After a long landlocked winter, we were very excited to start cruising again on May 23rd. So far the early summer weather has been amazing, and the wildlife has been even better! We’ve had to make some updates to our tours this summer but are still offering a variety of cruises. This summer we are running our 8.5 Hour Northwestern Fjord Cruise (best for adventure-seekers, photographers, and birders), 6 Hour Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise (best for those who want to see whales and glaciers on a stable catamaran), Orca Quest Cruise (best for orca lovers), and the 3.5 Hour Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise (best for families with small children and people with limited time).
Since we started back up we have seen orca whales on every trip but one. Last week we were treated to the rare sight of a mother orca nursing her calf underwater! This is the best time of year to see the orcas in Kenai Fjords. Peak season for viewing orcas is mid-May to mid-June, so there is still a chance to get on the water and have the highest probability of finding orcas.
Peak orca season directly correlates to the influx of salmon in the area. King, sockeye, and chum salmon all have large runs in Alaska this time of year. According to research done by the North Gulf Oceanic Society, these salmon are making their way back to their native streams around the Copper River and all the way down in Washington. On their return home to spawn, the currents and abundance of food take the salmon towards Kenai Fjords National Park, into Agnes Cove, Pony Cove, and Cape Aialik. These areas are hot spots for orca viewing this time of year as orcas frequent the areas to feed on salmon. Our Orca Quest Cruise is the best cruise for orca watching, but orcas can be seen on any of our tours.
The humpbacks have also returned from their winter breeding grounds in Hawaii. So far we have seen humpbacks whales on all of our 6 Hour Kenai Fjords National Park Cruises. Last week we saw several lunge feeding humpbacks and a baby humpback that just wouldn’t quit jumping out of the water!
We have also been seeing a variety of other wildlife on a regular basis including Dall’s porpoise playing in the bow wake, sea lions, puffins, harbor seals, and sea otters.
We recognize that everyone is adjusting to a new normal and that safety and cleanliness are more important than ever. If you choose to join us, you can be confident that we have implemented thorough social distancing and sanitation procedures to ensure your comfort, health, and safety while cruising with us or staying with us at Harbor 360 Hotel. We have reduced capacity on our vessels to ensure plenty of space for our guests, and have specifically chosen boats that have the maximum amount of outdoor viewing space and number of tables to ensure proper social distancing. For detailed information about all of our safety and operational updates please visit our COVID-19 Response Page.
We love hearing from our guests on TripAdvisor and social media about their experiences with us. One of our recent guests posted the following review on TripAdvisor: “Great trip with this company as always. Professional captain(s) taking all the measures to make you comfortable during the Covid-19 concerns. We saw humpbacks and a resident pod of Orcas. Really enjoyed our time on the water and all of the explanations the captain(s) provides during the cruise. Reminded us of how much we really miss Seward! If you’re in town, you can’t go wrong with this company.”
Now is really the best time for Alaskans to get our and experience the beauty of our great state. We have the unique opportunity this summer to do all of those Alaska bucket list activities that we have always wanted to do. The visitor numbers are extremely low, there’s plenty of availability, the roads are relatively quiet, and there are lots of great discounts available for Alaska residents. We’re currently offering Alaska Residents 30% off most cruises in June and July, and over 30% off cruise and Harbor 360 Hotel packages in June and July. Visit our Specials & Packages page for a list of our current specials.
Everyone at Major Marine Tours is so happy to be back on the water and taking this opportunity to show our Alaskan neighbors the beauty of Kenai Fjords National Park. We look forward to seeing you this summer!