This Expert Aboard Motor Vessel Sea Wolf review is written by AdventureSmith Founder and President Todd Smith, who recently sailed aboard the vessel with his son. Read his full trip report: My Return to Glacier Bay Aboard the Sea Wolf.

Small ship Sea Wolf cruise with mountains in the background sailing in Alaska.

My recent sailing aboard the Sea Wolf was a wonderful refresh for me on the style of small ship my team at AdventureSmith Explorations loves to partner with: vessels that are family run and fully rooted in the landscapes and communities that they explore. I boarded the vessel with my 9-year-old son last month, and disembarked fully inspired by the ship’s knowledgeable crew and the entire experience.

While the Sea Wolf is not a glamorous vessel, her charm and purpose outweigh what she lacks in amenities. A historic wooden minesweeper, she has beautiful lines and functions perfectly in her current task as a platform for intimate exploration of Glacier Bay National Park.

My son and I took advantage of the wide bow viewing area to spot marine animals, bears and even moose.

Her cabins all have small but functional private baths, upper and lower bunk beds and a small window or porthole. The lounge comfortably accommodated all 12 guests and several crew. Outside decks allowed for water-level observation, and my son and I took advantage of the wide bow viewing area to spot marine animals, bears and even moose.

View from a deck looking down onto the bow of a small ship cruise in Alaska.

We ate our meals in an aft room screened in by view windows offering dramatic views with every bite. The food is outstanding, prepared by an adventurous chef who highlighted local seafood with an international flair. One night’s Dungeness crab feast was a special treat satisfying all on board, ages 6 to 79 in our case!

Guests eating dinner aboard the Sea Wolf surrounded by windows while scenic cruising in Alaska.
Caprese appetizer tray aboard the small ship Sea Wolf cruise in Alaska .
Personalized mugs for the guests aboard the small ship Sea Wolf cruise in Alaska .

I loved the personalized touch of each having our own coffee/tea/cocoa mug for our days aboard.

AdventureSmith Founder Todd Smith with captain of small ship Sea Wolf in Alaska.

Kimber Owen, owner of the Sea Wolf, and her crew are among the most talented naturalists I have encountered.

Kimber Owen, owner of the Sea Wolf, and her crew are among the most talented naturalists I have encountered. While it’s not an educational cruise per se, Kimber and her crew’s passion, understanding and explanations of this complex landscape enhanced our experience immensely. Sea Wolf’s naturalists showed their stuff on hikes and paddles, but also offer numerous informal seminars before and after meals or during downtime on the ship. When time allowed, there were formal presentations in the lounge; however, it seemed that most of our days were long and consumed by active exploration and education on the go. This friendly expertise extended down to the engine room, where we could take a peek at the vessel’s historic Hamilton Diesel engine with the ship’s engineer.

Engine room and crew member aboard the small ship Sea Wolf.

Daily activities consisted of two- to three-hour hikes with an easy pace and lots of time for finding animal tracks, botany and birding. Each hike illustrated the stages of plants’ succession in Glacier Bay as the glaciers have receded and life returns to the landscape. When walking alongside a glacier, our guide gave us an overview of glacial dynamics and geology.

Guests on a skiff excursion from their small ship to the shore in Alaska to walk by the glacier.

Like the hikes, the paddles were a lesson in natural history.

Fully guided kayak excursions were two or more hours, with shorter options for those who wished to return to the boat. Like the hikes, the paddles were a lesson in natural history with just enough solitude to contemplate the dramatic surroundings. Unique to the Sea Wolf, many paddles and even some hikes were one way. We would put in or drop off at one point and the Sea Wolf would relocate so we could use the wind or tide to extend our journey without returning from where we came.

Two kayakers paddling back to their small ship cruise in ALaska.
Kayaks and paddles stored aboard the small ship Sea Wolf in ALaska.

While my time aboard was quite active, partly by my choosing to do any and every activity option, I did enjoy one relaxed morning with the chance to sleep in. And one particularly restful night we slept with our door cracked listening to the rain. These quiet moments aboard a small ship, floating in the calm coves of Glacier Bay, are the epitome of the peace one can find aboard a vessel of this small size.

To learn more about this ship and my voyage, see my full trip report: My Return to Glacier Bay Aboard the Sea Wolf. For more images, view my Sea Wolf Glacier Bay Adventure Facebook photo album.

Read all Cruise Reviews for more trip reports, or contact one of our Adventure Specialists to learn more about these small ship cruises and wilderness adventures: 1-800-728-2875.