Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Seward is about 124 miles South of Anchorage, AK. Along the way, enjoy stunning views of the Kenai Peninsula, Chugach National Forest, Turnagain Arm, and Kenai Mountains. 

  • DRIVE THE SEWARD HIGHWAY. This takes about 2.5 hours, and there is public parking in Seward for $10/day.
  • TAKE A BUS. Book your seat with Seward Bus Line or Park Connection.
  • SCHEDULE A PRIVATE TRANSFER SERVICE. While there are several options, we recommend SewardCityTours (SCT). SCT offers private, affordable transfers for 1-14 people and is operated by the same family that owns Orca Island Cabins. 
  • TRAVEL BY RAILROAD. The Alaska Railroad trains depart Anchorage at approximately 7:00 am, for arrival in Seward around 11:00 am. The Seward Train Station is just 0.5 miles from the boat harbor.

Once you arrive in Seward you can walk or take a shuttle to the grocery store to prepare for your time at Orca Island Cabins. 

We meet all guests at the top of the J dock ramp in the Seward Small Boat Harbor at 12:30 pm on check-in day. Our staff will meet you there, assist with your luggage, and walk you down to the boat. We will then board our 15 passenger cabin cruiser (the “Orca Islander”) and transport our guests via water taxi through south central Alaska’s Resurrection Bay to Orca Island Cabins (located 9 miles from Seward in Humpy Cove). The cruise to and from Orca Island Cabins is an Alaskan experience in itself– it generally takes 1 hour, depending on sea conditions and wildlife viewing.

Guests depart from the island at 10:00 am on their check out day. Our goal is to have you back in the Seward Harbor by 11:00 am. If you have made any plans for the rest of your trip, please let us know so that we can make sure to get you back on time. For example, if we see some great wildlife on the way back, we might take longer than an hour so that we can stop and observe them. But if you have another reservation to get to, we do our absolute best to make sure we’re getting back in by 11:00 am.

Guests will always have access to our kayaks, stand up paddle boards, row boats, fishing gear, and snorkeling gear. You can fish from our docks or the row boats. There is a beautiful waterfall that you can kayak to, and there is also a hike to a World War II bunker.

We also have tide pools to explore and fire pits to congregate around (as well as ingredients to make s’mores). The gallery space on our island is another treasure, where you can view the work of local Alaskan artists or borrow a board game to play in your yurt. Books about the local flora, fauna, and history can also be found there.

Additionally, we offer guests staying multiple nights a 2-hour cruise of Resurrection Bay departing from Orca Island Cabins at 10:30 am. The cost is $145 per person and there is a 6-person maximum (see “Activities” page for more details). 

Yes! We have hot water and a full bathroom with a shower, sink, and composting toilet. The kitchen also has a sink. 

We have solar panels for electricity on the island, but it is only capable of being used for charging small items like phones and cameras. The fireplace and hot water heater are both powered by propane. 

Coolers! Please do not bring any coolers. We have a large cooler in each of the yurts, and we provide you with insulated bags to put all of your cold items in to transport to the island on our boat. We will carry your bags to your yurt and put the cold items inside the cooler for you. 

We also provide many bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen staples for our guests. Please see an exhaustive list in the next bullet point to make sure you don’t accidentally double up on something we already provide!

  • Queen bed
  • Full size futon
  • Linens, blankets, pillows
  • Cabin heater/fireplace
  • Private bathroom with sink, shower, and composting toilet
  • 4 Burner Stove
  • Oven
  • Kitchen sink with hot and cold water
  • Dish soap & hand soap
  • Sponge and dish drying towel
  • Matches/Lighter
  • 48 qt Cooler
  • Shampoo, conditioner, bodywash
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels
  • Dining table/chairs
  • Pots and pans
  • Drip Coffee Maker
  • Tea kettle
  • Tea bags
  • Coffee grounds
  • Sugar
  • Plates, bowls, pots, pans, cutting board
  • Silverware
  • Cooking utensils
  • Paper towels 
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Foil
  • Barbecue (propane) on Private Balcony
  • Binoculars (1 set per cabin)
  • Board games

Our property is made up of boardwalks and stairways across rocky cliffs. We will carry your bags to your yurts when you arrive, but we would appreciate if you could pack lightly, and not use large rolling bags. Things like backpacks and duffel bags are best. 

