Renting a boat in Seward or Whittier

Old May 3rd, 2021, 03:54 AM
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Renting a boat in Seward or Whittier

Hi
We will be in these 2 cities at the end of May and is it possible to rent a small boat and tour around ourselves? About what can we expect as far as price? Would like to see some wildlife and glaciers but not up for a 6-8 hours on a commercial boat.
thanks
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Old May 3rd, 2021, 06:35 AM
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I have been to Seward and would say no. You are in waters that can’t get rough, have hazards and one would need to be an expert seaman. The trips are long because it takes a long time to get out to the glaciers. We took the 8 hour trip and it was so worth it. I wish it was even longer.
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Old May 3rd, 2021, 06:56 AM
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We rented a boat in Seward last September. We were charged $500 plus fuel for the entire day. Boating within Resurrection bay was fairly easy as it was calm, but you can encounter large rolling waves and rougher seas out near Fox island. We saw lots of sea lions, bald eagles, a sea otter and spectacular views while closer to Seward in the bay. Out further near Fox island a huge pod of Dahl's porpoise rode our bow wave for about 10 minutes. We then encountered a large pod of Killer Whales for a few minutes. They swam up to around 30 yards of our boat and then dove under us and resurfaced about 100 yards behind us and left. We also spotted a pod of false killer whales, but they kept a pretty good distance of over 100 yards.
For glaciers, towards the end of Resurrection bay there's a glacier calving into the ocean, but there were a lot of icebergs in the water, so you have to be extremely careful. We continued on and rounded the far end of the peninsula and went into Aialik bay and into the Holgate arm to see the Holgate glacier meet the ocean. This was spectacular, but you have to be careful and not get too close as you never know when a huge piece of ice may fall. It was beautiful to see the Holgate arm and glacier, but it took a long time to get there (over three hours each way).
I would recommend renting a boat in Seward only if you're an experienced boater and comfortable on the open water. Our day started calm, but towards noon the seas become much more rough with huge rolling waves that made it somewhat difficult. But if you stay inside the bay, it is very calm. Hope this helps.
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Old May 3rd, 2021, 07:12 AM
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Welcome to Fodors. We removed thew Trip Report tag.
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Old May 3rd, 2021, 07:52 AM
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Not all of the commercial trips from Seward are 6 to 8 hours. Major Marine does "Orca Quest" in May and it's 4 hours.

I don't think you will reach any glaciers on a 4 hour cruise starting in Seward, though. You'll just stay inside Resurrection Bay.

From Whittier, Glacier Quest with Phillips is a shorter tour, which will include glacier viewing. It starts May 22

https://phillipscruises.com/

There is another company Lazy Otter which offers private tours from Whittier.

Have you been on the website alaska.org?

Last edited by mlgb; May 3rd, 2021 at 07:57 AM.
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