When you live and work in a place as spectacular as Seward, Alaska, it's impossible to not feel deeply connected to your surroundings. At Kenai Fjords Tours, caring for the environment the team gets to explore every day, fostering respect for people and championing our lovely local community guides all of our operations and guest experiences.
Here are just three examples of how our Alaska team embodies a Promise to Place.
The environment: Kenai Fjords coastal clean-up
Stewardship: We’re passionate about preserving the natural settings and eco-aware urban environments that we operate in.
Through Kenai Fjords Tours, we showcase some of Alaska’s most breathtaking places. Throughout the season, our team wows guests with ancient glaciers, pristine bays, temperate rainforests and a plethora of marine life. It’s an epic and rewarding experience that we endeavor to share with future generations. However, maintaining the unspoiled majesty of Kenai Fjords National Park is ongoing.
The Kenai Fjords coastal clean-up, led by the National Park Service, is an initiative that we participate in annually. In its early years, the event primarily focused on the removal of garbage and debris from the beaches in and around Seward and Resurrection Bay. Over time, the clean up has expanded into more distant territory. Last year, we ventured farther into the national park then ever before, thanks to our new smaller landing craft (prior to this, our team relied on a larger vessel and then ferried crew to shore aboard a dinghy).
Unfortunately, much of the debris recovered at the annual clean-up has drifted in from international waters and some years are worse than others. In 2015, recovered waste totaling a whopping 6,500 pounds. It takes a concerted effort—by parks officials and volunteers—to manage the collection and proper disposal of the refuse. We’re committed to, and excited about, continuing this important stewardship initiative in 2020 and beyond.
Respect: We prioritize diversity, lead with inclusivity and aspire to make Kenai Fjords National Park magical for all.
Make-A-Wish creates wishes for children battling critical illnesses. Kenai Fjords Tours has worked with the global organization since 2000 and has fulfilled almost 300 wishes to date. Each season our team hosts between 15 and 25 glacier and whale watching tours for Make-A-Wish families.
Kenai Fjords National Park is an incredible destination—from its dramatic beauty, to the plethora of marine-life that inhabit its waters. Whether it’s sighting a whale for the very first time or seeing a calving glacier—our team feels privileged to help families fulfill their bucket-list moments and create lifelong memories. We value the special partnership we’ve cultivated with Make-A-Wish over the past 20 years, and deeply cherish the letters and photos we receive from families who’ve joined us on their Alaska adventure.
Community: We celebrate and support the remarkable communities we’re fortunate to be a part of.
Seward, Alaska is a wonderful, welcoming and sustainably-minded community. After conducting a public survey, the city passed an ordinance to eliminate all single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam containers in 2018. To help locals with the transition, Sustainable Seward founded Borrow-A-Bag—a volunteer-led program that creates reusable shopping bags out of used t-shirts. The concept was borrowed from Ukanuzit, a locally-owned thrift store that has "upcycled" t-shirts into bags for years. Ukanuzit has also donated a small sewing area for Sustainable Seward volunteers and continues to supply the program with second-hand t-shirts.
To support this impactful community initiative, Kenai Fjords Tours has donated 300 gently-used uniforms. The fabric used in our shirts is ideal for the “tied"—or no-sew—version of the bag, which is made by volunteers who don’t sew, as well as children participating in eco-programming. The Kenai Fjords Tours bag, we’ve been told, is particularly popular among locals due to its well-recognized logo and button detailing.
On your next visit to Kenai Fjords National Park, swing by the Seward Marketplace and Frontier Trading Post grocery stores to check out all of the complimentary t-shirt bags on display. It makes for a great and eco-friendly souvenir!
We are building a team of passionate people determined to make a difference in the places we love. Every effort counts. Meet more of them here and discover how Promise to Place is the real deal.