Cruiseport-Based Kayaking in Alaska

Sally and I will be taking a cruise to Alaska next year, and I’d like to get some input from those on the boards who’ve paddled the coastal areas regarding “good” half-day trips out of any of the usual cruise ship stops along the way.

If I could arrange a feeding humpback dance of broaching and filter-straining behemoths encircling us à la tsunamichuck’s (AND the Parsons!) famous encounter, it would be great, but I understand such events ate rare and reserved for paddling elite like Chuck and his dog. So I’ll take orcas, otters, and seals, oh my! And beautiful topography and clear Waters and glaciers, whatever y’all can recommend as wr

Paddle On!

Frank in Miami

We took a mothership cruise out of Bartlett Cove Glacier Bay for a week many years ago. We had humpbacks circling our yaks some days… Saw bears, saw really grumpy sea otters… But it was a small 46 guest ship that launched us after breakfast and reeled us in for happy hour and dinner. The particular line we were with is no longer operating.
As we were doing our own trip via AK State Ferry if you find a half day excursion out of Skagway or Ketchikan those are good scenic full of wildlife places

Thanks KM!

Our projected itinerary lists Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Icy Straits Point, Valdez, and Seward as stops, no Skagway; right now it looks like Ketchikan. In-port times run from 5 to 11 hours, and I figure all but the 5-hour layover will give us a large enough window to get from the ship to the outfitters or guides, paddle, grab a bite, and get back to the ship in time for sailing.

I briefly considered the Ferry, but we want just a bit more luxury in a more comprehensive package our dotage, :smile -but 20 years ago I’d’ve jumped at the adventure.

Thanks again, and Ketchikan is now on the agenda to check out and see if that’s where we want to

Paddle On!

Frank in Mismi

While following R2AK this year, I often checked this Ketchikan webcam to see what the weather was. The kayak tour boat has an 800#. Cruise ships also dock there and sometimes can be seen on the cam.

I can get you out of Seward and if early in June you can meet Melvin

Both Valdez and Seward are located at the end of fjord so it would be an out and back paddle

Valdez is also spectacular and Prince William Sound is calm usually. It’s quite protected. Sea otters practically in the harbor.

Icy Strait Point is where we got to paddle with the Hump Backs, and if your cruise ship takes

you through Johnstone Strait near Telegraph Cove you could luck out like we did and paddle with the Orcas.
We were on our own though and on our own schedule.
Paddled along side this big guy and twelve others for ten miles

Chuck -Melvin? You now know your wild paddling co-conspirators by name??? That is so you, amigo! Is Melvin conventional mammal, cetacean mammal, icthyo, or -less likely from your previously published reports -avian…? Actually, any of the above would be great, but the water-based ones are what I’d really enjoy, of course -isn’t that at least half the reason to see -“sea”? -Alaska? We will have more time in Seward than our other stops, and we’ll in early/mid-June, so maybe -I sure hope so! -we -you and Melvin and Teruko and Paris and us -can work something out.

Jack -is that the nose of your old Eclipse Sea Lion in the long shot of the Orca pod? I need to find our old Eclipse a new home -sure you don’t want ours to replace the void in your storage area? The pics are gorgeous! We’ll talk all about your trip over margaritas and painkillers this fall-winter, and you can tell us all about the adventures you and Nanci had in Alaska. The only thing I recall offhand was your bear story. I’m sure there’s more!

KM, it’s funny, but somewhere along the line during our research, I saw a couple comments about Valdez not being all that much. But I don’t think the originator was paddler; you guys offer better info and insight than lubbers, and I’ll go with a P-Netter -oops, a P-Commer? -with great preference!

Rookie -I’ll check out the Ketchikan cam. Thanks.

And thanks all for your great tips and offers . But don’t get all sncious and worked up. The trip won’t occur until 2020. Yeah, OK, I know. It’s early. But what can I say -I’m a retired planner…! I HAVE ro plan ahead to, at least in Alaska,


Frank in Miami

Don’t rush home from Seward. There is a lot to see and do in Southcentral Alaska

I loved Valdez. I expected an oil pipeline terminal and not much more. But the wildlife is amazing and you can watch salmon fishing about a mile from town. Prince WIlliam Sound is ringed by mountains close in. The glaciers are a bit of a haul for a few hours tour but there are some neat waterfalls… I liked Seward but because its on every cruise ship line its more crowded and the bay is quite long and narrow and prone to higher seas. Yea there be Orcas but they are several miles from the harbor.

Plan in AK… Well maybe for you with a limited time… We had retired. We had some six weeks.

. Melvin

Don’t look back, it’s Melvin! Indeed…

Hi Frank.What company and ship? I am mulling over a combine-a-couple-of-trips trip up to Alaska in later 2019 mayhaps. Have a godchild due to have her first in Sept, they are currently based in Anchorage.

Last time we took the Alaska State Ferry from Bellingham to Juneau . Since then its routes have expanded and we would do it again… We took a cabin and loved the presentations by the USFS Rangers who were onboard . Some ports had longer layovers ( it is a ferry dependent on tide) and we took some hikes. Since it is a ferry you can arrive at town at 3 am. and leave at 6 am maybe not to your liking
If I had the time I would plan where I want to stay over and book ahead accordingly.
This is the ferry where you can duct tape your tent to the back deck. It requires a LOT of duct tape