Everything You Need to Know About Whale Watching in Alaska (2022)

Imagine witnessing a massive humpback whale leap into the air against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks as you cruise azure waters. You also see the round, smooth head of a curious harbor seal peeking at you from the sea during your voyage and hear a glacier calving in the distance. Hungry gulls circle overhead looking to pick up the scraps left behind by feeding marine mammals. This is the magic of whale watching in Alaska.

(Video) WHALE WATCHING ALASKA (Best Time And Place To See Whales In Alaska) | Alaska Travel Guide

Table of Contents

  • Types of Whales You’ll See in Alaska
    • Humpback Whales
    • Beluga Whales
    • Killer Whales
    • Gray Whales
  • When to Go Whale Watching
  • Where to See Whales in Alaska
    • Prince William Sound
    • Inside Passage
    • Turnagain Arm
    • Seward
    • Kodiak Island
    • Sitka
  • Tips for an Enjoyable Excursion
  • Cruise to Alaska With Windstar

Alaska draws millions of visitors every year to its breathtaking fjords, islands, mountains and forests. Many of these travelers come to Alaska hoping to watch magnificent whales and other fascinating animals in their natural habitat. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, Alaska saw over 2 million summer visitors in 2019, and about a quarter of them went on a whale watching tour.

If you’re excited to embark on a whale-watching journey in Alaska, it’s essential to know where to go and when to go. In this post, we’ll provide some of the details to help you plan an unforgettable experience.

Types of Whales You’ll See in Alaska

Various cetaceans populate or move through the waters of Alaska, though humpback whales, orcas and beluga whales are the most frequently seen. Here’s a little bit about the types of large cetaceans you might encounter during an Alaskan whale watching excursion:

1. Humpback Whales

Humpback whales can reach a length of about 60 feetand weigh up to 40 tons. These massive sea mammals migrate to Alaska once winter has passed to spend the summer months feasting on krill and small fish. Humpback whales are a favorite of whale watchers because they are active at the surface, breaching or slapping the water with their fins. According to NOAA Fisheries, whale watchersoften see humpback whalesduringa boat tour.

One of the fascinating humpback whale behaviors is a feeding technique called bubble net feeding. During bubble net feeding, whales work together to confine their prey using bubbles. Once their prey is pushed toward the water’s surface, the whales propel themselves through the bubble net with their mouths wide open, devouring the fish — and putting on a spectacular show.

2. Beluga Whales

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Beluga whales are distinguished by their white color, dome-shaped heads and various vocalizations. Known as canaries of the sea, beluga whales make a range of sounds, including clicks, whistles and chirps. These social creatures may live in small groups or, in rare cases, with hundreds of other beluga whales. They inhabit the Arctic Ocean and nearby seas, including Alaskan waters. During the summer, beluga whales are typically found in shallow coastal waters or large rivers.

(Video) Alaska Whale Watching Ultimate Guide- Humpback, Orca, Beluga - How 2 Travelers

3. Killer Whales

Killer whales, also called orcas, are not actually whales but are the largest species of dolphins. With their black tops and white patches near the eyes, killer whales are easy to recognize. They are highly social creatures, living in pods and using coordinated hunting methods and teamwork to capture prey. Although orcas can be found in all of the world’s oceans, they are plentiful in Alaska’s frigid waters.

4. Gray Whales

Gray whales can grow to about 49 feet long, and they have mottled slate-colored bodies. Unlike humpback whales, gray whales do not have a dorsal fin. Once common in all of the Northern Hemisphere, these large creatures can now only be found in the North Pacific Ocean.

Gray whales are mainly bottom feeders, scraping the seafloor for food. You might see a gray whale rising from the water with mud dripping from its mouth. These curious sea mammals are known to approach whale-watching boats and occasionally breach or spy-hop.

When to Go Whale Watching

In general, the best time to see whales in Alaska is during the summer. This is when whales feed in Alaska’s rich waters after migrating from the south. However, depending on the species, you may see whales any time of the year. Here’s when to visit Alaska if you’re hoping to spot a specific species:

  • Humpback whales: Humpback whales migrate from their winter breeding grounds in the waters near Japan, Mexico and Hawaii to their feeding grounds extending from Washington state to the Chukchi Sea near the Arctic Ocean. You’ll find humpback whales along Alaska’s coast in the spring, summer and fall.
  • Beluga whales:You can see beluga whales from mid-July through August, typically south of Anchorage. In the late fall, you might spot them swimming near the shore.
  • Killer whales: If you want to see killer whales but don’t know what time of year you’ll get to Alaska, you’re in luck. Orcas hang out in Alaska’s waters all year long.
  • Gray whales:Gray whales start to migrate north from the Gulf of California to the Bering Seafrom late February to May, staying close to the coast. They spend their summers feeding in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.

Where to See Whales in Alaska

Alaska makes it easy for visitors to hop on a boat and get out to see whales. You’ll find exceptional tour operators in most of the state’s coastal towns, or you might create your own whale watching tour by sea kayaking or traveling on a ferry. In some locations, you can even watch whales from the shore. To help you narrow your options, here are some of the best places in Alaska to see whales:

1. Prince William Sound

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Prince William Sound consists of 3,800 miles of coastlinesituated east of the Kenai Peninsula. Several orca pods live in the area, and you can watch humpback whales in the western portion from mid-May through September.

