Sea Wolf

capacity
12 guests
year built
1941
remodeled
2003
crew members
5-6 crew members
length
97 feet
cruising speed
8 knots

The M/V Sea Wolf is an 97-foot ocean-going ship that carries 12 passengers plus 5-6 crew members in comfort. The Sea Wolf is an amazing expedition platform for small ship cruising, wildlife spotting, kayaking and whale watching. The in-depth knowledge of the landscape offered by the ship’s naturalists provides an extensive educational component to cruising through the dynamic wilderness of Alaska. Thanks to a renovation allowing for wheelchair access, the Sea Wolf is also a go-to vessel for anyone desiring an  inclusive small ship adventure.

Sea Wolf Review

In this detailed review of the Sea Wolf, find the complete small ship description with deck plans and photo gallery. After reading our Sea Wolf review below, contact our Alaska cruise experts for more information and to compare this ship with other Alaska small ships and yachts. AdventureSmith experts have been aboard the Sea Wolf firsthand, as well as numerous other small ships sailing in Alaska. Choose the Sea Wolf if you want an intimate guided exploration of Glacier Bay National Park aboard an Alaskan owned and operated vessel. Expect deep natural history interpretation with a lot of species identification, as well as detailed explanations of ecosystems and processes. The Sea Wolf crew, many of whom are local Alaskans, are fun, knowledgeable and eager to share their naturalist stories and lore.

The Sea Wolf is not always considered a glamorous vessel, but her charm and purpose outweigh what she lacks in amenities. A historic wooden World War II minesweeper, she has beautiful lines, stability and maneuverability, which function perfectly in her current task of exploring Glacier Bay National Park.

Common Areas Aboard Sea Wolf

The Sea Wolf offers various scenery and wildlife viewing spaces throughout the ship, such as the wide bow viewing area, the upper deck seating area behind the wheelhouse, the indoor viewing salon and covered side viewing decks. The covered aft view dining deck is a special, heated scenic area enclosed in Eisen glass with an 180-degree view. All outside decks offer water-level observation, enhancing the opportunity for close encounters with Alaska’s famed marine mammals. Smoking is not permitted aboard the Sea Wolf, even on outdoor decks.

Dining Aboard Sea Wolf

The dedicated Sea Wolf crew believes in supporting local businesses and food growers. Salmon, halibut, spot prawns and Dungeness crab served aboard are all harvested in Southeast Alaska by local fishermen. The adventurous chef highlights local dishes with an international flair while using mostly fresh and organic produce. Most baked goods are prepared on board. The Sea Wolf chef can cater to most special diets (with advance notice) including vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and low fat. Wine and beer are served complimentary with dinner. Special wild foraging themed departures are sometimes available to showcase cuisine made with foraged Alaskan fare. 

Activities Aboard Sea Wolf

The Sea Wolf is equipped with six double kayaks for guests and two guide kayaks and an 18-foot rigid inflatable Zodiac for shore excursions. Daily activities consist of two- to three-hour hikes with an easy pace and plenty of time for finding animal tracks, botany and birding. Fully guided kayak excursions are typically two or more hours, with shorter options for those who wish to return to the boat. Like the hikes, the paddles often include a lesson in natural history surrounded by dramatic scenery. Many paddles and even some hikes are one way, allowing kayakers to use the wind or tide to extend their journey as the boat sails to meet them in a new location.

Accessibility Aboard Sea Wolf

With the decks at least 32 inches wide, three of six staterooms wheelchair accessible and two lifts installed for access to all three decks, the Sea Wolf is a uniquely inclusive small ship. The competent and sensitive crew curates itineraries suitable for paraplegic passengers with good upper body strength and quadriplegic passengers with a trustworthy companion, a sense of adventure and the ability to be comfortable in a manual wheelchair. A McKinnon Hugger is available to lift persons with disabilities into kayaks for wilderness paddles. Those who require a wheelchair or have any other special needs, should contact AdventureSmith Explorations to see if this ship is a good fit.

Sea Wolf History

The Sea Wolf (formerly USS Observer) was originally built in 1941 as a US Navy Harbor minesweeper. She served as protection for San Francisco Bay for years until 1947 when she was decommissioned. In the 1950s she was purchased by the Krieger family and used as the family’s private yacht. Douglas Oil acquired her in the 1960s as part of the purchase of Krieger Oil. She was found tied to a dock in the early 1980s by another Alaskan charter company and beautifully refitted as a charter vessel. She operated for many years and her tours raised awareness that was pivotal in moving forward legislation to protect the Tongass National Forest. In 2003 she was rechristened as the Sea Wolf and began operations in Glacier Bay Alaska. In her lifetime, she has cruised from Alaska to the Galapagos and today is the perfect vessel for exploring the Inside Passage and Glacier Bay wilderness waters.

Sustainability Aboard Sea Wolf

Sustainability is a major focus for the crew of the Sea Wolf who implement sustainable practices to help protect the vulnerable ecosystems of Alaska. Aboard the M/V Sea Wolf measures have been taken to minimize underwater ambient noise for a low disturbance rate to marine mammals; to implement an annual plastic reduction plan; to meet or exceed EPA standards with black and grey water disposal; to recycle garbage and compost food waste; and to use eco-friendly cleaning supplies. All itineraries abide by the guidelines of the “Marine Mammal Viewing Code of Conduct” as published by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The Sea Wolf practices “Leave No Trace” principals. 

The ship’s crew supports educational efforts by providing science supplies and an annual vessel expedition for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes; and offering educational opportunities for local students and summer college interns. The Sea Wolf also has philanthropic endeavors, such as hosting an annual giving Christmas program; starting a fund though Craig Hospital foundation to raise money for individual accessible travel; and supporting the Rain Coast Conservation, Nature Conservancy and other NGOs through trips and monetary donations. The Sea Wolf outfit also participates in Citizen Science projects whenever applicable.

Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard Sea Wolf

Her six intimate cabins all have small but functional, private, accessible baths; upper and lower bunk beds and a small window or porthole.

#1 Moose Room

10 x 14 feet, below deck with 2 standard twins overhead and 1 double, 6’6″ in length

#2 Bear Room

6.5 x 9 feet, main deck port side with 2 twins over/under, 6’6″ in length, wheelchair accessible

#3 Wolf Room

6.5 x 9 feet, main deck starboard side with 2 twins over/under, 6’6″ length, wheelchair accessible

#4 Otter Room

6.5 x 7 feet, wheelhouse deck port side with 1 under twin (standard) and 1 over twin 30″/ 6’3″ in length

#5 Orca Room

6.5 x 7 feet, wheelhouse deck port side with 2 twins over/under, 6’6″ length, wheelchair accessible

#6 Puffin Room

7 x 7 feet, wheelhouse deck starboard side with 1 under twin (standard) and 1 over twin 30″/ 6’3 in length