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Boating and Wildlife Viewing
Alaska Sea Kayakers. Alaska Sea Kayakers can supply sea kayaks and gear for exploring Prince William Sound and also conducts guided day trips, multiday tours, instruction, and boat-assisted and boat live-aboard kayaking trips. The company practices a leave-no-trace camping ethos, and is very conscientious about avoiding bear problems. All guides are experienced Alaskan paddlers, and group sizes are kept small. Trips are May through mid-September. Whittier, AK. 907/472-2534 or 877/472-2534. www.alaskaseakayakers.com.
Lazy Otter Charters. The small fleet of boats at Lazy Otter Charters is available for private charter, sightseeing, and sea-kayak drop-offs. Groups of up to 22 people can join trips through Prince William Sound; you can also get transport to Cordova and Valdez. Customized sightseeing trips run from four or five hours to eight or nine hours. Whittier, AK. 800/587-6887. www.lazyotter.com.
Major Marine Tours. Major Marine Tours runs a five-hour cruise from Whittier that visits two tidewater glaciers. The waters of Prince William Sound are well protected and relatively calm, making this a good option if you're inclined toward queasiness. Seabirds, waterfowl, and bald eagles are always present, and the chance to get close to the enormous walls of ice of the glaciers is not to be missed. A number of different cruises are available and range from $70 to $150 per person, and runs from mid-May to mid-September. For an additional $19 (+ tax) every cruise features a freshly prepared all-you-can-eat salmon and prime rib meal and reserved table seating for every guest inside the heated cabin. Whittier, AK. 907/274-7300 or 800/764-7300. www.majormarine.com.
Prince William Sound Glacier Cruises. From Whittier, tours with Prince William Sound Glacier Cruises travel through the sheltered bays, fjords, and canals of Prince William Sound. You can view glaciers, seabirds, and wildlife such as seals, sea lions, sea otters, whales, bears, and mountain goats. The company can arrange transportation from Anchorage to Whittier by bus or rail, or you can drive to Whittier in your own vehicle. Prices vary according to length of trip and travel options; cruises take place mid-May through mid-September. Pier 1, Whittier, AK, 99693. 877/777-4054. www.princewilliamsound.com.
Sound Eco Adventures. Retired marine biologist Gerry Sanger runs full-day photo tours limited to 3 people in his 30-foot boat with Sound Eco Adventures from March through October. Whittier, AK. 907/242-0637. www.soundecoadventure.com.
26 Glacier Cruise. Phillips' Cruises & Tours has been running the 26 Glacier Cruise through Prince William Sound for many years. The high-speed catamaran covers 135 mi of territory in 4½ hours, leaving Whittier and visiting Port Wells, Barry Arm, and College and Harriman fjords. The boat is a very stable platform, and even visitors prone to seasickness can take this cruise with no ill effects. The heated cabin has large windows, upholstered booths, and wide aisles, and all seats are pre-reserved. There's a snack bar and a saloon on board, and wildlife encounters are commonplace. You can drive to Whittier and catch the boat at the dock, or you can arrange with the company to travel from Anchorage by rail or bus. The trip is $139 per person, plus tax, and includes a hot lunch of cod or chicken; tours are given May through September. Whittier, AK. 907/276-8023 or 800/544-0529. www.26glaciers.com.
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