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Day Cruise from Whittier or Steward?

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Jul 27th, 2014, 07:58 PM
  #1
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Day Cruise from Whittier or Steward?

We'll be in Alaska in mid-September. It looks like the only half-day cruise that Major Marine does from Steward that late in the year is the 5 hour Kenai Fjord Tour. Phillips Cruises does two tours from Whittier, the 26 Glacier Tour and the Glacier Quest Cruise (cheaper, which matters since there are four of us). Which one would you suggest? We'll be staying in Steward for a few nights, but could stop in Whittier on the way.
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Jul 27th, 2014, 08:15 PM
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It is Seward . . .

Read the descriptions and decide -- as the website says the 26 Glacier is longer and their most popular, and the Glacier Quest is "great for children" (though they don't spell out why exactly -- likely because it is shorter and the emphasis on wild life)
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Jul 27th, 2014, 08:40 PM
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Yes, Seward! Whoops! I've read the descriptions, but would still like some opinions.
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Jul 27th, 2014, 09:02 PM
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We just did the 26 Glacier Tour last month and it was WONDERFUL! We saw otter and a humpback whale and so many beautiful glaciers!!! We did it as an excursion from our Alaska Cruise and we were in Anchorage. We were lucky and had beautiful warm sunny weather at the end of June. One thing they advertise is that you won't get sea sick because you stay in Prince William Sound so you won't have rough seas that you can if you go out into the Gulf. Lunch was included in our price and there were also home made chocolate chip cookies that you smelled them making!

Twenty-two years ago we did the Kenai Fjords Tour and we loved that tour too. We saw a lot of wild life. I only remember getting close to one tide water glacier and we had to cut some of the wild life and bird islands because a storm was coming in and we had to cross back though the Gulf of Mexico where the seas were very rough and many people were tossing their cookies of the side of the boat.

Utahtea
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Jul 28th, 2014, 12:05 AM
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I just wouldn't get your heart set on seeing a lot or having decent weather. That is very late in the season and it will likely be rainy/overcast/cold.

I took a first week in Sept cruise (left Vancouver Aug 31) to Seward followed by 4 days in Anchorage and it rained many days and was REALLY wet/cold in Glacier Bay and at Seward. There is a reason the cruises/day tours end in Sept.
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Jul 28th, 2014, 08:22 AM
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We had complete crap weather on our Kenai Fjords tour in Seward and still liked it.
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Jul 29th, 2014, 11:43 AM
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Whittier is better for glaciers and Seward is better for marine life.

I also prefer less glaciers (e.g. spending time viewing one, like Blackstone out of Whittier) not running around to catch a glimpse of 26 of them.
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Jul 29th, 2014, 12:25 PM
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We loved the 26 Glacier Tour! And that was years ago so glad to hear Utahtea also enjoyed it recently. In Seward, we also loved our Dog Sled tour with Mitch Seavey, he and his son have both won The Ididerod: http://www.ididaride.com/
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Jul 29th, 2014, 03:46 PM
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I guess part of the decision has to do with the drive. We'll be leaving from Anchorage, and spending the night in Seward. Are there a million great places to stop along the way? If so, it might make more sense to just spend a leisurely day driving to Seward. We're pretty pokey.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 03:16 AM
  #10
 
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Keep in mind there's a one-way toll tunnel into/out of Whittier so you have to schedule your visit carefully. I much preferred visiting Seward but did not go on the 26 glaciers trip, just the longest one out of Seward. You can see more glaciers from the observation deck/telescope on top of Mt Alyeska.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 05:31 AM
  #11
 
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We did both cruises with Major Marine and loved them both. The Toursaver unfortunately no longer offers the Buy1/ Get 1 free this year.

I don't know your whole itinerary, but if you are just driving to Seward, I would take the longer cruise out of Seward. Be sure to layer, have a coat with a good or a hat, even gloves. You want to be out on the decks and you want to be prepared if it is cold. We also took a Dramamine. There is one area that is quite rough.

The Whittier cruise is also beautiful. The waters are calm. If you do this cruise, you want to choose a cruise that includes
Surprise Glacier. We spent two nights in Girdwood at Hidden Creek B&B. The Double Musky, a highly recommended restaurant, is also in Girdwood. The B&B is 30 minutes from Whittier.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 11:36 AM
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With 4 people I'd also look at booking a small boat tour. It might be a little more expensive; but I love smaller, more personalized service. e.g. check out lazzyotter.com (out of Whittier). I've done their Blackstone Glacier trip and it was fantastic.

There's a ton of things to do between Anchorage and Seward (esp. in the Girdwood/Portage/Whittier area). Check out this site/URL for more information on the many activities: http://goo.gl/dPvuEJ
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Aug 5th, 2014, 05:46 AM
  #13
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Thanks for your help, everyone!
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