We will be spending a few days in Anchorage/Seward before our cruise in June. I'm trying to be mindful of our budget and want to take one of the day cruises to either Kenai Fjords or Prince William Sound (to get the small ship experience). Which do you recommend?
These are 2 different types of viewing. Out of Whittier- the viewing is mostly glaicers, with some very close up extended viewing. If your ship goes to College fjords this is the same area, but less and farther viewing - usually. Out of Seward- there is a great opportunity for wildlife and birds, you need the sailings of at least 6 hours on the water. You also get a glacier viewing that is close and extended. I have gone out of Whittier twice, but I always take a Kenai fjords tour every trip. Actually both are very worthwhile and if you have the time consider both.
You might want to check to see if your ship sails into the Prince William Sound area. I believe some of them do. It won't be the same as seeing it from the small ships, but that might help you make a decision if you can't do both. We saw Prince William Sound from the large ship but did do the Kenai Fjords boat tour out of Seward and highly recommend it. The scenery is spectacular, saw a lot of wildlife on our trip (note that you need to take a tour longer than the 4-hour tour to go far enough into the park to see more wildlife), and we also viewed a glacier that was doing a lot of calving down close to the water, which is a much different perspective than from the cruise ship, and that was great. It's nice to spot whales from the top deck of a cruise ship because you can see so far, but I think nothing beats getting into a small boat down close to the water to experience it up close.