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FaithPlus1

Seward Question

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I'm debarking from my NCL cruise in Seward and I'm definitely wanting to take a Fjords cruise to see glaciers and wildlife. I was planning on doing the 9 hour one with Kenai Fjords Tours (Was thinking about Major Marines, but I don't like how they assign you a seat), but I'm thinking maybe it's better doing a shorter one so I have time in Seward? Would I be missing out on Seward if I just get off the cruise ship terminal, go straight on the tour, and then take the 6PM train? In Seward I have no desire to eat or go shopping. 

 

Thanks

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Just a quick comment about Major Marine -- they assign a table, which I prefer as it is "your official" place to leave your jacket, backpack and other stuff.  Major Marine is our favorite vendor, and we do the longest cruise we can fit into our time.  Since we are on the longer day trips we purchase the meal (which I find to reasonably priced as it is all you can eat) and also have "our" table to use for dining.  You are not restricted to your table, and most folks wander to either the outdoor covered seating area or other outdoor areas if the weather is nice.  Major Marine has a number of ships in their fleet, and I am thinking that one of their smallest vessels doesn't have the covered outdoor seating area, so  hopefully someone else will chime in.

 

The standard attractions in Seward are the SeaLife Center and Exit Glacier.  If neither are of interest then you may want to consider the longest day cruise which fits into your schedule.

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2 hours ago, FaithPlus1 said:

Would I be missing out on Seward if I just get off the cruise ship terminal, go straight on the tour, and then take the 6PM train?

I think I'd rather miss out on what Seward offers in order to take a Kenai Fjords cruise. Either way you'll miss something, and I would choose the cruise over Seward.

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21 minutes ago, AKStafford said:

I think I'd rather miss out on what Seward offers in order to take a Kenai Fjords cruise. Either way you'll miss something, and I would choose the cruise over Seward.

Thanks. I read this as you would never take a Kenai Fjords cruise hah hah. 

 

Decided to book the 9 hour cruise. Major Marines sold out. 

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Here is a live interview I did with Jen Leahy from the Seward Visitors Bureau. 

 

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We just returned from our Major Marine tour earlier this month.  It was the longest tour they offer, the 8.5 hour Northwestern Fjord cruise.  I believe the Viewfinder, the vessel we were on, is the smallest vessel in their fleet and it does have covered outdoor seating (the clear tarp surrounding was never completely opened).  We chose to sit out there for the entire cruise and not inside the cabin.  There was no assigned seats or tables, it was open seating and people were moving all over the vessel - inside, outside, taking photos, etc.  Having said that, even without assigned seating people did return to their original spots as that was where we stored our belongings.

 

I have read that some of their larger vessels do require assigned seating but just wanted to point out that our vessel was small enough that it did not require that.

 

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https://majormarine.com/tour/8-5-hour-northwestern-fjord-cruise/

 

 

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2 hours ago, SeahawkSiren said:

..... I believe the Viewfinder, the vessel we were on, is the smallest vessel in their fleet and it does 

I have read that some of their larger vessels do require assigned seating but just wanted to point out that our vessel was small enough that it did not require that.

 

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https://majormarine.com/tour/8-5-hour-northwestern-fjord-cruise/

 

 

 

 

We also have done the 8.5 hour Major Marine tour in addition to their 7.5 hour (or so) tours.  Just to make sure that folks understand that there is no "assigned seating" such as an assigned airplane seat on any of their trips.  You are not assigned a seat and expected to sit in it during the trip duration.  You are assigned a table seat slot.  All of the Major Marine ships have enough space so that there is no issue in moving around the vessel during the day cruise.

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11 hours ago, Northern Aurora said:

 

 

We also have done the 8.5 hour Major Marine tour in addition to their 7.5 hour (or so) tours.  Just to make sure that folks understand that there is no "assigned seating" such as an assigned airplane seat on any of their trips.  You are not assigned a seat and expected to sit in it during the trip duration.  You are assigned a table seat slot.  All of the Major Marine ships have enough space so that there is no issue in moving around the vessel during the day cruise.

 

We were not assigned a table seat slot.  When we boarded we were told it was open seating and we could choose where to sit (I think this may only be applicable to this particular vessel as it was worded as "there is no assigned seating on this vessel."  I can see where there may be the need to assign a table seat slot on the much larger boats).  Some chose to sit inside, others chose outside.  There was a max of 36 passengers on this particular cruise.

 

I will say on a completely separate note for those that are very interested in photography and want to be outside a lot, if you choose to sit inside you may want to sit on the aisle as on this vessel it was 6 slots per table, 3 on each side (and it was bench seating, not separate seats).  If you were to sit in the middle or next to the window you will need the people next to you to let you out of your seat if you want to go outside.  There was always a mad dash to get outside to the railings every time we got close to something of interest so if you don't have quick access to the outside that could be problematic for getting photos.  We purposely chose to sit outside for the entire cruise for that reason, to be closer to the railings, to be able to get photos and move around outside easier.

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Did you take the 6PM train to Anchorage after your tour? If so did you have to run to make the train?

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No, we were on a land tour with a rental car.  But I would be nervous trying to catch a 6PM train with a tour that ends at 5:30, especially if it does not get back exactly on time.  Maybe you could book the 7.5 hour Major Marine tour instead and give yourself that extra 90 minutes buffer (I know you mentioned above you already booked the 9 hour one Kenai Fjords Tours)?  The 7.5 hour MM tour also has glacier viewing.

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Sadly all the fjords tours with MM end at 5:30 unless you do the 5hr wildlife cruise which is from 12-5. I figure I need to be off the cruise by 10AM so would have to kill time for 2 hours. 

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