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Northwestern Fjord Cruise-Any Advice?

Connecticut
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Northwestern Fjord Cruise-Any Advice?

We are booked for the 9.5 hr Northwestern Fjord Cruise for the end of August. Does anyone have advice for us? What wildlife did you see? What was the best/worst part? How was the food? The restrooms? Did you find the crew to be informative? What should we wear? Thanks in advance!

Chicago
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11. Re: Northwestern Fjord Cruise-Any Advice?

Kenai Fjords Tours has several options. Many include stop over for lunch on Fox Island with grilled salmon lunch. All day tour pick up overnight visitors on fox island at around 9:30 hand head out for all day tour with Subway for lunch, treats, fruit, soup in between.

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Kenai Fjords Tours
Kenai Fjords Tours
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Seward, AK
Chicago
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12. Re: Northwestern Fjord Cruise-Any Advice?

Kenai Fjords Tours has several options. Many include stop over for lunch on Fox Island with grilled salmon lunch. All day tour pick up overnight visitors on fox island at around 9:30 hand head out for all day tour with Subway for lunch, treats, fruit, soup in between.

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Kenai Fjords Tours
Kenai Fjords Tours
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Seward, AK
Tampa, FL
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13. Re: Northwestern Fjord Cruise-Any Advice?

Otto, that is true, but the original poster said they are booked for the 9.5 hr Northwestern Fjord Cruise. That means no grilled salmon for them - just subway sandwiches (and yes, they do also provide soup and fruit and you can buy other snacks). Coffee and tea were free, sodas could be purchased, except at lunchtime, everyone got a free soda.

Believe me, I'm not knocking the cruise - I just wanted to warn them to bring other food. Almost everyone I saw on the cruise had other food with them.

I would make sure I dressed in layers because it can be a little warmer or colder depending on where you are. I wore a wicking t-shirt, a wicking Columbia button-down long sleeve shirt, a nice cozy fleece, and my marmot rain slicker. I was fine, but many people had on jackets as well. It doesn't hurt to bring too much as you can always just pile it with your backpack - it's not as though you have to carry it with you all day.

Other things to bring: book (which I previously mentioned), BINOCULARS are a must, the best camera you have (something with a good zoom is best of course), some $ bills for tips if you feel like it.

San Francisco...
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14. Re: Northwestern Fjord Cruise-Any Advice?

We just got back from the Northwestern Fjord Cruise after the overnight at Fox Island.

We really really really lucked out. We didn't see any bears, but we were in the middle of an orca superpod. They came up to the boat, swan along side, went under, flapped their tails at us...we spend about an hour in the middle of this pod. Also, we got a breeching humpback...rare in Alaska. We knew we had a special experience as the crew themselves were jostling for views of the whales, they also took lots of pictures.

Incredible.

The glacier is pretty impressive. The calving has to be seen and HEARD to be believed. If you get Mark Lindstrom as captain, make sure you save enough battery juice for the 360 he does just past Striation Island coming back from the glacier. Probably one of the best views in the world.

The staff is incredibly friendly and informative. Kenny is a 3rd generation Sewardite.

The head was cleaned periodically. The food is so-so. Rolls and fruit cups for breakfast. Lunch is fish or chicken strips. I agree with bringing extra food.

The only downside is the passengers "claiming" spots indoors and then leaving for long periods of time outside then coming back and stating that the seat is "theirs".

Layering is key. I didn't think it was cold, but I'm from San Francisco...I was fine, even in the morning with a short and long sleeved T. Rubber soled shoes are key.

Anyway, if you need any other information, let me know. I'm already planning my trip for next year.

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Alaska
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San Francisco
San Francisco
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DFW, Texas
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15. Re: Northwestern Fjord Cruise-Any Advice?

Hi, we took the 9.5 hr Northwestern Fjord cruise on Sun. Aug. 14 and the lunch was either chicken or halibut strips, with chips, apple, and a drink. Breakfast was a cinnamon bun, fruit cup, juice, and choice of hot beverage. We saw a humpback whale wave its tail three times, sea lions, and lots of different birds, as well as glaciers and awesome scenery.

Ohio
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16. Re: Northwestern Fjord Cruise-Any Advice?

We took the 9hr cruise on Aug 11 and the waters in both the bay and fjords were totally calm. Even though the weather was 75 and sunny when we left Seward, we both dressed in layers...I wore jeans, turtleneck T shirt with a fleece hoodie vest...I also brought along my raincoat in a pouch, which I ended up using as the winds from glaciers are definately cool.

We sat on the top deck close to the enclosed area under a hard top...there were only seats for about 15-20 in total open air. I was glad we were where we were, since when the winds kick up it can get cold.

Our captain was fantastic, very informative..good sense of humor. I don't know his name..all the crew were helpful.

The food is definately not a reason to take this tour. Sweet rolls and small canned fruit cups are given at breakfast...coffee and tea is available all the time. We had a choice of fried fish sticks ala Mrs. Paul; or fried chicken fingers, a bag of chips, apple and, best part....warm chocolate chip cookies at the end of the trip were passed out by staff!!