(Video) Whale Watching - Alaska Cruise 2022

Although the sound contains remote areas, you can easily find starting points for whale watching tours in Whittier and Valdez. In Cordova, a small town surrounded by the Chugach National Forest, you don’t have to travel far to see marine mammals. A 10-minute drive from downtown to Orca Beach provides onshore whale watching spots. Keep your eyes peeled for sea otters and harbor seals while you’re there.

2. Inside Passage

The Inside Passage, located in southeast Alaska, is a summer haven for humpback whales. Every summer, these colossal creatures flock to the region’s channels and fjords to consume tons of krill and fish. If you want to watch humpback whales enjoy their seemingly endless summertime feast, Alaska’s Inside Passage is the place to go.

You might begin your journey in Juneau, which is Alaska’s premier whale watching port. According to NOAA Fisheries, Juneau is home to approximately 20 whale watching businesses. Tour operators leave from Auke Bay Harbor, which is just minutes north of Juneau International Airport. Juneau’s visitors consistently see humpback whales on tours. Less commonly, you may also spot orcas.

You might choose to venture to Point Adolphus, located on the tip of Chichagof Island across from Glacier Bay National Park. Point Adolphus is a renowned whale-watching spot and popular birding site. This is where currents from other passages form a high concentration of food for humpback whales and other marine animals. You can access the area with a tour service for a day trip or organize a sea kayaking adventure.

3. Turnagain Arm

For a chance to see the endangered beluga whales of Cook Inlet, head to Turnagain Arm. Turnagain Arm is a waterway located off of Cook Inlet south of Anchorage. You may see belugas from mid-July through August moving through Turnagain Arm, especially before and after high tides. Head to Beluga Point, which is a rocky crag overlooking the waters of Turnagain Arm, located along the scenic Seward Highway. If you find beluga whales swimming close to the shore, listen to their unique vocalizations as they pass by. Keep your eyes open for orcas as well — predators of belugas whales.

4. Seward

Seward is a picturesque port city situated on the Kenai Peninsula. From Seward, you can take a boat tour of Resurrection Bay—an extraordinary location for viewing wildlife. Resurrection Bay is a deep fjord and magnet for marine mammals. During the summer, you may see feeding humpback whales or orcas on the prowl. At any point in time, you may witness a sea otter floating past you on its back or a harbor seal gazing at you from the water.

If you want to roam on your own, consider sea kayaking through Resurrection Bay and exploring its wild coves, beaches and islands.

(Video) Whale Watching in Seward, Alaska!

5. Kodiak Island

Kodiak Island, situated in the Gulf of Alaska, is Alaska’s largest island. It may be best known as a bear-watching destination and home to the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, but it’s also a place to see whales.

Every spring, gray whales migrate past Kodiak Island on their way to the Bering and Chukchi Seas. Some remain in the waters surrounding the island for the summer before heading south in the fall. You can take a boat or kayaking tour from the island for a chance to see gray whales passing by on their migratory journey. If you don’t want to hit the water, you can also whale watch from the shore. One whale watching spot to check out is Pasagshak Bay, where you may find gray whales rolling in shallow water sucking up mouthfuls of sediment.

6. Sitka

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Sitka is a scenic city and borough situated on the outer edge of the Inside Passage. Due to its closeness to the Pacific Ocean, marine mammals are drawn to the area’s waters during the summer, including migrating humpback whales. You can even see humpback whales roaming near Sitka in the fall and early winter as they move south. You might take a boat tour of Sitka Sound, where humpback, gray and killer whales feed in the protected, nutrient-rich waters during the summer. To whale watch from the shore, head to Whale Park located a short distance from downtown. Whale Park offers overlooks, viewing shelters, fixed binoculars and a hydrophone so you can listen live to whale sounds.

Tips for an Enjoyable Excursion

Cruising through Alaska’s pristine wilderness on a whale-watching expedition is an unforgettable experience, regardless of the animals you encounter. Still, there are ways to prepare so you can make the most of your whale watching trip and have the best experience possible. Here are a few tips:

