A highlight of our Alaska trip was an 8 1/2 hour cruise along the Kenai Fjords. Operated by Major Marine, the cruise runs from Seward to the remote, glacier-carved Northwestern Fjord. The ship Viewfinder has limited capacity (about 60 people) and provides the unique opportunity for up-close wildlife viewing and exploration. The cruise runs through Resurrection Bay past the Chiswell Islands into Harris Bay, with its’ views of hidden coves, rugged mountains and feeding whales.
Northwestern Fjord allows views of numerous alpine glaciers nestled high on the cliffs; these are part of the huge Harding Ice Field. We visited three glaciers which abutted the sound including Northwestern, Anchor and Ogive Glaciers, all active, calving tidewater glaciers.
Wildlife viewing on this excursion was fair, as we saw numerous porpoises, whales, puffins, eagles, sea otters, shore birds, and sea lions. A highlight was the sighting of a large male orca, who teased us by disappearing and reappearing numerous times. At one point the orca glides alongside the ship and dove under; we had the pleasure of seeing his large dorsal fin literally within reach of the side walkway.