Alaska Day 4 - Seward, making a six-hour boat trip
Seward Travel Blog› entry 708 of 1090 › view all entries
We woke up with sunshine and a completely blue sky. This was amazing, since weather statistic had taught us that Seward would be the place of the whole tour with the most average rainfall, especially in this time of the year.
The city of Seward was named after William H. Seward the Secretary of State under presidents Lincoln and Johnson. Seward was the driving force behind the purchase of Alaska from Russia. With a population just below 3000 Seward is an unique smaller population in Alaska: it is connected to the rest of the world via both a train and a road. Besides that there is of course a small airport and, located at the Resurrection Bay, it has of course sea access, which is used by huge cruise ships. Seward's most famous resident was Benny Benson who, at the age of 13, won a contest to design the flag for Alaska. The blue flag with the Great Bear constellation and the Polaris, is still the state flag.
One of our goals for Seward was making a boat tour. We chose to book with Major Marine Tours for a 6-hour round trip. They offered an excursion over the Resurrection Bay into the waters of the Kenai Fjords national Park to the terminus of the Holgate Glacier. The cruise line also offers a full salmon / steak buffet. Given the warnings that the tour could be bumpy I decided to not be tempted by this delicious offer. A thing I did not regret, not because of the fact that I was very sea sick, but mostly because the buffet was served during the most beautiful part of the tour.
While sailing out of the Seward harbor we had a nice view on the Dutch MS Zaandam of the Holland America Line. The tour was hosted by National Park Service Ranger Amber who was very good at spotting wildlife and could tell a lot about the area and fauna. We were lucky to see about four whales, several sea otters, a bald eagle, dall sheep, puffins, sea-gulls, and many sea lions.
The highlight for me was the arrival at the terminus of the Holgate Glacier. I had been in a glacier lake in Chile (see here) but I had never been close to the enormous front of a tidewater glacier before. It is like looking at a very wide multi-story-high wall of Ice, which towers above the water like a giant frozen tsunami.
The tour led us further along steep rocks full of sea-gulls and puffins to rocks filled with sea lions. After that it was time to head back to the harbor. The modern Catamaran had sufficient power to cross the less interesting parts at higher speed so there was enough time for the really interesting parts. Half an hour before docking the captain invited the passengers on the bridge and explained about the boat, navigation and the Resurrection Bay.
The evening was spent in a Salmon Bake, a restaurant in which Alaskan Salmon is one of the main dishes. Delicious!
More pictures below!