Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kenai Fjords Tour @ Seward, Alaska, USA

I went for the Kenai Fjords 6 hours cruise with high expectation. When I arrived Seward from Anchorage via their bus, I was warned that the seas may be rough and I may not be able to view the glacier sites. I have a choice of canceling, change day or going. Canceling and change day is out of my mind as that day was my second last day in Alaska and even if I proceed to change it to the next day, the travel from Anchorage to Seward is time consuming and I have to fork up another USD75 for the bus on the next day. I proceed of going for the tours anyway and I am expecting something nice even if the cruise converted to Resurrection Bay tour.

However, as I approach to board the boat, I noticed that the boat is quite small when compared to the boat that I took for my Prince William Sound cruise. The toilet is also quite small and the food provided is not as great as my Prince William Sound cruise. The chicken wrap and the hot chocolate cookie provided is not as good when compared to the one that I had on my previous cruise. When the boat sails to the Gulf of Alaska, the captain decided not to proceed to the glaciers site as the seas were rough. I do agree with the decision by the captain as there are many on the boat already start vomiting and the seas was rough. The captain then proceed to continue the cruise on Resurrection Bay where I can see a few otters and birds which for me is rather so-so. After the end of the cruise, I was given USD50 Mastercard gift card as refund and they told me that I can use it in restaurant or shops for purchase. With limited time in Anchorage, I trying to use the card to pay for my dinner on that night. I was told that the card is not able to use. On the next day, I tried to use the card again on the other shop and again, it does not work.

Feeling frustrated for not being able to use the card, I went to Kenai Fjords tour office in Downtown Anchorage to complaint about the matter and they have refunded me the USD50 into my card only after a few failure attempts to cash out USD47.50 being USD2.50 as service fee from a nearby bank. I am in opinion that Kenai Fjords tours should just refund USD50 in form of cash or refund directly to their credit card rather than complicates the refund process and further more customer have to call to the bank for the gift card activation or pay for service fee if they would like to cash out from bank. Please think about your overseas customers who probably don't have active phone line to call as limited service in Alaska and even if they can call, it will incur high roaming charges. I also noticed that the Resurrection Cruise tour price is USD99 vs Kenai Fjords Tour is USD149. But the Resurrection Cruise tour have better food (Alaskan salmon and Prime Rib). The USD50.00 refund does not justify as we only have chicken wrap and chocolate cookie.

Besides that, Kenai Fjords tours should have a few backup options as well if the weather is not permitting. Customers should be offered to do Exit glacier tours or tours around Seward. Do consider about your customers who are coming from Anchorage to Seward by bus. Its a 7 hours return journey by bus from Anchorage to Seward and the company should provide a few backup options to the customer rather than just cancel, change date or going. Anyway, this cruise is based on weather and if you would like to view great glaciers, I suggest that you just do Prince William Sound cruise instead. With bad weather, the chances of viewing whales or other animals is greatly reduced as well. Most of the animals are only viewable nearby the glaciers site.

Opinion: Don't take this cruise if the weather is bad or raining as you will just waste your time at the middle of the seas seeing nothing much.


Kenai Fjords tour office in Seward, Alaska.

Nice view around Seward port.

I really amaze with Alaska scenery with seas beside mountains. Great view with foggy clouds.

Other tour operators but they close the season early.

Boarding Aialik Voyager.

This is how is look like in the ship. Small!

The ship departs.

This is best wildlife that I can see during the whole trip.

Approaching the Gulf of Alaska. Super foggy day.

Can see a glacier from a far.

Lunch of chicken wrap, chips and energy bar.

The chicken wrap taste good but the portion is quite small.

White head eagle.

This is the best scenery that I can see for the whole of this cruise trip.

Wow, huge wave when approaching the Gulf of Alaska.

Hot chocolate cookies provided. Taste is ok.

Another foggy scenery.

The scenery here is quite nice with clear greenish water.

Price: USD149 per adult for the 6 hours cruise. Add USD75 per adult if you are coming from Anchorage, Alaska for return bus transport.
GPS/Coordinate: 60.117413, -149.439410 (Seward Office), 61.218705, -149.891980 (Anchorage Office)
Address: 1304 4th Ave, Seward, AK 99664, USA (Seward Office) & .509 W 4th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA (Anchorage Office).

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