We’ve rounded up a few of the highlights sure to spark your adventurous streak.
Kenai Fjords National Park
The highpoint of Seward is undoubtedly Kenai Fjords National Park. At more than 580,000 acres the park boasts nearly 40 glaciers that flow into the park's Harding Icefield, one of the largest of its kind in the United States. The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by the glaciers as they cut slowly down the mountain from the icefield. The best way to see the park is via boat tour, as the boats visit areas of the park not accessible by road or foot. Sail up close to watch the glaciers calve into the sea. Keep your cameras ready for sightings of seals, sea lions, black bears, puffins, and humpback and killer whales. The truly adventurous can brave the waters with a kayak, becoming one with the natural environment. Bus tours visit the popular Exit Glacier for sightings of many of the same animals visible from the water. Hikers will enjoy the 8.2-mile roundtrip Harding Icefield Trail.
Alaska Sealife Centre
Born in the wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989, the Alaska Sealife Centre is dedicated to research, education and rehabilitation of Alaska's unique marine environment. Visitors get up close and personal with marine animals that call Alaska home. Highlights include encounters with steller sea lions, harbour seals, puffins, exotic duck species and the giant Pacific octopus.
Nearby Mount Marathon was born on a dare. In 1915, locals at the bar placed a bet that no one could run to the top of the mountain in less than an hour. The ascent trail is less than a mile long, but it's 3,022 feet straight up. The winner of the first Mount Marathon lost the bet when he completed the run in 62 minutes. The race is still held every year and the current record, set in 2016, is 41 minutes and 26 seconds. Those determined to brave the trail will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Resurrection Bay and the town of Seward below.
Seward Lagoon and Bobby Benson Memorial Park.
Birdwatchers will enjoy Seward Lagoon and Bobby Benson Memorial Park. Named for the boy, who in 1927, designed the Alaska state flag at just 13 years old, the park features a quarter mile raised boardwalk along the lagoon. Watch for kingfishers, bald eagles, river otters and colourful ducks.
Two Lakes Park
Those looking to stretch their legs might try the easy hiking trail at Two Lakes Park. Situated where the town of Seward meets the forest, the one-mile trail encircles two small lakes through hemlock and spruce rainforest and past a small waterfall.
Seward is situated on Resurrection Bay and boat tours of the bay are one of the more popular attractions in the area. Sail to hidden coves and small islands of the bay to commune with whales, sea lions, otters, bald eagles, puffins, mountain goats and bears.
Enjoy the adventure.