  • Check the weather forecast: To help you select the best day for your whale watching excursion, check the weather forecast first. Bright but cloudy days are ideal for whale watching because it’s easier to see the water’s surface.
  • Look out for other wildlife: As you wait to spot a whale, keep your eyes open for other wildlife. There are so many different animals and birds to see in Alaska that you’d be missing out if you only looked for whales.
  • Don’t forget your binoculars: Make sure you have a pair of good binoculars with you to increase the chance of a sighting. You can also use them to scan the shore for bears, seals, mountain goats and many other types of Alaska’s animals.
  • Know the signs: Know what signs to look for before you embark on your voyage. If you see birds circling over a specific spot in the water, blows, oil slicks or large splashes, a whale might be close by.
  • Think like a whale: If you see a whale dive, consider the direction it was moving. Whales usually do not appear in the same spot after diving. Knowing a little bit about how whales behave and think will help you look at the right place at the right time.
  • Dress in layers: Evenduring thesummer, theweather can get chilly inAlaska,especially if you’re out at sea and there’s a light wind. Consider bringing a waterproof jacket and hat to adjust to temperature changes and ensure you’re comfortable during your excursion.
  • Wear sunscreen:Water reflects and magnifies sunlight, so it’s easy to get sunburned during a whale watching trip. Keep your skin protected with sunscreen, and make sure to bring some along. Bring sunglasses, too, so you can protect your eyes as you scan for whales.
  • Pack your camera: You’ll probably want to remember some of the sights you’ll see during your journey, so bring your camera with extra batteries or a charger. You might bring a zoom lens if you want a good shot of a whale.
  • Bring snacks: Whale watching tours typically last two to four hours. Bring somesnacks with you tofeel satisfied and energized. Also, remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water while you’re on board.
  • Be patient: If you see signs of a whale near the surface of the water, be patient and allow time for the whale to surface. In the meantime, relax and enjoy Alaska’s stunning scenery.

Cruise to Alaska With Windstar

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Alaska is a feast for the eyes, whether you’re scanning the waters for whales or letting the landscape fill you with awe. If you’re excited to visit Alaska to go whale watching or explore its unspoiled beauty, let us know. At Windstar Cruises, we sail guests to Alaska’s top whale-watching destinations, including the Inside Passage. As you journey with us through Alaska’s fjords, you’ll also have opportunities to look for whales and other wildlife while on board. Our small, uncrowded ships take guests where large vessels can’t go, bringing them closer to the unexpected.

(Video) Whale Watching Boat Tour in Juneau, Alaska

Ready to experience Alaska’s majesty? Browse our Alaska cruises or contact a Windstar Vacation Planner to learn more.


What month is best for whale watching in Alaska? ›

If you are wanting to visit Alaska to see whales, it's best to go on a cruise during June and July after the whales have made their migration. However if you want to see bears in Alaska, the best time to travel to Alaska is during the month of May.

What time of day is the best time to see whales in Alaska? ›

It really doesn't matter what time of the day you go whale watching because whales are active throughout the day. Whether you book an early morning cruise, a midday cruise, or something later in the evening, you'll still have plenty of chances to see whales.

What do I need to know about whale watching? ›

5 things to know before you go whale watching
  • You may see whales. You will see dolphins. ...
  • Bundle up and shed layers. ...
  • Earlier isn't necessarily better—unless you get seasick. ...
  • It's all about the migrations. ...
  • Don't forget to check the (marine) traffic.
Mar 5, 2015

Where is the best place in Alaska to see whales? ›

Best Place for Whale Watching in Alaska. The best place for whale watching in Alaska is Juneau, because there are so many whales that seeing whales on your excursion is guaranteed. Icy Strait is also very good for whale watching, but there are no guarantees for this port (though most tours do see whales.)

What time of day are whales more active? ›

Whales are never diurnal, but they can be crepuscular. This means they are most active during twilight hours which are both before sunrise and after sunset.

Which Alaska port is best for whale watching? ›

The best port for whale watching is Juneau. There are so many whales, that seeing whales on your Juneau whale watching excursion is guaranteed. Icy Strait also has abundant whales. You may also see whales on excursions from Seward, via Ressurection Bay or Kenai Fjords.

Do you see whales from the cruise ship in Alaska? ›

An Alaska whale-watching cruise is one of the best ways to see the world's largest mammals in their natural habitat. During an Alaskan vacation, you'll spot feeding humpback whales, orcas swimming with their offspring, and gray and blue whales splashing in the water from a front-row seat.

When can you see the northern lights in Alaska? ›

The northern lights occur all four seasons of the year, although they are harder to see under the Midnight Sun. The best time to see the northern lights in Alaska is between August and April, when less daylight leads to darker night skies.

What are the dangers of whale watching? ›

He said whale-watching passengers face greater risks tripping or slipping on wet decks or staircases than they are for drowning at sea. "It's a very safe industry and very seldom do you ever hear of a major incident on any type of whale-watch vessel."

Do you get wet while whale watching? ›

It is easy to get wet while whale-watching, especially if you're on a boat where ocean water often sprays up onto passengers. To keep yourself warm and dry, wear a waterproof jacket with a hood. If it's going to be particularly cold, make sure it's a heavy jacket or even a winter coat.

What time of year are killer whales in Alaska? ›

Killer whales can be seen in southeast Alaska between early May and early June with whales more sporadically spotted in June through September. They can be seen in the waters of Resurrection Bay, near Seward, as well as throughout Southeast Alaska, with the largest abundance found near Juneau and Ketchikan.

Is Juneau whale watching worth it? ›

You won't go wrong with ShoreTrips' Juneau whale watching adventure. Some visitors choose to watch the whales from the larger cruise ship they are on, but doing an actual tour to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures is so worth it.

Can you see whales from the shore in Alaska? ›

Whether you are taking a whale watching boat tour or hoping to catch sight of a whale from a viewpoint on shore, there are plenty of whale watching opportunities in Alaska. While some whales can be seen year-round such as Orcas, many migrate north to Alaska from warmer areas during the spring and return in the fall.

