Glaciers and Wildlife in Seward, Alaska

Our Alaskan Journey continued in Seward, Alaska where we spent three nights in the Seward Waterfront Park.

Day 63: Wednesday, July 17, 2013. Palmer to Seward, Alaska. Seward Waterfront Park, Resurrection Campground Site R5. 132 miles traveled.

Our drive took us through downtown Anchorage and then south along the Seward Highway. There were spectacular views of Turnagain Arm and mountains most of the way.

We arrived in Seward and searched the city campgrounds for a waterfront site but had no luck so we picked a site in the fourth row from the water and then took a walk to the small boat harbor to check things out.

Day 64: Thursday, July 18, 2013.

A van picked us up at 9:45 and drove us to the harbor for our 7 1/2 hour sightseeing cruise on the Spirit of Adventure with Major Marine Tours. Our trip took us through parts of Kenai Fjords National Park and there was a park ranger on board to tell us information about the wildlife and glaciers we were seeing. We had comfortable seats inside a cabin where we stored our gear and then went outside to see the sights. As we traveled through Resurrection Bay we could see our RV when we cruised by the campground. There were sea otters in the water and we stopped to watch a mother and calf humpback whale.

The cruise continued thorough Ailiak Bay to the Holgate Glacier for a close view of the half mile wide Holgate Glacier and Surprise Glacier. Captain Nicole turned off the engines so we could listen for the sound of ice breaking loose from the glacier before falling into the sea. When the ice breaks loose and falls it is called calving. We heard and watched about four or five calvings before moving on to the next glacier.

Our next stop was at the mile wide Ailiak Glacier where we witnessed more spectacular calvings. There was complete silence on the boat as we waited for the roar of ice. We were fortunate to see several more chunks of ice fall into the water including what our captain said was one of the biggest ones she has ever seen. Take a look at the next sequence of pictures to get an idea of what the ice falling looks like.

Hearing and seeing the ice fall was simply amazing. I could have sat there all day but the cruise continued as we traveled through the Chiswell Islands and saw more humpback whales, puffins, and other wildlife. Captain Nicole got us back to the dock right on time at 5:30. What a great day.

It was our anniversary so we drove about four miles out of town to the Salmon Bake restaurant for a Salmon dinner to celebrate. I just can’t get enough of this salmon!

Day 65: Friday, July 19, 2013

After a day at sea, some of it being in very rough waters, we were both sore and exhausted. I think 2 months of travel and sightseeing tours finally caught up with us. We both slept late and took it easy all day. We took a last drive around Seward in the afternoon.

Day 37: A day cruise to Juneau

Day 37: Friday, June 21, 2013. Aboard the Fjordland from Haines, Alaska to Juneau, Alaska

There have been many WOW moments on this trip but our trip to Juneau has them all beat by far.

At 8:30 am we gathered at the dock with our friends Ted and Ruth Ann to board the Fjordland for an all day cruise to Juneau. The boat has comfortable seats inside the cabin and a nice viewing platform in the rear for wildlife viewing and photography. Our captain was very knowledgeable about the area and he and his daughter kept an eye out for wildlife. He would slow down or stop when there was something interesting to watch.

Our first wildlife came when we saw hundreds of steller sea lions at a rookery along the rocks.

There were so many whales we lost count. Some were too far off to see very much detail but we were fortunate to see some up close.

We passed by glaciers and waterfalls and even a lighthouse on the way to Juneau.

The boat docked a little outside of town so we boarded a bus to take us downtown. We enjoyed lunch at the Red Dog Saloon before doing a little shopping and sightseeing in the capital of Alaska. Next was a stop at the Mendenhall Glacier to see a glacier up close.

After touring the Mendenhall Glacier we boarded the bus for our ride back to the dock. We enjoyed a delicious bowl of seafood chowder with smoked salmon while we rested up from our hard day of sightseeing. Whale sightings continued and our captain took us close by the Eldred Rock Lighthouse we had passed on the way to Juneau. Want to buy it? It’s for sale!

Our trip on the Fjordland was the Fjord Express to Juneau cruise offered by the Alaska Fjordlines. I highly recommend it. It sails from either Haines or Skagway to Juneau.