For the third time in the last four years, Major Marine Tours welcomes a brand new addition to their fleet in Seward, Alaska. The Skana, a custom-built 87 foot high-speed catamaran, will arrive in Seward on May 11th and begin running trips into Kenai Fjords National Park soon after. The boat’s name celebrates another one of the beloved orcas that frequents Kenai Fjords National Park throughout the season. The Skana was specially-designed similarly to her sister ship, the Spirit of Matushka, giving passengers the best viewing experience possible. The bow of the vessel is built with stadium-style standing areas for optimum wildlife viewing, a first for Alaskan whale watching vessels. Additionally, the third deck of the vessel has unobstructed 360 degree views and is partially enclosed to block the wind while still enjoying the outdoor seating. Skana passengers will have a unique, unforgettable viewing experience of the area’s glaciers, scenery, and wildlife. The vessel has ample outdoor viewing space including a wrap-around first deck that is fully wheelchair accessible.
This 150 passenger adjustable hydrofoil-assisted catamaran will cruise around 28 knots, making it the fastest, most fuel-efficient vessel in the fleet. In designing and building the boat, fuel economy was a top priority. The vessel consumes approximately the same fuel per nautical mile through the cruising speed range of 20 to 30 knots. The vessel is 87 feet long with quad Hamilton waterjets powered by Scania DI16 082 engines. The design includes a custom hull shape for added passenger comfort with a cushioning effect when encountering waves. All American Marine, a company based in Bellingham, Washington, built the Spirit of Matushka for us last year and the Skana for this season, and have extensive experience with vessels made for Alaskan waters. The semi-displacement catamaran hull for this vessel was developed by Teknicraft Design in Aukland, New Zealand. The design integrates the signature Teknicraft symmetrical and asymmetrical combined hull shape, bow wave piercer, and innovative hydrofoil system. The journey from Bellingham to Seward will take 7-10 days and will cover 1300 nautical miles, amounting to 50-60 driving hours. The vessel will hug the coast on its journey north, traveling by day and stopping along the way to refuel. Major Marine Tours plans on welcoming the Skana to the Seward Small Boat Harbor on May 11th.
As the Spirit of Matushka’s sister ship, we wanted to keep the same local killer whale theme for the Skana. Last fall, Major Marine did a company wide vote on several different boat names after orcas that are seen in Kenai Fjords National Park, and Skana was the favorite. Skana is one of the large bull male orcas in the AD8 resident pod, a group that is frequently seen feeding and socializing in Kenai Fjords. Skana is approximately 29 years old and pictured below from a Major Marine cruise.
Major Marine Tours offers world-class wildlife and glacier cruises from Seward, Alaska. We are a locally- owned, family company celebrating 30 years of sharing the beauty of Alaska with our guests. The Skana is the third brand new vessel for Major Marine Tours, cruising alongside the Spirit of Matushka built in 2021 and the Kenai Fjords 360 built in 2018. Our Seward cruises explore the tidewater glaciers and abundant wildlife of Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park.