Will I get seasick on a whale watch? ›

Both of our boats offer a smooth ride overall, but whale watching tours sometimes go far out into the Bay and yes, a small percentage of passengers are known to become seasick in a variety of ocean conditions. If you are sensitive to motion sickness, proper precautions to avoid it are highly recommended.

Are whale watching tours safe? ›

The wildlife- and whale-watching industry is safe despite three incidents resulting in deaths and injuries in less than two years, according to a Transportation Safety Board manager.

How rare is it to see a blue whale? ›

Blue whales are the largest animal ever to live on our planet, and at nearly 90 feet long they shouldn't be too hard to spot! However, these solitary marine mammals are classed as 'Endangered' on the IUCN Red List, and with only a few thousand left in the ocean knowing where to look for them is key.

Is it better to go whale watching in the morning or afternoon? ›

Is the morning or the afternoon better? People always want to know if whale watching is better in the morning or the afternoon. To be completely honest there is really no 'better time. ' As a general rule, the ocean is calmer in the mornings.

Does time of day matter for whale watching? ›

But first, we stress that there's no “best” time of day to go whale watching. Whales are out and about doing their thing day and night, so whether you go out in the morning, afternoon or evening you'll always have a great chance of seeing whales and other marine wildlife.

Can you see the Northern Lights from a cruise ship in Alaska? ›

On Celebrity, cruises to Alaska and Iceland just might yield sightings of Aurora Borealis. That said, even if you don't see the Northern Lights during your cruise, there's plenty to fall in love with in these exciting destinations, from incredible dog-sledding competitions to hiking along stunning fjords.

Will you see whales from the cruise ship? ›

Whales: It's possible but don't expect it. Whales don't have to come up for air often so it's not as likely, even if there is one nearby the ship. However, you may get lucky, people have reported seeing them before. Seals: Like Dolphins, Seals can be found closer to shore.

How can you tell an orca? ›

All cetaceans have dorsal fins or ridges, but the size, shape, and location on their backs differ. Gray whales have small dorsal ridges, while orcas have pronounced triangular fins that can grow to over 6 feet high on males.

How much should I budget for an Alaskan cruise? ›

A typical Alaska Cruise can cost between $600 and $5,000 per person, depending on the length of your cruise, the type of cruise you choose, and your room choice. We recommend budgeting an additional $1,000 to $1,500 per person for shore excursions to get the most out of your Alaskan cruise.

What is the best time of year to go to Alaska to see wildlife? ›

Spring (March–May) offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities before trees and other vegetation leaf out. Ptarmigan migrate to central Alaska river valleys in March. Millions of waterfowl and shorebirds return to the Stikine River Flats, Copper River Delta, and other wetlands in April.

What side of ship is best for Alaska cruise? ›

Northbound Alaska cruises sail up the coastline through the Inside Passage and along Hubbard Glacier, so your best view of Alaska's scenic landmasses are likely on the starboard side of the ship. Southbound Alaska cruises are the opposite.

What month is the best to go to Alaska? ›

For many people, the answer to the question “When is the best time to go to Alaska?” is July. With wildlife fully active, all trails accessible, long days and Alaska's warmest average temperatures, July can be the best month to visit Alaska.

Which is better Anchorage or Fairbanks? ›

Anchorage has a big edge with over 300,000 residents and Fairbanks sits around 32,000. Anchorage has a much larger airport with more planes flying to it daily. And overall there's more to do in Anchorage as it's really the only major city in the state.

Does the northern lights happen every night? ›

Auroras happen in every month but because they're impossible to see against the super-light late night summer skies far up north, our trips to see them tend to take place when the night skies are properly dark.

Do whales flip boats? ›

whales flipping boats? Well, nothing really, except good manners and discretion on the part of the whales! They have been reported to do it (a right whale was filmed breaching onto a boat in South America).

Do whales hit boats? ›

"We can enjoy their beauty, but at a distance." Harassment from whale-watching vessels is listed as one of the main threats to humpback whales, along with vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear, according to NOAA.

How often do whales hit boats? ›

According to figures from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) Ship Strike Database, there were 605 confirmed, known as definite, collisions between a whale and a vessel between 1820-2019, although the IWC concedes that many incidents aren't reported.

What should I bring on a whale watching trip? ›

What to Bring Whale Watching
  • Hat.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Binoculars (we do keep some loaners aboard)
  • Camera.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Water bottle (no glass please)
  • Snacks and/or lunch or dinner.

Do you tip whale watching? ›

Although not required, a gratuity for your guide is a great way to show your appreciation for their outstanding service. Guiding is a hospitality industry comparable to that of a server at a restaurant. 10% – 20% gratuity is a good general rule, depending on how amazing your guide was.

What shoes to wear while whale watching? ›

Rubber-sole shoes don't slip or dislodge easily, so, it is better to wear them than your usual flip-flops. You will certainly want to catch the moment when you finally see the orcas.

