Yesterday we headed out with Kenai Fjords Tours on their wildlife glacier cruise and it was just fantastic! Again, we got very lucky with the weather which although was a little overcast, the rain held off and blue skies appeared towards the end of the afternoon. This was our boat, the Chugach:
Just after leaving the habour we came across three sea otters just hanging out eating on whatever they’d found at the bottom of the bay. The captain recognised them as being regulars that hang around causing trouble, and they seemed very okay with the boat getting right up to them.
Further on by No Name Island, a large group of Stella Sea Lions were lying on the rocks along the shore enjoying the sunshine. Again, they didn’t seem too bothered by the boat, and let us watch them for quite some time:
After passing Bear Glacier and Pederson Glacier, we then came upon the massive Aialik Glacier:
This was very impressive, and with clearer weather than last year at Portage Glacier, Kat + I were also very impressed. Quite a few chunks were calving off, and you really got to see just how blue the glacier ice is. We managed to get a cool group shot of us all too:
Heading back towards Fox Island, we came across humpback whales for the second time – we’d seen them going out to the glaciers, but they seemed a little shy. This time, one came up not more than 30 feet from the boat as I was standing at the side and surfaced a couple of times right next to us. It then headed away a little before diving down beneath the water:
We ended up seeing a total of five humpback whales, including a cow and a calf (which were very shy so we only got a couple of glimpses!), but it really was just fantastic to see them. Mam was very impressed and said it made it worth the trip just for that! An hour stop at Fox Island gave us a nice 15 minute park ranger talk about the Kenai Fjords area, along with a delicious grilled salmon dinner. We all would definately recommend the option of stopping at Fox Island for the salmon dinner as it was a nice end to the day.
Overall, it really was an amazing day, and just like the railroad ride, for $130 a person, a well-worthwhile trip. The weather was kind to us, we just have the Denali trip for it to stay nice for now 🙂 Today we’re walking up to Exit Glacier, then driving round to Kenai, before heading down to the halibut fishing capital of the world, Homer, on Tuesday.