The following is a sample itinerary for a three-day, two-night family trip. No two trips are exactly alike.
After you've booked your dates—trips range from 3 to 10+ days—we'll work with you to sketch out your dream adventure. The beauty of a custom trip is that we can adjust our plan as necessary for weather or to spend more time on the activities and experiences—like calving glaciers or breaching whales—that are most meaningful to you.
Day 1: Seward to Aialik Bay
You board the Darby about 9 a.m. in the Seward small boat harbor. After a safety briefing and orientation to the boat, your captain and crew get the adventure underway. As we steam south along the shoreline of Resurrection Bay, you will begin to learn about the flora and fauna of this region and practice spotting wildlife. The Darby's comfortable cabin has plenty of windows and offers great views no matter the weather. Today the sun is shining, so you head upstairs to the open-air fly bridge to take in the views and chat with Captain Colin.
Around lunch time, your crew will find a protected area to drift in the boat, marveling at the stunning scenery while we enjoy a fresh lunch prepared by Chef Autum. We spend the afternoon cruising over to Aialik Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park. Along the way, we pause to catch a wild salmon to serve for dinner.
As the day draws to an end, your crew will find a serene cove to anchor the boat for the night. You then have the opportunity to take the kayaks out for a paddle, be shuttled to shore to go for a walk on the beach or curl up with a book while your own private chef creates an inspiring dinner using the catch of the day.
Before settling into your bed, you draw the blackout curtains to ensure the midnight sun doesn't interrupt your sleep.
Day 2: Aialik Bay to Northwestern Fjord
Waking up on the second day, you peek through the window and see a humpback whale surfacing or sea lions frolicking along the shore. After a full breakfast, your crew will haul the anchor up and navigate thru the fjords.
From Aialik Bay, we'll travel to Northwestern Fjord where you spend time admiring waterfalls, tidewater glaciers, and possibly harbor seals basking on the sea ice. Lunch is often spent drifting among small icebergs. The calving glacier produces thunderous sounds and huge chunks of ice tumble into the sea.
Later in the afternoon, your crew will find the best place to anchor for the evening, depending on the wave conditions. Your family might enjoy an evening paddle or game while a delicious dinner is prepared. Enjoy s'mores for dessert on your own private beach before returning to the Darby, where the ocean lulls you to sleep.
Day 3: Northwestern Fjord to Seward
On the morning of your final day, you wake to the smell of coffee and fresh baked goodies wafting up from the galley.
Your family decides that whale watching is the priority for the day, so Captain Colin steams towards the Chiswell Islands where feeding whales are often spotted, along with large marine bird rookeries.
On the way back to Seward, we stop near Pony Point to see how the salmon are biting. Your family catches a few more wild, dime-bright fish. Along the way, lunch is served and you marvel at Chef Autum's ability to get the kids to clean their plates. Wildlife and hanging glaciers keep you mesmerized as Seward comes into view. You're greeted by sea otters at the entrance to the harbor.
Arriving back at the dock by 4:30 or 5 pm, you've still got plenty of daylight to explore Seward's historic downtown, hit the trails, or just relax and enjoy the stellar views. Returning to Anchorage via the scenic Alaska Railroad? Seward's train depot is just steps from the small boat harbor.