Do I need binoculars for whale watching? ›

Ans: You should opt for a pair of binoculars with a magnification of 7X or 8X, for spotting and recognizing whales in their natural habitats. These binoculars offer a wide field of view due to which it is easy to locate and observe a moving whale.

Can you wear flip flops whale watching? ›

While flip flops may be a good choice for relaxing at the beach, they're not the best option for whale watching. Wear sturdy waterproof shoes or at least thick socks underneath to keep your toes warm and dry. Be sure that your shoes also have rubber soles so you don't slide around should the deck become slippery.

What weather is best for whale watching? ›

If you are looking to get fun, casual whale watching photos, anytime of day works great! But if you are a professional photographer the ambient light of mornings and evenings is best, and those stormy days can often produce an epic sunset, perfect for capturing images of humpback whales in Maui's tropical waters!

What is the best time of year to see wildlife in Alaska? ›

Spring (March–May) offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities before trees and other vegetation leaf out. Ptarmigan migrate to central Alaska river valleys in March. Millions of waterfowl and shorebirds return to the Stikine River Flats, Copper River Delta, and other wetlands in April.

What time of year are orcas in Alaska? ›

Killer whales can be seen in southeast Alaska between early May and early June with whales more sporadically spotted in June through September. They can be seen in the waters of Resurrection Bay, near Seward, as well as throughout Southeast Alaska, with the largest abundance found near Juneau and Ketchikan.

Is it better to visit Alaska in May or September? ›

The best time to visit Alaska is during the summer months. While our summer season is short, it is the driest, warmest time to visit. Starting mid May and ending mid September you are sure to see the best the State of Alaska has to offer...

Which Alaska port is best for whale watching? ›

The best port for whale watching is Juneau. There are so many whales, that seeing whales on your Juneau whale watching excursion is guaranteed. Icy Strait also has abundant whales. You may also see whales on excursions from Seward, via Ressurection Bay or Kenai Fjords.

Many people, including me, have Alaska high on their bucket list of travel experiences to do at least once in their lifetime. So, I'm thrilled that Captain Alan Corbett, a whale watching Captain in Juneau,

So, I’m thrilled that Captain Alan Corbett, a whale watching Captain in Juneau, Alaska , has written a guest post for Life Well Cruised.. But regardless of your expectations, you can never truly prepare yourself for the reality , it’s emotionally overwhelming.. Having your own binoculars means that regardless of whether the whales are 400 yards away or cruising by the bow of your boat you’ll have the best view in the house.. If you’re looking to use a better camera here are a few tricks that’ll help you get the shot.. So if you miss the shot of the whale’s fluke high in the air as it dives don’t get frustrated.. The whale will be back again when it needs more air and you’ll get a second chance.. d) Remember that taking photos of marine mammals is hard.. Alaska is full of potential experiences for you to appreciate and cruising through the Southeast of is fantastic way to do it.. Bio: Alan Corbett is a whale watching captain in Southeast Alaska.

If you've ever wanted to go whale watching in Alaska, you need to read this guide first. I'll show you the best times and places to see whales!

However, the absolute best time to see them is in the months of June and July, during peak whale season.. But so do the whales in Alaska!. It’s actually almost impossible to see whales during wintertime, so make sure that if you’re going whale watching in Alaska that you do it through the summer.. During the winter months, humpback whales spend time up in the waters by Mexico and Hawaii and return to Alaska in the Spring.. Now let’s take a look at some of the top locations for whale watching in Alaska.. If you go to any of the locations above during peak travel season (May – September) you’re pretty much guaranteed at least one whale sighting during your cruise.. You technically can spot whales from different shorelines and cruise points, but the only way you can guarantee that you actually get to spot whales in Alaska is to go on a whale watching boat tour.. If you see their back start to go from flat to rounded then get your camera ready, the tail will probably be about to come up out of the water.. Have you been to Alaska to see the whales?

An Alaska cruise is an unparalleled whale watching experience. Here's everything you need to know about traveling the waters of the Last Frontier.

It’s a cruise unlike any other–one that people often describe as the trip of a lifetime.. July is the peak time for wildlife watching–and Alaska whale watching cruises are priced accordingly.. In fact, you often don’t have to take a shore excursion to spot them.. They’ll be hanging out around the cruise ship!. Whales, along with many other animals, can be seen along the Alaska coastline.. It’s what locals like to call the waters around Juneau.. In the colder, northern waters of Anchorage, beluga whales rule the sea .. Book early– really early.. Alaskan whale watching cruises go on sale up to two years in advance.. And don’t forget to pack bug spray for your shore excursions.. You’ll be especially glad you have it with you should you take a small boat excursion to see the whales up close since smaller vessels can get jostled by the waves.. You’ll be glad you booked early and locked in a low price, especially once you realize that Alaska cruise pricing is rarely 100 percent inclusive.. You can save a bundle–and support the local economy–by booking shore excursions yourself.

Information on approach regulations, safe viewing practices, and more information on reducing disturbance while watching whales, sea lions, seals, dolphins, and porpoises from boats, planes, and helicopters.

