Sea Wolf Adventures

Sea Wolf is an owner-operated company famed for its Glacier Bay tours and historic ship, the Sea Wolf, originally a US Navy Harbor Minesweeper built in 1941. Captain and owner, Kimber Owen, dedicates her company, crew and ship to helping guests experience Alaska and the Pacific Northwest not only as a rugged landscape, but also as an opportunity to learn about the vulnerable ecosystems that meld together and make up this unique part of the world.

Sea Wolf Adventures History

The Sea Wolf (aka USS Observer) had her 97′ hull laid in 1941 as a US Navy Harbor minesweeper. In 1947 she was decommissioned after serving as protection for San Francisco Bay. In 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 refitted as a charter vessel that was pivotal in moving forward legislation to protect the Tongass National Forest. They decided to refit another minesweeper that accommodated twice the passengers and sell the Sea Wolf.

Owner and captain, Kimber Owen, found the Sea Wolf for sale in 2003 and fell in love with the ship’s classic lines and history.

The vessel’s current owner and captain, Kimber Owen, found her for sale in 2003 and fell in love with the ship’s classic lines and history. In her lifetime, Sea Wolf has traveled from Alaska to the Galapagos and is the perfect vessel for exploring Alaska’s Inside Passage wilderness waters from Glacier Bay to the San Juan Islands.

Sea Wolf Adventures Small Ship Cruises

Sea Wolf cruises explore pristine wilderness waters surrounded by soaring glacier-carved peaks in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. The Sea Wolf is a comfortable 12 passenger expedition vessel, which is expertly run by a fun, knowledgeable and enthusiastic professional crew of five. They offer active small ship cruising adventures suitable for people of all abilities on a universal accessible ship. Routes span the breadth of the Inside Passage along the shores of Alaska, British Columbia and Washington. On board there are always options to suit the mood—relaxing on the heated aft deck enjoying a panoramic view, learning about the nature of the Pacific Northwest from a naturalist, or participating in long or short paddles and hikes. Sea Wolf cruises are operated by Alaskans who love to share the majestic wilderness with other like-minded adventurers and has all the ingredients for an unforgettable adventure.

Why Choose Sea Wolf Adventures

Sea Wolf Adventures is a green, conservation-driven, eco-tourism small ship cruise adventure company. As rugged as it appears, Southeast Alaska’s environment encompasses hundreds of vulnerable ecosystems. These systems, in the air and on land and water, are melded together by fragile food webs that support the amazing flora and fauna that makes up that part of planet earth. Sea Wolf Adventures specializes in natural history cruises that explore the glacial fjords, traveling to where new life is attaching itself to barren, glacial scrubbed rock and then following the succession of plant and animal life in Glacier Bay National Park. Expert naturalists share not only their botany, geology, marine- and wildlife knowledge, but also past and current climate sciences about the wilderness, its known affects and possible outcomes.

Sea Wolf Adventures operates under the belief that immersing guests in a pristine wilderness brings home to each person how there are not many places left like this in the world. Most harbor a dream of rebuilding fractured ecosystems in their own neighborhoods, towns, states and countries with a sustainable and green plan that promotes healthy lifestyles for humans and a future for all living things. Sea Wolf is trying to do just that in Alaska.

Sea Wolf Adventures Sustainability

Sea Wolf Adventures supports several endeavors in conservation, science education and life skills. They focus on bringing individuals with disabilities to Alaska through Craig Hospital, getting kids excited about science through Kimber’s hometown Alaska Gustavus School and supporting conservation work in the Great Bear Rainforest and the San Juan Islands, Washington. Sea Wolf Adventures Green Sustainable Operating Plan Pollution Reduction plan includes:

Flora & Fauna Stewardship

  • Minimal ambient underwater noise so ship has low disturbance rate to marine mammals
  • Follow the guidelines of the Marine Mammal Viewing Code of Conduct as published by National Marine Fisheries Service
  • Practice Leave no Trace principles
  • Follow wildlife viewing guides set by Glacier Bay National Park
  • Support various organizations through monetary donations

Reduce & Recycle

  • Minimal use of plastics with an annual reduction plan as new materials become available
  • Meet or exceed EPA standards for black and grey water disposal
  • Recycle all garbage, recycle materials and food waste at Gustavus Recycle
  • Use eco-friendly cleaning supplies
  • Engine in combination with a generator uses 12 gallons of diesel per hour with continual investigation of carbon footprint reductions and programs
  • Use a paperless communication, marketing and accounting system

Supporting Community

  • Purchase local produce from Gustavus and Alaskan community growers and maintain their own epic garden and commercial kitchen
  • Purchase seafoods from local commercial fisherman
  • Hire locals for crew
  • Support the 3, 4 & 5 grade classes through science supplies and an annual vessel expedition for science that supports a yearlong class project
  • Host an annual giving Christmas program


  • Provide educational opportunities to local students and summer college interns
  • Active wheelchair accessible vessel, with a fund though Craig Hospital foundation to raise funds for trips for wheelers
  • Support Rain Coast Conservation, Nature Conservancy and other NGO through trips and monetary donations
  • Participate in Citizen Science projects whenever applicable

Sea Wolf Adventures & AdventureSmith Explorations

When AdventureSmith Explorations founder and president Todd Smith worked in Glacier Bay, the owner of Sea Wolf Adventures Kimber Owen was, as Todd says, “A competitor at the time, but a well-respected naturalist. And she really knows how to tell the story. She knows the ins and outs of Glacier Bay because it’s her home.”

“No one does Alaska better than Kimber.”

As a guide, Todd looked up to Kimber and many other locals in Gustavus and they kept in touch over the years. When it came time to found AdventureSmith Explorations, Todd knew that Kimber had replaced the old Sea Wolf ship with the new one and that he had to work with her. Years of partnership confirms what Todd has always known, that “Kimber Owen and her crew are among the most talented naturalists I have encountered.” Because of his personal experience as a guide in Glacier Bay, he knows that no one does it better than Kimber and why Sea Wolf Adventures is featured on our list of the best small Alaskan cruise lines.

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