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Alaska Kayaking Tours In Seward

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Exploring Seward On Land And On Sea

Nestled between the Kenai Mountains and the waters of Kenai Fjords National Park lies one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic gems – Seward. This quaint seaside village is a spectacular 2.5-hour drive from Anchorage and sits beneath the shadow of Mt. Marathon, which towers in the distance. Visitors can enjoy a step back in time at the bustling harbor, tour the town’s many shops and galleries, or explore nearby Kenai Fjords National Park. Kenai Fjords is one of the town’s biggest draws for visitors, who flock to Seward for Alaska kayaking tours and the ever-popular Seward, Alaska Glacier tour!

kayaking on the sea in Alaska

Where Can I Go Kayaking In Seward?

Kayaking in Seward, Alaska is a truly special way to experience the pristine waters that surround the town. No matter where you go, you can’t escape the sight of boats bobbing in the nearby waters of Resurrection Bay or the majestic glaciers shooting up from the depths of Kenai Fjords. Kayaking is such a popular activity in Seward because it allows for up-close wildlife encounters, not to mention the rare opportunity to paddle alongside a glacier and view it from below! But where can you take an Alaska kayaking tour in Seward? Keep reading – we have six of the best locations for paddlers of all experience levels:

  • Resurrection Bay – Seward lies at the tip of this sweeping bay, which is home to a number of small, protected coves that are worth exploring during a short kayak trip. The bay is often referred to as the “Gateway to Kenai Fjords,” since many of the tours that sail into Kenai Fjords National Park depart from Seward through these waters. Like many of Alaska’s waterways, Resurrection Bay is home to a variety of animals, all of which can be seen by kayaking! Whether you join a guided tour or rent a kayak to go solo, you can expect to see bald eagles, puffins, Dall’s porpoises, humpback whales, and orcas. If seeing sea creatures is on your bucket list, this Alaska kayaking tour is for you!
  • Caines Head State Recreation Area – Just five miles south of Seward on the Kenai Peninsula, this recreation area offers visitors the opportunity to explore its acreage by land or by sea. Kayakers can land on one of the three public beaches in the area to rest and enjoy the scenery. Bears are easy to spot along the water’s edge, where the fishing is easy and whales and porpoises can be found further offshore, swimming in pods. Don’t forget to take a waterproof camera to document your adventures!
  • Thumb Cove State Marine Park – This protected area lies on the eastern edge of Resurrection Bay, roughly nine miles from Seward. The park encompasses 720 acres of sandy beach and evergreen forest and sits in the shadow of the magnificent Porcupine Glacier. Ambitious kayakers can paddle the distance between Seward and Thumb Cove and back again in a day, but less experienced ones may want to take a water taxi one way. Thumb Cove is a popular spot for Alaska kayaking tours because of the number of whales, sea otters, and bald eagles that call it home.
  • Kenai Fjords National Park – If you want to combine your kayaking adventure with a Seward, Alaska Glacier tour, Kenai Fjords National Park is the place to do both! Steer your kayak through icy waters, while admiring the jagged peaks of the Kenai Mountains up above. Explore the nearly 40 tidewater glaciers that dot the flow directly from the park’s Harding Icefield into the waters below, and marvel at the awe-inspiring sight of a glacier calving! Kayakers beware, though – you will need to pack warm clothing for a kayaking trip at Kenai Fjords since the temperature drops dramatically as you approach a glacier! (Guided trips are recommended in this park.)
  • Aialik Bay – For a true adventure on Alaska’s waterways, hop a water taxi to Aialik Bay. From there, you can set out in your sea kayak to explore the Aialik Glacier, a titanic tidewater glacier that draws visitors year-round simply for its stunning size and majestic beauty.
  • Northwestern Fjord – this tiny corner of Kenai Fjords National Park is popular if you are kayaking in Seward, Alaska for the sole purpose of seeing seabirds! Thousands of common murres, marbled murrelets, and other seabirds are easy to spot, while sea lions are known to hitch a ride on floating pieces of ice – surprising unsuspecting kayakers!

Wildlife to Expect on an Alaskan Kayaking Tour

An Alaskan kayaking tour offers a unique chance to witness a plethora of fascinating wildlife in their natural habitat. You can expect to encounter majestic bald eagles soaring overhead, playful sea otters in the water, and curious seals popping up to greet passing kayaks. Keep an eye out for graceful humpback whales breaching the surface and elusive orcas navigating the icy waters. With towering glaciers and snow-capped mountains, a kayaking adventure in Alaska promises unforgettable encounters with some of the region's most incredible wildlife.

Taking a Seward, Alaska Glacier Tour

kayaking the Fenai Fjords by glaciers in AlaskaGlaciers and Alaska go hand in hand, kind of like peanut butter and jelly! There are many glaciers you can drive to in Alaska, but just a very few you can walk up to – Exit Glacier being one.  Exit Glacier is one of the most visited glaciers in the world, descending about 3,000 feet for a few miles and forming a natural ramp for mountaineers exiting the Harding Icefield. A series of well-maintained trails lead up to the glacier from a visitor system, so it is possible to explore Exit Glacier on your own. There is even a self-guided audio tour and interpretive signs explaining how the plant life returned to the area after the ice melted.

However, if you are looking for a more adventurous Seward, Alaska glacier tour, you can hike the four-mile trail that leads to the Harding Icefield. You don’t need special equipment for this trip, but it is necessary to take extra layers of clothes and be careful as you travel through the fragile alpine areas so you don’t damage the vegetation. But for a truly one-of-a-kind experience, consider joining a guided tour to explore the face of the glacier itself! Many guides offer hikes across the glacier, with stops to explore the groves and holes dotting its surface, or ice climbing classes. All levels of experience are welcome!

Whether your trip includes a kayaking expedition or an adventure on top of a glacier, a visit to Seward is sure to be a treat. So pack your waterproof gear and some warm base layers, and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience by land and by sea in Seward!

Download all three Alaska tour brochures for tour dates and pricing.