Not place your vessel in the path of oncoming humpback whales causing them to surface within 100 yards of your vessel.. Not disrupt the normal behavior or prior activity of a whale, and Operate your vessel at a slow, safe speed when near a humpback whales. Developed in collaboration with the whale watching industry, Whale SENSE recognizes whale watching companies committed to responsible practices.. Upon successful completion of training and evaluation, Whale SENSE businesses receive materials identifying them as active Whale SENSE participants featuring the Whale SENSE logo and current calendar year.. To avoid disturbance to harbor seals in sensitive glacial habitats, these voluntary guidelines are recommended for all vessel types in all glacial areas year-round, as practicable:. If approached by a whale, put the engine in neutral and allow the whale to pass.. While viewing marine mammals, your actions should not cause a change in the behavior of the animals.. Noise may help whales know your location and avoid whale and vessel collisions.. Vessels that wish to position themselves to allow whales to pass the vessel should do so in a manner that stays fully clear of whale's path.. Avoid approaching marine mammals when another vessel is near.. Buzzing, hovering, landing, taking off, and taxiing near marine mammals on land or in the water is likely to harass the animals.. The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits the TAKE of all marine mammal species in U.S. waters.. Take means "to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill," and harassment means "any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild; or has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, sheltering.". Multi-Year Study Seeks to Understand Potential Impact of Tour Vessels on Harbor Seals in Alaska's Disenchantment Bay Natural and human effects on harbor seal abundance and spatial distribution in an Alaskan glacial fjord .. North Gulf Oceanic Society Marine Mammal and Human Patterns of Use , Seawead, (Southeast Alaska Wilderness Exploration and Discovery) Seabird Bycatch and Mitigation Efforts in Alaska Fisheries Summary Report: 2007 through 2015 Glacier Bay Park and Preserve Whale Alert Smartphone Application

Whale watching in Alaska is special since you can find different species of whales here in the warm months. Humpback, gray, Minke, and orca whales all inhabit the waters around the state. The best time to see these majestic marine mammals is from June until August. But there is another period when

Whale watching in Alaska is special since you can find different species of whales here in the warm months.. Humpback, gray, Minke, and orca whales all inhabit the waters around the state.. From April to May, you can witness the great gray whale migration through Alaskan waters.. The water around the southern coast of Alaska, stretching from the Aleutian Island chain east to the Hecate Strait, is known as the Gulf of Alaska and is the northern endpoint for the migration of several whale species.. Unlike many of the larger whale watching companies, this family friendly boat tour accommodates up to six people per tour and is perfect for families looking for an inexpensive view of the coast!. Many charter boats that offer whale watching tours can be found throughout the harbors here, so call ahead and find the best one.. This is another company that offers small group (6 person max) whale tours in a variety of tour options.. They move from their southern calving grounds in shallow, warm, and safe waters closer to the equator (such as the Sea of Cortez in Mexico 's Baja peninsula or Hawaii to the rich, deep waters of the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska where North America and Asia meet.. In the case of the gray whale, they swim down to the warm, shallow, and safe waters of the Sea of Cortez.. Summer is the best time to view whales in Alaska.. Such an incredible feat requires lots of energy and food that whales find in the bountiful waters around Alaska's southern coast.. Minke (pronounced 'mink-ee') whales ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata ), also known as little piked whales, can grow to more than 30 feet (9 m) in length and weigh over seven tons.. Although whales being showing up in the northern waters of Alaska in April, the highest concentration can be viewed in the summer.

Thinking of moving to Alaska? Click here to learn about a few things you should know to help you make a seamless transition to your new home!

“You should never go to Alaska as a young man because you’ll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live.”. But in addition to the incredible sights and unforgettable experiences you’ll enjoy, you’ll also discover that Alaska is probably unlike any place you’ve ever lived before.. Once you’ve lived in Alaska for a full year—and intend to stay indefinitely—you’ll be eligible for the annual Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD).. Although Alaska is more than twice the size of the state of Texas, its highway system is nearly the smallest in the U.S. A whopping 75% of Alaska is inaccessible by car, including its state capitol.. The Alaska State Fair hosts over 300,000 people every year.. Alaska is also home to the premier winter festival, the Fur Rendezvous, also known as Fur Rondy or just plain “Rondy.” This event gives Alaskans the excuse to bust out their warmest fur hats, jackets and boots to celebrate Anchorage’s winter spirit.. Start your journey at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, where you can explore the culture of Alaska’s diverse First Nations inhabitants.. Although Alaska’s unemployment rate has tended to run at about 1.5% higher than the national average there are still jobs to be found in Alaska.. We’ve helped plenty of people make bush moves to Alaska to live the off-grid lifestyle of their dreams.. As for living off the land in Alaska, that’s also a lifestyle you’ll see in the state.. Ultimately, if you’re moving to Alaska to embrace a different way of living, no one in the state will look at you askance.

It’s one of the world’s most spectacular wilderness destinations, but there’s so much to see and do in Alaska that planning a first-time trip can feel overwhelming.

