Popular Seward Shore Excursions
Kenai Fjords National Park: The park is an incredibly scenic series of islands, rock outcroppings and fjords to be visited by small boats. Trips range from a half-day with lunch included onboard, to a full-day cruise with an island stop for a salmon and steak barbecue. Along with the spectacular fjords and glaciers, there's an excellent chance of seeing puffins, bald eagles, sea otters, mountain goats, seals, whales and occasionally bears. If you spot orcas, the captain might lower a mic below the surface so you can listen to their amazing calls. Several operators cruise into the park, including Kenai Fjords Tours (1304 4th Avenue; 888-478-3346) and Major Marine Tours (1302 4th Avenue; 800-764-7300).
Alaska SeaLife Center: This state-of-the-art aquarium and marine life rehabilitation center gives visitors a view of the local sea life from above and below water level. Check out the puffin habitat and see the birds "fly" underwater. Watch sea lions and seals soar through their tanks. For an additional fee, you can join behind-the-scenes tours and watch an orphaned sea otter pup getting groomed by its human "mom" or shake "hands" with a giant Pacific octopus. The center opened in 1998 and was partially funded by the Exxon Valdez oil spill settlement. (301 Railway Avenue; 800-224-2525; open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. Friday through Sunday)
Exit Glacier: Follow the footpaths for an up-close encounter with Exit Glacier. Weather and safety concerns determine just how close you are allowed to get. Parts of the path may be roped off. The glacier is noticeably receding (check out the date markers), making the hike to the ice longer each year. Currently, it's just under a mile, partly up hill. Exit Glacier is outside of town, so a guided tour might be the easiest way to see it. Alaska Heritage Tours (907-777-2805) offers a tour that departs from the Seaward Windsong Lodge (a shuttle runs from in front of the Kenai Fjords Tour office to the lodge on the morning of your tour).
Paddle Past an Iceberg: Liquid Adventures is located in an unassuming rail car at the north end of town, but offers once-in-lifetime experiences. Kayak then camp overnight in Aialik Bay, spend a day sea kayaking Resurrection Bay or standup paddleboard around the incredible Bear Glacier and literally paddle past ancient floating ice. If you've dreamt of getting up close to some of Alaska's most amazing natural wonders, consider getting in (well, above) the water. (411 Port Avenue; 907-224-9225)
Fish On!: Salmon. Halibut. Cod. Whatever fish is your favorite, there's a time and place to catch it. Join a charter boat tour and try your luck. Fish Seward Alaska Inc. will get you geared up. Guides will even bait your hook, if you're the squeamish type. (1408 4th Avenue; 907-947-3349)
Soar Over a Glacier: Get a sweeping overview of the massive, 700-square-mile Harding Icefield from your seat in a small plane. Contact Scenic Mountain Air (907-288-3646).