If you are hungry and in Seward, Alaska, you might consider one of the dining cruises, which are pretty amazing culinary opportunities that may not be possible in any other part of the world. We have written a lot about dining cruises in various cities across the U.S., but none of them are quite like the ones that sail out of Seward into the Kanai Fjords, which combine hearty meals with wildlife tours and potentially even whale watching. One of the dining cruises from Seward goes to Fox Island, whereas the others sail around Resurrection Bay or the broader waters surrounding Kenai Fjords National Park.
These unique dining cruises came to our attention when writing about whale watching cruises in Seward. After looking into all the companies you might be able to whale watch with, we noticed that two companies offered something like a dining cruise.
The first company is Kenai Fjords Tours, which is the only company that offers a cruise with dinner at its center. From about mid-June to mid-August, they offer a dinner cruise to Fox Island that starts at 5:00 PM and ends at 8:30 PM. (It’s about a 50-mile round trip from Seward, so it takes some time to get there and back.) Unlike most dining cruises, however, you don’t actually eat on the boat, but rather at Fox Island in a lodge onshore, where you are served a wild Alaska salmon and prime rib dinner, plus a half pound of Alaska king crab if you pay extra. On your trip out to Fox Island, you can see glaciers up close and look for creatures like puffins, cormorants, and otters. The tour costs $69 for adults and $34.50 for children, but if you add the crab to your dinner when booking, it is an extra $12.50. (The crab is $15.50 if you add it after checking in.) Since there is a set focal point for the cruise – eating dinner on Fox Island – it isn’t really a wildlife or nature tour in the full sense of the word, but simply by sailing through the waters of Resurrection Bay, you’ll see plenty of Alaska’s natural beauty.
The other cruise company that offers dining possibilities places the wildlife tour first and foremost, and in fact the dining part of the cruise is something of a side note. These cruises are offered from late spring to early fall by Major Marine Tours, and all but one of their cruises in Kenai Fjords National Park feature dining in one form or another. A few of their earlier cruises offer only a “light breakfast and deli lunch,” which is complimentary, so it would be strange to consider these dining cruises in any real sense. However, there are three cruises that feature an Alaska salmon and prime rib buffet, which certainly seems like a robust enough offering to make the tour a dining cruise in some sense. The tickets for these tours vary based on their length – the four-hour tour is $79 for adults and $39.50 for children, for example – but the salmon and prime rib dinner is always only $19 extra, which is of course an optional addition to your ticket. Again, the main focus of the trip is to sail around the ocean looking for animals, including whales, but you can eat while you are doing it if you pay the extra $19.
To be sure, neither one of these company’s offerings are dining cruises in the way that we have normally conceived of them, but these two possibilities out of Seward seemed interesting enough to warrant a write up. If you are interested in taking one, tickets can be booked online through each company’s website.