Getting on/off a motorcoach. Wildlife cruise is 5 hours on a catamaran. Warm layers and rain gear are recommended for the cruise, though indoor seating is available. Sleeping arrangement at the SeaLife Center is coed, on sleeping mats on a cement/pebble floor. Due to fire code, no one will be allowed to sleep on the carpeted area. There are no shower facilities at the SeaLife Center.
At the hotel, we'll enjoy a breakfast buffet with hot and cold items such as eggs, breakfast meats, pancakes, and more, plus coffee, tea, juice, water.
After a leisurely morning, we'll check out of our hotel and store our luggage, then transfer a short distance by motorcoach to the harbor to embark our catamaran. We'll sail out into beautiful Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park for our glacier and wildlife cruise. The Russians who "discovered" the bay on Easter Sunday named it Resurrection Bay; "Easter" was commonly referred to as "Resurrection." Join rangers on board to learn how to identify various mammal and bird species, and have a chance to earn your Junior Ranger badge!
Aboard the boat, we'll have a special treat as we dine on a buffet of fresh Alaska salmon and prime rib with sides, hot bread, coffee, tea, water, soda. Make sure you save room for the dessert bar!
We'll keep an eye out for seals, sea lions, otters, numerous birds (including some puffin varieties), and whales set against a backdrop of magnificent tidewater and hanging glaciers. We may even see some glacial calving. Once back in Seward, we'll disembark and make our way to the Alaska SeaLife Center for our overnight field trip. The SeaLife Center is a cutting-edge marine research facility and was established in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Money from damages assessed by the state on Exxon was used to start up the research center. One special focus was to study the long-term effects of the oil spill on the people, the animals, and the land of South Central Alaska. The Center has become a top-notch research facility, drawing researchers from all over the country.
At the SeaLife Center, we'll have a sandwich with chips, cookies, and water.
We'll begin our exploration at the Center with a scavenger hunt to orient ourselves to the facility. After dinner, we'll participate in two hands-on educational programs to learn more about the sea animals that call Alaska home. Programs may include a squid dissection, creating bioluminescence, and learning from veterinarians on how to care for stranded or injured marine mammals. Tonight, experience sleeping right in the middle of the Seabird, Steller Sea Lion, and Harbor Seal habitats!