Next season Major Marine Tours will welcome an exciting addition to their fleet: the Kenai Fjords 360, a brand-new, custom-built 98 foot high-speed catamaran. The boat’s name celebrates the 360 degree views of Kenai Fjords National Park that passengers will experience from the fully-wraparound third deck. The Kenai Fjords 360 was specially-designed to give passengers the best viewing experience possible. Rather than having the wheelhouse on the third deck like other Seward day-cruise catamarans, the Kenai Fjords 360 wheelhouse will be located on the second deck, giving passengers unobstructed 360 degree views from the top deck. Kenai Fjords 360 passengers will have a unique, unforgettable viewing experience of the area’s glaciers, scenery, and wildlife. The vessel will also have ample outside viewing space on the first deck, which is also fully wrap-around, and the and second deck.
This state-of-the art catamaran will cruise up to 30 knots (approximately 35 miles per hour) and will be equipped with EPA Tier III fuel efficient and low emission engines. The vessel will have inside table seating for 156 passengers and 48 outside seats located throughout the outer decks. Passenger comfort was a top priority for the design of the vessel, which will be outfitted with three restrooms, snack and beverage bars on the first and second decks, and a large galley to prepare and serve Major Marine Tours’ famous all-you-can-eat Alaska salmon and prime rib buffet.
Mavrik Marine, a company based in La Connor, Washington that specializes in the construction of aluminum boats, is building this vessel. Two Major Marine Tours Captains have taken up residence in La Connor, Washington this winter and spring to oversee the construction of the vessel and will take the boat on its first voyage next spring. The journey from La Connor to Seward will take 6-10 days and will cover 1300 nautical miles, amounting to 50-60 driving hours. The vessel will hug the coast on its journey north, traveling by day and stopping at several ports along the way. Major Marine Tours expects to welcome the Kenai Fjords 360 to the Seward Small Boat Harbor in May 2018.
For the 2018 cruise season, the Kenai Fjords 360 will be used as the primary vessel for the 6 Hour Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise, which provides great opportunities for whale and wildlife viewing, visits an actively calving tidewater glacier, and features onboard National Park Ranger narration and the Alaska salmon and prime rib buffet. The addition of the Kenai Fjords 360 to the fleet will allow Major Marine Tours to share the beauty of Kenai Fjords National Park with more visitors and will give passengers a unique, unforgettable viewing experience from the 360 degree third deck.
Major Marine Tours operates seven cruise options from Seward and two from Whittier. Upon completion of the Kenai Fjords 360, the Major Marine Tours fleet will consist of ten vessels, ranging in length from 58 feet to 115 feet.