  • Shoes – Make sure to bring a pair that can get wet and muddy. To get to the waterfall you will need to kayak over. Depending on if it’s low or high tide, you might need to walk along the side of a small river to get to the waterfall, and you will likely get wet along the way.
  • Rain Gear – We are in a temperate rainforest. It is very likely to rain at some point during your stay, so having a rain jacket and pants is recommended.
  • Food – We do not provide any food (outside of what is listed above and novelties available for purchase in the gallery) at the property. You will need to bring all food and drink you would like to have with you. We do provide drinking water.
  • Ice – We recommend 2 bags, which will be plenty to keep your food cold during your stay. Any more and you won’t have enough room in the cooler for all of your food. If you’re staying more than 2 nights and find that you need more bags, let your overnight host know and we can arrange to have more ice brought out to you.

No, we do not allow pets. Our property is made up of boardwalks on rocks and cliffs, and is not a place for animals. 

For fishing, you are mostly going to get rockfish and other deep water fish around our property. There are also pink and silver salmon, depending on the time of year. Pink salmon run in the river nearby that leads to the waterfall. 

Cancellations made 60 days or more prior to reserved date(s) will receive a full refund less $50.00 processing fee per cabin rental. Cancellations made 30 days or more (but less than 60 days) prior to reserved date(s) will receive a refund less one night’s rental per cabin. Recognizing that our guests may encounter unanticipated circumstances that may necessitate a change in their travel plans, sometimes requiring them to cancel their reservations, we suggest that vacation cancellation insurance be purchased. 

No. Guests at Orca Island Cabins need to bring their own food, beverage and ice. By design, our cabins have a dining and fully outfitted kitchen with sink, range, ice chest, hot and cold running water, and a barbecue on each private deck. This arrangement allows our guests to have a true “glamping” experience, i.e. a remote, wilderness camp-like experience in comfort and style. So, our guests can bring their favorite food and beverage, and dine on their private deck as wildlife swim by between their appetizers and dessert. For a full list of what is provided on the island and in your yurt, you can use this link to download our Guest Info sheet. 

Because Orca Island Cabins is a remote wilderness destination, most guests will want to stay on the Island and explore the immediate area during their stay. Our water taxi service, the cost of which is included in our rates, is designed to take our guests to and from the island at the designated departure and pick-up times. However, special arrangements can be made to water taxi guests to other areas within Resurrection Bay or to Seward for a fee.

It is simply impossible to predict when the best Alaska weather will be experienced in any given year. Each Alaska summer seems uniquely different from the others. Our operating season at Orca Island Cabins is from May 5 to September 20 and we have experienced optimum weather (warm and sunny days) and colder/rainy/windy days at various times during all five months. Most travelers visit the Seward area during June, July and August, the heart of the summer tourism season. Others prefer the shoulder season months of May and September when there are fewer visitors in the area.

Being on the coast, we have no problems with bugs and mosquitoes.

No. Although black bears are native to the mountainsides around the perimeter of Resurrection Bay and Humpy Cove, they are usually seen during August and early September when the pink salmon are spawning in the stream located at the south end of Humpy Cove. Our cabins are located 1/2 mile to the north of the salmon stream in Humpy Cove. The salmon stream has a majestic waterfall nearby and both are popular destinations for our guests who kayak to the stream (a 30 minute paddle). Occasionally, our guests return from their paddle to the stream excited to have seen a black bear take a fish from the stream and disappear into the forest.

Wildlife viewing in southcentral Alaska is excellent during all five months of our operating season. Humpback whales migrate to our waters from Hawaii in May and stay into September when they begin their migration south. Orca (Killer) whales reside in our waters year-round, i.e. they roam the waters in Resurrection Bay and nearby coastal waters. Harbor seals live in our cove and harbor porpoises feed in the cove daily. Sea otters, river otters and Steller sea lions are seen from and near Orca Island frequently.

All of our cabins are on the water’s edge, have a private deck, and each has a fantastic ocean view.  Each is positioned looking outward over the ocean, so each is very private.  And all Orca Island yurts are configured the same inside, i.e. each has a queen bed, full futon, kitchen and dining areas, and private bathrooms with compost toilets and showers. We truly believe that any one yurt will be totally satisfying and will provide you with a most unique overnight experience.

We do have cell phone service at the staff yurt due to a booster, but this is for emergency use only.  Elsewhere on the island and shoreline property, only limited cell phone service is available. Whereas some service providers offer effective texting, emails and phone service, other providers only provide texting. There is no WIFI or internet usage on the property.

The owners and/or staff are on the island throughout the day as guests are transported to and from the island, cabins are cleaned, and maintenance and other demands require. It is our policy to have one of the owners or their staff overnight on the island each day as well.

There is an emergency protocol in place and all of our staff are trained to handle these procedures, as well as certified in CPR and first aid. However, guests are required to sign a liability release waiver prior to their stay at the property. We are a remote location so there are inherent risks involved in staying outside of standard service areas.