For those flying in to Anchorage, destinations including the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound, Denali National Park and the Exit Glacier top most must-visit lists.. Photo by oksana.perkinsAlaska is the ultimate destination for outdoor adventure, from hiking to kayaking to glacier walking.. Just a 10-minute drive from Seward, you can view (and even go hiking on) Alaska’s famous Exit Glacier.. Photo by Kim Lloyd.Excellent kayaking can also be had around Homer, about three-and-a-half hours drive south of Seward, while Whittier (at the top of the Kenai Peninsula) and Valdez (on the northeast shore of Prince William Sound) are the key access points for kayaking adventures around the Sound.. If you don’t spot any in the wild, consider dropping by the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre south of Anchorage, where you can easily view orphaned and injured wildlife from bison to bobcats.. Photo by Rocky GrimesFor marine life, Prince William Sound, Kenai Fjords National Park and Glacier Bay National Park are the key hotspots, all of which harbour a smorgasbord of critters including sea otters, seals, sea lions, sea otters, Dall’s porpoise, several species of whale, clown-faced puffins, and more.. The weather is generally warm, wildlife is active, and most tourist services are operational.. The average tip for a tour guide is 10-20% of the tour cost per person.

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Although many tour companies offer boat tours during other seasons, it’s nearly impossible to see whales during the winter season.. Usually, people who go on whale-watching excursions in Prince William Sound book cruises out of one of these cities.. Although some people claim they can clearly see whales from beaches by Resurrection Bay, it’s still highly recommended you book a boat tour to enjoy the best views.. Now that you know some of the best places and times to see whales in Alaska, you need to find a tour company that meets your travel needs.. While we did see both orcas and grey whales, the National Park tour does not guarantee whale sightings.. Founded in the 1950s, Phillips Cruises & Tours is a highly respected cruise company that takes guests through Prince William Sound.. Although Phillips tours focus on the area’s glaciers, Rangers go out of their way to point out wildlife in the area, including whales.. The tours that tend to interest whale-watchers are the gray whale watch tour and the Resurrection Bay tour.. The company Alaska Travel Adventures boasts one of the best whale-watching excursions from Juneau.. The tour company Geographic Marine Expeditions has made a name for itself as one of the best tour operators on Kodiak Island.. No matter how clean your binoculars are, you won’t enjoy a whale-watching voyage if you’re suffering from seasickness.

When is the best time to go whale watching in Maui? Best whale-watching tours? Here we answer all your questions about whale watching in Maui.

From November to May every year, about 12,000 North Pacific Humpback Whales migrate south from Alaska and make Maui their home for the winter.. With a good pair of binoculars, keen watchers can see them breaching the ocean’s surface and engaging in other whale behavior.. When deciding which one to book, you want to consider things like vessel type, departure location, experience level of the staff and whether or not food and drinks are served on board.. Here are 4 of the best whale watching tours in Maui.. Vessel Type: Double deck powered catamaran Departs: Lahaina and Maalaea Harbors Pros: Tour packages for every budget, certified Marine naturalists on board with hydrophone to hear whale songs, restrooms on board, binocular and camera rentals available, ecotourism organization that donates all profits to marine research and conservation.. Vessel Type: Deluxe sailing catamaran Departs: Lahaina and Maalaea Harbors and Kaanapali Beach Pros: Experienced whale naturalists and hydrophones, food and drinks served on board, restrooms on board, smaller groups of 40 – 50 per trip Cons: Pricier compared to other tours. Vessel Type: Zodiac raft boat Departs: Lahaina Harbor Pros: Small groups of 18 passengers per trip, faster ride to whale sites so more time is spent whale watching, certified marine specialists on board, guaranteed sighting so if you don’t see a whale on your first trip you can go again for free.. Cons: Restrictions on pregnant women, people with back or neck injuries and anyone under 4 years old, boat ride can be rough if water is not calm, no food and only water served, no restrooms on board.. Bring Sun Protection.. Some tour companies offer binocular rentals.. Bring snacks and water.. Prevent sea sickness.

Introduction Before setting off on your whale watching trip of a lifetime, you may be in a quandary as to which camera to invest in or bring with you. And...

That said, choosing a camera phone, a compact camera or a digital SLR (DSLR) camera can pose a challenge.. The idea behind camera phones is that if you’re caught without the digital camera, your camera phone can offer.. Cost : Less expensive than buying a digital camera, video camera and cell phone.. Quality : The latest camera phones are increasingly good quality; their ability to produce high resolution images enables you to crop the image and capture a close up of the wildlife from afar.. Functionality : Most camera phones offer red eye reduction, auto-focus, and zoom, among additional features, such as a video camera, including time lapse and slow motion.. Camera app : To help you shoot better pictures, consider downloading a camera application.. Camera phones and compact cameras are smaller, lighter, less expensive and less conspicuous.. Also called a “mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera” (MILC), “hybrid camera” and “compact system camera” (CSC), the body is thinner than a DSLR.

But if your Alaska cruise includes a stop in Ketchikan, there̢۪s a chance that you will berth at nearby Ward Cove instead, some seven miles north of Ketchikan's bustling downtown. Cruise Critic in late April and was the first mainstream cruise to visit Ward Cove and...

