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Kayaking choices with Windstar, in Alaska

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If you were on the Star Legend in Alaska last summer, I am seeking your insights.  We are headed to Alaska on the Star Legend this July.  Really looking forward to it, as last time we did Alaska it was on a 1,800 HAL ship.  The number of excursions launching directly from the ship is an outstanding opportunity.  And herein lies my question.

 

Kayaking is available directly from the ship at three different locations: Kenai Fjord, Tracy & Endicott Arm; and Misty Fjord.  We are planning to partake of at least one, but are not budgeting for all three.  And we do not want to wait until we are onboard to reserve, as these are likely to sellout well before departure.

 

If you can offer some insight into which of the three would be your first pick, we would love to hear what you have to suggest.  While picturesque is often most important to many; we would love to also know about which spot was nearest to active ice and was there one that was especially peaceful or majestic?  Any further enlightenment about Windstar's first summer in Alaska will be graciously accepted.

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I did both Tracy & Endicott Arm and Misty Fjord last July.  There are no glaciers in Misty Fjord.  It was just gorgeous greenery and waterfalls and some wildlife. We had just fabulous weather.  The kayaking at Sawyer glacier was incredibly awe-inspiring.  Calving was very active and loud and paddling through the ice was amazing.  We saw seals and their babies up close near the glacier.It was cold and rainy for us but they provided hot cocoa and cookies during the excursion. If you can, I would do both.  We will be returning this July and I will do all three excursions this time.

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thank you for the great insight and pictures.  What date are you sailing in July?

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On 3/26/2019 at 9:22 AM, ridethetide said:

July 6th from Seward.

Sorry we will miss meeting.  We are July 29 from Seward.  Leave the light on for us.

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I did all 3 kayak expeditions on my cruise. It was the first Alaska cruise and due to the May ice conditions and calving seals, we went up Endicott Arm rather than Tracy Arm so we were kayaking at Dawes Glacier rather than Sawyer. 

 

They take you on zodiacs to a spot where you transfer to the kayaks so you start out reasonably close to the glacier. In both Kenai Fjords and Endicott Arm, we kayaked about as close to the glacier as one safely can. (Too close and the waves from calving can flip a kayak so that limits how close.) You do paddle through the floating ice which is quite an experience.

 

I'd rate them as about equal in getting close to active ice, peacefulness and majesty. There was calving in both cases. How much calving occurs is going to be somewhat random. Wildlife spotting will probably vary by season and luck as well. In May there were brown bears grazing in the grass on the bank at Kenai Fjords as well as seals in the water or on the floating ice. Also, there was a mountain goat on the ledges to the right of the glacier. We paddled by an island where there were raucous gulls and an eagle swooped in and got a chick. In Endicott Arm, we saw porpoises in amongst the ice and various birds. We didn't spot any land mammals at Endicott. There were some larger blocks of floating ice that we paddled by in Endicott Arm.

 

I sort of preferred Kenai Fjords because of the wildlife spotting we had, but as I mentioned, that depends on season and chance. 

 

Misty Fjords doesn't have glaciers so it's a different experience. We got pretty close to a brown bear on the bank. As it was spring, there were a lot of birds doing their mating song thing. The most exciting part was that there was a humpback swimming in the fjord near us.

 

I was happy that I'd done all three.

 

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