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seward boat tour

seward boat tour

Old Jan 7, 14, 8:22 pm
  #1  
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seward boat tour

travelling to seward in august with wife and kids (12,9,6)and would like to do a boat tour.
is kenai or majormarine better??
also what is the best one for kids?we are keen to see whales if poss..
finally any idea on getting discounts...as these are not cheap tours!
thanks....
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Old Jan 7, 14, 9:55 pm
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We did the Kenai 9 hour tour in August a few years ago (2011?) and enjoyed it immensely. Saw humpbacks and (if I remember correctly Orca's) Lots of other marine life and birds.
The last fiord was unreal. The trip might be too long for the kids though.

Bring warm clothing, it does get cold. There are times where you're just plowing throiugh the Gulf and the kids might be able to nap on camp mattresses.
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Old Jan 7, 14, 10:52 pm
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keen on seeing the whales and wonder if you can on the short tours..
any ideas on getting the costs down?
thanks
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Old Jan 8, 14, 5:34 am
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I'm going to start with a disclaimer that I've never used this or any other coupon book so you have to do your own due dilligence.

Here's a stating point for you

http://www.planitalaska.com/the-grea...our-saver.html
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Old Jan 9, 14, 11:52 pm
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thanks-if you have kids you can actually get it cheaper without the coupons(220$ ) for 5
but iwas wondering if the short tours (4hr ones) are any good if you want to see whales?
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Old Jan 10, 14, 6:42 am
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I don't know but I'd suggest that you call or email whichever company you're thinking about using and ask them. I have found that every tour company I've dealt with has been completely open and honest about their offerings. They couldn't guarantee that you'd see whales on a particular trip but they will tell you if the trip sees them regularly at times when they are in the area.
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Old Jan 10, 14, 8:44 pm
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I usually travel to Seward two times every summer. I take a day cruise almost every day that I am there. Both Kenai Fjords and Major Marine offer excellent cruises. I really enjoy the wildlife cruises that do not include a trip to one of the glaciers. You have calmer waters and great opportunities to see wildlife. Humpback whale sightings are fairly common on the wildlife cruises. However, humpbacks are not extremely acrobatic or active in the feeding grounds of Alaska. They are focused on eating, so if you see a humpback, you will probably see tail flukes when the whale is diving, exhalations when the whale is breathing, and the hump of its back as it goes under water. Having said that, I will report that last summer, I saw multiple breaches, pec slaps, and head slaps from a mother and calf while I was on a wildlife watch.

I have seen orcas on almost every cruise. I even saw transient orcas one time. Resident orcas that live in pods in the Seward area are much more common. Resident orcas do not eat other sea mammals. Sea otters, Dall porpoises, mountain goats, bald eagles, harbor seals, and Stellar sea lions are extremely easy to see. My niece and I were on one trip where we spotted an animal that our captain and crew had never seen on a cruise - we saw a porcupine. I have seen bears on many cruises. When they are on shore, the boat can get fairly close.

Major Marine has an optional meal on their cruises. Without the meal, their cruises are cheaper than Kenai Fjords. Kenai Fjords usually has a meal included. Both companies allow you to bring your own food. Skip the cruise that stops at Fox Island for a meal since you spend a lot of time getting off the boat, eating, and reboarding. Both companies have a National Park Ranger/Naturalist. Your children can participate in the Junior Ranger Program.

The longer cruises to the glaciers are also wonderful but may be a bit too much for younger children. If you really want the best experience, take the Captain's Choice cruise offered by Kenai Fjords. It is over $200 per person, but the boat is smaller, the number of passengers is lower, and you have more input into what you see and do.
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Old Jan 10, 14, 9:28 pm
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thanks all..
due to the discount it would be 220$ for famil of 5 for the 5hr wildlife tour and
480$ for the 6hr tour on major marine -so as there is such a big difference ,was wondering if we would miss out on anything (in particular whales)by just doing the 5hr one(i know it doesnt go out of the bay so was worried we might see too little)
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Old Jan 11, 14, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by bryanwallace View Post
thanks-if you have kids you can actually get it cheaper without the coupons(220$ ) for 5
but iwas wondering if the short tours (4hr ones) are any good if you want to see whales?
I have seen humpbacks in the bay on rare occasion. I would say I have been lucky, but I have seen humpbacks on all my 6 hour or longer tours (probably 4-5 of them in the past 6-8 years).

Originally Posted by bryanwallace View Post
thanks all..
due to the discount it would be 220$ for famil of 5 for the 5hr wildlife tour and
480$ for the 6hr tour on major marine -so as there is such a big difference ,was wondering if we would miss out on anything (in particular whales)by just doing the 5hr one(i know it doesnt go out of the bay so was worried we might see too little)
The longer you are on the water, the greater your chance of seeing whales. That is pretty plain and simple. Generally you will see seals, otters, probably eagles and some other wildlife on the bay tours (bay tours are any tours less than 6 hours). But my take on it is that you won't have as good of a chance of seeing whales on the bay tours as you will on the longer tour.

If you really want a better chance to see whales, splurge on the longer tour. But realize that there is no "way out" once you board. If any of you tend to get seasick, definitely take precautions before boarding.

I too find that Major Marine and Kenai Fjords offer a very similar very high quality experience. Kenai Fjords offers a free meal (wrap) and Major Marine offers a buffet for about $20. For me, food is way down the priority list when I am on these tours, so I tend to bring my own snacks with either one.
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