Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
SeahawkSiren

Alaska DIY – Fairbanks / Healy / Denali / Seward - July 4-11, 2019

Recommended Posts

We then walked on a nice little boardwalk where research is being conducted as to how warming climates affect Alaska taiga and tundra and more specifically permafrost in that area.  It was a pretty elaborate amount of equipment and sensors out there.  We were impressed!

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

It was time to say goodbye to Healy/Denali and head out for Seward the next day.  This was how "visible" the sun was on our last day in Healy.  So much smoke!

 

enhance

 

 

 

 

Edited by SeahawkSiren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monday, July 8.  Healy to Seward.  The smoke from wildfires was the worst on this day.  The most of any day during our week in Alaska.  I had heard and read so much about how beautiful the drive is from Healy to Seward but most of it we were unable to see due to so much smoke from wildfires.  The entire stretch from Healy to Anchorage (about 250 miles) we were unable to see any of the mountains.  Zero. 😭

 

Once we left Anchorage and continued on down to Seward (that stretch is about 120 miles) the smoke did clear up some.  Here are some views from along the Seward Highway.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We checked into our VRBO cabin rental in Seward.

 

enhance

 

I recommend that you put Apollo Restaurant on your radar in Seward.  We had dinner there the first night.  Excellent food and service.  The menu has Greek and Italian food.  Yum!  They also have steaks, seafood and will even cook your fish catch.  https://www.apollorestaurantak.com/

 

The appetizer we ordered was Tzatziki Dolmas which is stuffed grape leaves with tzatziki sauce and pita bread.  Delish!

 

enhance


I ordered the Greek calzone which was gigantic! 🤣

 

enhance

 

After dinner we went down to the water where we were able to watch the NCL Jewel departing from Seward.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tuesday, July 9.  Kenai Fjords National Park.

 

Today was another wonderful excursion.  We did the 8.5 hour Northwestern Fjord Cruise through Major Marine Tours.  An excellent cruise!  https://majormarine.com/tour/8-5-hour-northwestern-fjord-cruise/

 

I booked this cruise on a Cyber Monday sale in November 2018 and received a 40% discount.  A very nice savings!

 

We boarded what I think is their smallest vessel, the Viewfinder.  They only allow 36 people on this cruise so it is a more intimate experience which is nice.

 

enhance

 

We had some fog on the cruise out to the glaciers but it was still beautiful scenery.

 

And there is just something about that smell of sea air...At times I didn't even care what I was viewing I was getting so much enjoyment out of just being on this cruise, on the water, such a nice time.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

More beautiful scenery along the way.

 

enhance

 

All of my puffin photos turned out terrible, but I swear those are puffins! 😍

 

enhance

Edited by SeahawkSiren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We stopped at the Northwestern Glacier for about 30 minutes.  It was such an amazing experience to hear the cracks and sounds and see a little bit of calving.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

enhance

 

Other glaciers in the areas were just as impressive.  All of the scenery was amazing.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We saw several humpback whales, puffins, mew gulls, otters, seals, sea lions and bald eagles throughout the cruise.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

Ugh!  All my sea lion photos turned out bad too.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A really fabulous day!  If you have the time, I really recommend this tour or whichever one is the longest possible cruise you have time for.  You really get into the farther reaches of the park and have more chances to see wildlife.

 

Fog was lifting as we got back to Seward.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

We ate at another great place after this excursion, a thai restaurant.

Woody's Thai Kitchen.  https://www.woodysthaikitchen.com/

 

I will be stopping here for tonight.  I will have one more installment which will include hiking to Exit Glacier and a final moose send off from Anchorage!

 

 

Edited by SeahawkSiren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SeahawkSiren said:

 

Wow!  What are the odds that someone reading this review would have stayed in the same cabin?  Incredible!  Yes, it's a beautiful place.  It was very hard to leave there.  DH and I agreed it was the best VRBO we have ever rented.  Thanks for following along!

 

 

Small world, that’s for sure,, We also loved the cabin, probably second on my list of the many we stayed in over the years. #1...Granite Point Lodge, 9 miles out on Resurrection Bay. Private beach, kayak and SUP boards included and tide pooling on that beach, all alone! It was spectacular!!  Stayed there during the same trip in 2017 and are going back next year. Skipping Seward this year, just too many other things we haven’t seen before! 

 

Really cool cabin out on Stampede Rd...curious if you get reply’s about if it’s a rental or not. 

 

Will be here, waiting for the rest of your report!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading more, we loved the Apollo as well. Huge portions and a little bit to please everyone!!

My last post referenced Resurrection Bay VRBO...you passed it on your way out of Seward on your Kenai Fjords Cruise. Big house on a cliff to the left.

 We also splurged and had a private boat pick us up on the beach and we had a bbq with fresh cause halibut in front of Aialik Glacier. We sat there long enough for the entire face of the glacier to calf!! Then my youngest son (16 at the time), swam out to one of the icebergs that had calved when we first arrive. It was his “best thing I’ve ever done” moments in his life! I have a video, but don’t know how to post it. It was such a magical day! 

Love all your pictures!! 😍

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wednesday, July 10.  Exit Glacier at Kenai Fjords National Park.  Exit Glacier is the only part of Kenai Fjords National Park that is accessible by road.

 

enhance

 

Getting a glimpse of the glacier on the drive in!

 

enhance

 

A nice little hike to view the glacier with beautiful scenery along the way.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

There are markers along parts of the road and along the trail showing where the glacier was in history.  For example, in this photo this is where the glacier was in 2005.

 

enhance

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

A very nice hike with an up close view of the glacier.  We hope to return someday and do the longer hike up to the Harding Icefield.  Goodbye, Exit Glacier!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We then did a short hike in town at Two Lakes Park.  There were swarms of flies following us so this was not an enjoyable hike.  Nice scenery, but just hit it at the wrong time of year I guess.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

The ravens in Alaska are the size of my cats! 🤣

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a picnic lunch along the water for our last day in Seward and enjoyed the views and watching some sea otters.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

Some random photos of downtown.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want souvenirs you must go to the Alaska Shop in Seward.  An awesome store with a huge stock.  The variety of stuff in there was amazing.  And I had forgotten to get souvenirs in Denali and they even had Denali stuff there too!  Score!

 

We finished up the day with a drink at Seasalt and enjoyed the view from their nice outdoor patio.

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

Goodbye, Seward.  Thank you for a wonderful time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thursday, July 11.  Anchorage to Seattle.

 

Vacation is ending.  Bummer!  But reality calls and it's time to go home.  Our flight from Anchorage to Seattle wasn't until late afternoon so we just enjoyed a leisurely drive along the Seward Highway.  The weather did not cooperate on the return trip either as the mountains were socked in by fog this time.  As we were driving along the Seward Highway though right before we got to Anchorage we got a send-off from two moose, a mama and her calf.  A nice way to end our vacation!

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

We had lunch in Anchorage at Gwennie's Old Alaska Restaurant.  http://gwenniesrestaurant.com/

 

A really wonderful vacation and special 50th birthday for DH!  We really enjoyed seeing the interior of Alaska,  We will return again someday.

 

enhance

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Q&A with InsureMyTrip
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...