Meet Your Hosts
Your hosts are long-time Alaskans and have operated Orca Island Cabins for over a decade
About Your Hosts
Your hosts, Jonah Swiderski and Yen Ly, are year round residents of Seward Alaska. Jonah was born in Anchorage and grew up in Seward. He as a lifetime of working and living on the waters of Resurrection Bay. He is the eldest son of the original owners Susan and Dennis Swiderski. Yen is originally Canadian but had been working in Southeast Alaska since 2009. She worked on cruise ships for 10 years prior to her move to Alaska and has been in the tourism industry for 20 years.
Jonah and Yen met in 2012 in Skagway, Alaska. Once married, Yen moved to Seward where she worked for Jonah’s parents at Orca Island Cabins. Jonah continued to work on the water for a number of years while holding a position as General Manager at Catalyst Marine Engineering. In 2017 Jonah and Yen started a transportation company in Seward, Alaska called SewardCityTours and it is a growing operation that keeps them busy year round. They are also raising their two young daughters Freya and Evelyn.
In 2023 Jonah and Yen completed the purchase of Orca Island Cabins. They are excited to continue to build on the dream and accomplishments of Jonah’s parents. Keeping to the inspiration that started it all they intend on operating under the same guidelines that has made Orca Island Cabins what it is today. Jonah and Yen are grateful that the business will remain in the family as it has been a place of quiet beauty for the Swiderski’s for over 30 years and will remain so for generations to come.
The natural beauty of the Alaska wilderness is magnified by the pristine water surrounding Orca Island Cabins in Humpy Cove. As residents of Alaska both Jonah and Yen believe that the draw to visit and live here is something that connects everyone who travels to this State. The Orca Island Cabins experience amplifies that connection and gives everyone something to remember and hold no matter where life takes you next.
We welcome one and all to our island accommodations, and hope that you leave with a part of the magic that we experienced here to share with those you love at home.
Monique is a Michigan native with a Marine Biology degree and a passion for the outdoors. She has several years experience working on multiple vessels from tour boats to private yachts, managing teams, and leading travel operations.
Outside of Monique’s professional experience, she enjoys traveling, playing ice hockey, time with family and friends, and a cup of coffee early in the morning.
Simon, born and raised in Alaska, is Susan and Dennis’ youngest son. Simon holds a 100 ton Coast Guard license and is the primary captain aboard the motor vessel, Orca Islander, which transports our guests to and from Orca Island Cabins. Simon lives in Seward year round and travels abroad frequently in the off season.
Taylor Smith is originally from New York. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Biology and a Master’s Degree in Biology. She has lived all over the world including South Africa and Switzerland. She first came to Seward in 2019 where she did her residency at the Alaska SeaLife Center and fell in love with Alaska and has been here ever since.