Day 11 – Departing cruise into Seward

Today’s our final day of the cruise, but unlike other cruises, we had to be off by 9:00 AM! 🥱

We did have time for breakfast and then went to our staterooms to wait on our number to be called. Luckily, we were only waiting a few minutes then got called through.

I’ve seen the cruise terminals at Port Canaveral, Tampa, Miami, and Vancouver. All were fairly massive. The Seward cruise terminal was…NOT. It was about half as long as the ship itself and we just walk in, find our luggage, and walk out.

Megan and I stopped to porter our luggage and then met the others’ taxi driver who was taking them to Anchorage. She did offer us the nickel tour of Seward so Megan and I hopped in and rode around to see where we would go today, then got dropped off at our first spot and off they went!

Seward has a population of around 2,800 and mostly relies on summer tourism, so we wanted to spend some time and see a few places here. The first stop of any day is coffee ☕️, and I had pre-selected Mermaid Grotto for our coffee. It has a nice decor, alternative milk options, and a shop out front. We settled in with our coffee and started to get used to steady ground.

Mermaid Grotto

Seward also operates a free community shuttle for getting around town, and we left at the perfect time to catch the shuttle! We rode it a few stops and reached the South side of Seward at the Alaska SeaLife Center. We took a self-guided tour through the center and saw many aquatic and avian animals including sea lions 🦭, seals, otters 🦦, fish 🐟, and PUFFINS! I had never seen them before!

Toward the end there was also a demonstration on how trash (especially plastic bags) in the waters can affect the ecosystem, and check again—those aren’t jellyfish, but it’s enough to confuse other sea creatures. We then went to the gift shop and I got a few souvenirs and guess what kind of bag they gave me for my souvenirs??? Actually…none. Most everyone has a backpack (including me) and I was happy they stuck to their beliefs and didn’t provide a bag.

The Iditarod historic trail marker is also in Seward and next to the Sea Life Center, so we went over for a quick picture.

A little ways down is Lowell Creek Waterfall, which made the news when a rockslide washed out the road a few years back. You can see the remains as well. And in case it wasn’t clear…This is not New York.

Around this time we were hunting for snacks/places to eat and stumbled into a restaurant near our next destination that had food and beer, so we checked in. They had empty tables but we later found out those were for a tour group coming in later. We managed to get served before the tour group came in, so it didn’t really impact us and allowed us to get out of the rain.

Since getting to Alaska, we had been trying local Alaskan beers. So when we saw that one of those beers was from Seward Brewing Company, we knew we had our next destination! (Those lunch beers were our warmup.) They also didn’t open until 3, so the late lunch bought us some time. And then beer! 🍻 We sampled a few of the local brews, then headed out to catch our bus.

The bus stop (also doubling as a hotel) was on the North side of Seward…but the town is only 2 miles long so we opted to walk the 17 minutes to our stop. One key difference between Alaska and Florida is the humidity—we didn’t even break a sweat. Once there, we boarded the bus 🚌 and made our way to Anchorage!

On our way, we did get a short glimpse of a moose! One more animal on our “Alaskan Animals” BINGO card.

A few hours later, we got off the bus and took a taxi to our Airbnb, got settled in, and then looked outside. It was almost 10:00 PM, yet this is what we saw…

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