Sunny Cove Kayaking has offered sea kayaking tours for all skill levels since 1996. They offer a variety of excursions such as trips to Fox Island, Resurrection Bay, glacier kayaking equipped with a private wildlife boat cruise to the Kenai Fjords National Park and even kayak camping! 

Stephanie Millane took ownership of Sunny Cove Kayaking in 2019. Her journey to this position began much like that of many other seasonal workers who initially come to Seward for a summer job, only to be captivated by the town's beauty and the opportunities it offers, leading them to stay.

Sunny Cove Kayaking's impact extends far beyond their business: they've become an integral part of our community, fostering connections through sponsorships, volunteering efforts, creating a "Paddle With A Purpose" matching program, and most recently, organizing a community kayaking and front of house kayaking week coming this month. Read more details about the upcoming community week and from Stephanie with a Q&A below. 


stephanie millaneQ: Tell me a little background about yourself, Sunny Cove Kayaking and how you got your start in guiding.


I am from Dousman, Wisconsin. I moved to Alaska in 1999 and started working at the Mt. McKinley Princess Lodge before moving to Skagway, where I got my start into the guiding industry.

I was a bike guide as well as a rafting guide. I eventually moved to Seward in 2006 and began guiding at Sunny Cove Kayaking. I knew I had found my home in Seward in just the first two weeks of being here.

After being a guide for a few years, I transitioned to operations manager and eventually bought the business in 2019 when the previous owner retired. 


Stephanie, like many other seasonal workers who find their way to Seward, secured their Alaska job from, an online service that connects job seekers to seasonal job opportunities. 


"I knew I had found my home in Seward in just the first two weeks of being here."


Q: What makes your kayaking business stand out? 


Our culture and our personality makes us stand out. At Sunny Cove Kayaking our guests will always be treated like a friend the second you walk through the door, we will not treat you like you are just another customer. I am still in touch with guests I guided from ten years ago! 

Q: Who can go on your guided kayaking trips? sunny cove


Anyone can! Majority of our guests are first-timers. We have trips that are more accommodating and then trips that are suited for more active people.

Sunny Cove Kayaking has trips for all ages starting as young as 8 years old. The skill levels range from easy to active and are disclosed on each trip's booking page. There's opportunity for hiking, riding along with marine life on a private catamaran, or even getting close to glaciers. The guides on kayaking trips will bring along lunch for guests, snacks, and of course, all the safety gear. 

Check out their full list of trips offered (because there are a lot!) on their website here:

Q: Where is your favorite spot to kayak in Seward?


That is a hard choice, because everywhere is so beautiful. At Sunny Cove Kayaking you can go on Resurrection Bay Tour that has great whale viewing starting in the spring. Fox Island kayaking has turquoise waters and beautiful cliffs. Or there is Holgate Glacier as well as multiple day trips to Aialik Glacier and Northwestern Glacier. 

                                                              sunny cove

From their website: "We typically kayak at Holgate Glacier, one of the three glaciers in Aialik Bay. We prefer Holgate since it is less visited than Aialik Glacier, and we prefer the solitude away from cruise boats and large groups of kayakers. Also, Holgate Arm has dozens of incredible hidden waterfalls, towering cliffs, and little nooks and crannies, making for a breathtaking kayaking experience with surprises around every corner."

Q: What are you looking forward to most this summer? 


I am looking forward to getting to know my new staff members! A lot of my past guides have evolved in life and stayed in Seward because they've had babies or life milestones, so I have new staff coming this year. I am also looking forward to a successful summer and hopefully good weather. I do like the energy the tourists bring to town. 

Q: Can you tell me more about the community week and front of house week promotion? 

A: Sunny Cove Community Week

The community week is a way for us to help support the nonprofit the Seward Community Foundation. It is an opportunity to get locals out kayaking as well as an opportunity for our new guides to get out on the water. The money raised from community week goes towards the Seward Community Foundation. The front of house week promotion is an opportunity for local businesses with front of house staff to kayak the Resurrection Bay Tour for free. It is another way to get the new guides out on the water. Both of these promotions will run from May 11 through the 19th.

(Although the trip is free, don't forget to tip your guides!) 

Along with community week fundraising for the Seward Community Foundation, Stephanie Millane also created "Paddle For A Purpose", a dollar-matching program that raises funds for the nonprofit. The Seward Community Foundation was created to improve the lives of Seward and Moose Pass residents, by funding areas such as education, arts and culture, youth, health services and more. 

Q: Do you have any tips for new business owners? 


Find a mentor, find someone who has been through it, and someone who is willing to be completely open with you. There's a lot that you don't know about starting a business, even if you think you do. It really is a big learning curve.

Q: What do you love about Seward? 


I love how the small business community in Seward comes together to lift each other up.