There is a good bakery/deli I think called the Bakery at the Harbor which is right across the street from the HarborMaster bldg...we bought good deli sandwiches to supplement our lunch.

We didn't see a whole lot of wildlife on our cruise...a few orca whales in the far distance...we did sit for about 15 minutes and watch them along with 2 other boats...our captain did say something about adhering to some rule about not disturbing wildlife for more than 15 minutes...so we moved on. We did see some sea lions at the Chiswell Island area...many, many seabirds (puffins and gulls mostly), a few sea otters. At the Glacier we did see alot of seals on the ice flows, but that was quite abit away from the boat.

The scenery is spectacular...that being said, if the weather had been raining, cold, foggy etc...it would have been a long trip for me...as it was, we had alot of fun on the return trip talking to some newly made friends from Nashville. I did see many people sleeping in the inside seat areas. I guess any trip is what you make of it, right?

One thing our friends from Nashville told us...they walked right up the day before and were able to purchase seats for the next day...so if you are in Seward for a couple of days, esp at the end of August, you may be able to choose your trip day.

The only "gripe" I have, is that the captain wasn't able to turn the motor off so we could listen to the glaciers "snap, crackle and pop". Instead, he opted for going in close (1/4 mile) and kept maneuvering the boat all the time. I really would have liked to have had that quiet time, even if it meant being farther away from the glacier. The waters at this time were literally as smooth as glass...it was that calm.

I think if I had to do this over again, and I could choose my day, I would definately take a smaller boat maybe with only 15 people...I think Kenai Heritage offers their Mariah boat and does just that...you are really able to get into all the little nooks and crannies. However, that would be my worst nightmare in inclement weather!

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Seward
Seward
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Fort Lauderdale...
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17. Re: Northwestern Fjord Cruise-Any Advice?

Did he say why, Suechef? He was able to pull in very close and just drift around for a long while. We saw the ice coming down and all the glacier noises and all the crunching from the ice under us.

We were really lucky with the show the orcas put on. I shot lots of pictures but the whales are up in the air in my video only.

Awesome! Did anyone mention about the ice being blue?

Ohio
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18. Re: Northwestern Fjord Cruise-Any Advice?

I really didn't understand the dynamics of his not turning the boat off, I mean the water was like a sheet of glass, so I would assume if there had been alot of wind the water would have some sort of chop to it. OH well, small gripe but part of the mystery of the glaciers is all of those incredible sounds! And, yes he did explain why the glaciers are blue..something about light refraction, but I have no idea at this moment.

There were very few ice burgs around us at the time..in fact the ones that were, were far and few between and were extremely small. There were many seals off to our left on huge ice floes, but other than that, we really didn't have to veer off course to get around anything.

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19. Re: Northwestern Fjord Cruise-Any Advice?

I took this cruise in mid-August. The views were spectacular. Mountains so large you can hardly believe them. We saw the NW Glacier calving for quite a while. The noises were amazing, as was the display.

We saw a raft of sea otters, 27 at one time. We saw 4 separate sightings of various whales, one familial pod. We saw Stellar Sea Lions, seals, bald eagles and more.

Our group saw no mountain sheep or goats. No bears, either, but of my entire Alaskan trip, this was the highlight. Take more film than you think you'll need. I went through 10 rolls.

And, yes, take a book. There was an hour or two where scenery was limited or non-existant due to fog.

I chose to sit on the back deck, out of the wind for the most part. I still needed really warm socks, a windbreaking insulated coat, gloves, hat and scarf over my neck and lower face. But I'm from the Texas Gulf coast, and not used to much damp,

cold wind. That deck was also largely deserted, so I could go freely from one side to the other without a problem.

Our captain was good about stopping or circling when we'd see wildlife. He knew a lot about the history of the area, and the current state of the wildlife. He told interesting stories, never intrusive. Plenty of time for photos without rushing.

I brought my own food, since I'm diabetic, and hardly ate at all. I couldn't put the camera down long enough to eat, and I never minded. I was glad I had some power bars I could eat quickly, one-handed. My friend was served a few pieces of battered, baked halibut. Not much of a lunch. Several children were continually hungry.

The bathrooms got a bit busy at times. There are two on board, and they're small, though larger than an airplane bathroom. One word of caution... the seats were wet every time. They provided Lysol, which I used.

If you're noise sensitive, take hearing protection. The big engines can get to you after a while.

The crew was great. They handled the rudest of people with ease, always wore a smile, and seemed to really enjoy what they do. We were on the Chugach.

Fort Lauderdale...
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20. Re: Northwestern Fjord Cruise-Any Advice?

Birder, it was the Kenai Fjords Northwestern tour, 9 1/2 hours, went out past Resurrection bay, picked up at Fox Island but did not stop there for lunch.

Served hot fish or chicken sandwiches with soup. My son ate like 5 of them and there was plenty of leftover sandwiches.

No subway. I will ckeck my brochure again.

Okay, I have it in front of me. There are 3 different ones and this is the longest one. It goes all the way to the Northwestern Glacier past Harris Peninsula. Then it returns via Matushka Island and Chriswell Islands where all the wildlife hangs out.

Is this the same?

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