Mothership Trips

Quick Details

Calendar Availability: May 19th through September 7th

Phone Booking: Call to book only

Boat-based Multi-day Kayak Adventure

We’ve partnered up with local captain Mike Brittain and his boats, the Dora and the Starr, to put together an incredible adventure package. You’ll motor or sail out to the fjords, and then live in the comfort the STARR / DORA provides for the duration of the kayaking adventure. Hot shower, flush toilet, warm beds, and a comfortable living/dining area bring the comforts of home to your trip. The advantage of this package is that you can move around in the fjords while living on board the boat and kayak in the most impressive areas. Mike won’t just zoom you out there like most water taxis… but will take you along the coastline and share the most wonderful highlights of the area along the way. Mike teams up with our guides to bring you great Alaskan stories and information, to truly teach you about the area you’re visiting. This trip by far offers the greatest versatility, and maneuverability within the fjords, at the highest level of comfort.

Captain Mike

Captain Mike Brittain on the bridge of his ship near Seward, AK

Mike Brittain came up the Alaska Highway on his Triumph Bonneville motorcycle for a two-week stay – in 1970. Alaska has been his home ever since, and the Kenai Fjords have been his backyard beginning in 1975. A Seward resident since 1982, and a licensed captain since 1987, Mike has been a sailor (he lived on his 35′ wooden ketch for 8 years in Seward), tugboat captain, killer whale researcher, tour boat captain, commercial diver, and kayaker.

He is a trained naturalist, an avid environmentalist, and most of all: a lover of Alaska. He has worked Alaskan waters from Southeast to the Bering Sea in both summer and winter. Experienced, personable, knowledgeable, and conscientious, Mike is certainly one of the most experienced mariners in the Kenai Fjords area, and has been sailing the park since before it was a park.


Man loading kayaks onto ship near Seward, AK

The Starr

Built of steel, the Starr was constructed in Portland, Oregon and launched in 1988. Designed for travel to Alaska with a fully enclosed pilothouse as well as outside helms, she is well suited for traveling in any weather. Sixty-two feet in length overall and seventeen feet wide, the Starr has hosted months-long vacations in Southeast Alaska for her original owners, and is now being offered to carry adventurous sea kayakers into the wilds of South Central Alaska. Strong, reliable, and comfortable, you’ll live on the Starr during your excursion into Kenai Fjords National Park or Prince William Sound. The Starr features such amenities as a full galley, washer/dryer, dedicated shower, three heads (bathrooms), and a huge driftwood-paneled main saloon for relaxing and dining. She also carries an inflatable dinghy for both shore excursions as well as to help expedite entrance/exit to your kayak.

Kayakers and ship on water near Seward, AK

The Dora

Though constructed in Tacoma, WA, the Dora is truly Alaskan tough. Built in 1990 for the lower Cook Inlet salmon fishery, she has sailed Alaskan waters as a commercial gillnetter from Cook Inlet to Bristol Bay and the Shumagin Islands. Forty-five feet in length and fourteen feet wide, she has served most recently as a research boat for killer whale scientists in the Aleutians and the Pribilof Islands and is now being offered to carry adventurous kayakers into Kenai Fjords National Park & Prince William Sound. A real Alaskan workboat, the Dora is not luxurious, but she is strong, and comfortable. She has a huge back deck, a commodious flybridge, walk-around decks, twin-engine reliability, and ample interior space for passengers and crew. A 12.5′ rigid hull inflatable with a 30 hp engine complements the Dora for shore excursions or short cruises from the mothership.


We offer Mothership trips to Aialik Bay and Northwestern Fjord. These two fjords are in Kenai Fjords National Park, are relatively close to Seward, and have incredible glaciers and wildlife with easy access. If you’re looking for a short 3 or 4-day trip, then Aialik is the best location. On a 5 or 6 day trip, you can probably see the highlights of both Aialik and Northwestern. Just let us know your interests and timeframe, and we’ll do our best to figure out the right destination for you.


The pricing for these trips becomes cheaper as more people add on. Our group minimum is 2 people, and our maximum is 6. We can bump this cap by adding another guide, if you have a large group that would like to book together. These prices are PER PERSON.

Mothership Pricing Table

More Tour Info

  • Chevron down Itinerary
  • We will host a mandatory pre-trip meeting the night before the trip at 7 pm at our kayak shop in downtown Seward. This is a great opportunity to meet your guide & other guests on the tour, discuss bear & ice safety, go over the itinerary and get any last minute questions answered. We will meet the following morning at 6:45 am at the kayak shop, then head to the small boat harbor to meet the captain and Mothership vessel.

    We will have about 5-7 hours of cruising the coastline looking out for wildlife on our way out to Aialik Bay. We often encounter whales, sea lions, mountain goats, sea otters, and other wildlife throughout the journey. Learn all about the area, the wildlife you see, and hear great Alaskan stories while you pass the day with people filled with local knowledge and experience.

    As for the exact itinerary for the trip, we will head to highlights throughout Aialik and/or Northwestern and paddle wherever the conditions are best! Typically we go for 2 or 3 paddles throughout the day, which range in timing and distances based on the conditions and group’s adventure goals! This tour allows for an incredibly flexible & customizable itinerary.

    On the final day, we will squeeze one last morning paddle in before heading back to Seward. We typically pull into the small boat harbor around 4 – 5pm.

  • Chevron down What Should I Wear?
  • For these trips, we ask you to wear synthetic layers of clothing – because cotton and jeans get really cold if they get wet. We also ask that you bring a raincoat and rain pants, since this is a coastal rainforest! We have rain gear for rent at our shop, should you need it.

    Your feet might get wet when launching or landing, so please bring footwear that will keep you warm, that you’re comfortable walking in, and that you don’t mind potentially getting a bit wet (water sandals, running shoes, hiking boots, are all fine options).

    If it seems like a cold day, we rent pogies (neoprene mitts for your hands while kayaking) which will keep your hands much warmer and more comfortable while you’re out there. You’ll also want to be sure to have your own bottle of water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

    If you do not have your own waterproof rain jackets and rain pants, we happily rent them at the kayak shop. Rain jacket rentals are $10.00 each, and rain pant rentals are also $10.00 each.

  • Chevron down Cancellation Policy
  • Because our Mothership Trips require more advanced planning / logistics and often sell out 6+ mother in advance, we make a significant investment when we take a booking, including turning away many other potential guests. It is nearly impossible for us to fill last minute cancelations.For this reason our Mothership cancelation policy is as follows:

    We will take a **NON-REFUNDABLE** 50% deposit at the time of booking to secure the Mothership for you.

    We will retain your 50% deposit, but will charge no further fees.

    We will charge the card on file the entire amount of your trip invoice.

    ** Medical cancellations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.