The vast, untouched expanses of the Tongass National Forest, Indigenous history and charming streets make the Southeast Alaskan fishing town of Ketchikan a much-loved port of call on any Alaska cruise.. Cruise Critic was on board Norwegian Bliss in late April and was the first mainstream cruise to visit Ward Cove and Ketchikan for the 2022 Alaska cruise season.. Both discussed their future plans for the port with Cruise Critic, as well as what to expect if your Alaska cruise calls on Ward Cove.. To the south, Ward Creek opens to the channels of the Inside Passage while forested karst mountains of Tongass National Forest rise all around.. In addition to standard tours that whisk passengers into Ketchikan, numerous shore excursions at Ward Cove reflect the port's proximity to the wilderness, including rainforest nature walks, canoeing, kayaking in the straits of the Inside Passage, and more.. "We continue to train seasonal guides on the Tongass National Forest, the flora and fauna, as well as the history of the Pulp Mill," Black said.. "We took the first bus into town at 7:30, then came back out for the tour," Tungate told Cruise Critic.. While their time in Ketchikan was short, they noted that the bus system -- previously the ire of many Alaska cruise passengers in Ward Cove -- worked efficiently, with Norwegian Bliss the only ship in port at nearly 60% capacity.. Ward Cove is also planning to take Norwegian Cruise Line's shoreside power initiatives to an even greener level.. But the initial sketches of Ward Cove's future are starting to appear.. "We are beginning to tell the history of the logging industry in Southeast Alaska and the importance of the Ketchikan Pulp Mill to this area," Jennifer Black told Cruise Critic.. "As we develop more activities at The Mill there will be less urgency to leave the property where guests will be able to dine, shop, and explore on their own," Black told Cruise Critic.

A summer cruise through Alaska could be one of the more scenically pleasing voyages you can take. My Alaska trip consisted of a three-day Princess Cruises land tour followed by a seven-day cruise aboard the Star Princess. In that 10-day introduction to America’s 49th state, I learned a variety of lessons, some the hard way, that you might be helpful on your first Alaska journey.

And summer is a great time to take an Alaska cruise: the weather’s mild, the wildlife is out and about, and several cruise lines offer a variety of Alaska itineraries.. (Photo: Princess Cruises). A scenic cruise through Glacier Bay — yes, please.. (Photo: Princess Cruises). I couldn’t tell if it was a bird or a squirrel or, worse, a bear or a moose (in fact, there’d been signs all over the lodge alerting that both a bear and a moose had been spotted near the grounds).. “But if I run away and it turns out to be a bear, I’m done for, too.” The third rustle helped me decide to risk a quick retreat back to the lodge.. WATCH: Sid lands on West Fork Glacier and does some drinking. But I don’t have time; I’ll just buy one when I get back from Alaska.” With the amazing wildlife and dramatic natural spectacle, you’re definitely going to want to bring your photography A-game here.. In fact, as the Star Princess cruised through Glacier Bay, one eagle did several slow, majestic glides above the bow of the ship, to the screaming delight of the hundreds of passengers who’d gathered to watch the glacier show.. You don’t need to be a nature lover to enjoy an Alaska cruise…. You’ll appreciate Alaska.

Known to be royalty at sea, whales have certain qualities that make them truly unique creatures. Understanding them is a task that one must undertake in order to realize their significance in the world’s ecosystem.Not to be confused with fish, whales are actually mammals like humans and as a result, they are warm-blooded and they feed their young with milk from their mammary glands. For survival, whales inhale air through an opening at the top of their heads known as a blowhole. The location of the blowhole allows the whale to stay submerged while breathing. They release excess water and this forms a spout that can be used to determine the species of whale. Whales have thick bodies that are insulated by a layer of fat known as the blubber. Like other mammals and vertebrates, they have a spinal column and a heart consisting of four chambers. Their necks provide …

For survival, whales inhale air through an opening at the top of their heads known as a blowhole.. Although many species of whales exist, whales have been classified into two main sub-orders: Baleen and Toothed.. Baleen whales are characterized for having bigger females than males and they have two blowholes whereas Toothed whales only have one.. Some examples of common whales under the Baleen whale sub-order are: the Humpback Whale, the Blue Whale, and the Northern Pacific Right Whale.. For the Toothed whale sub-order, some commonly known whales are: the Sperm Whale, the Beluga, and the Northern Bottlenose Whale.. Baleen Whales : Included is an in depth description of Baleen Whales.. Whales have been decreasing because of the whaling activity and the human activity that has hindered their communication.. Whales communicate by sending off signals to each other.. When whales intend to mate, these signals resemble songs which are sent off by male whales which are picked up by the females.. These missions have shown to help put the whale population back on its track, and hopefully letting the female whales finally hear the prolonged male songs.. People have taken the time to devote to whale watching, an activity that involves the observing whales as they frolic in their own environment.. Although whales are underwater creatures, whales usually come up to the surface in order to understand the environment overhead.. Because of its huge force, it can help in the protection of the whale using this.

Enhance your school report, impress your friends, or just get a leg up on trivia night with these 49 facts about Alaska, the 49th state.

What is Alaska known for?. According to a National Park Service article , nine Alaska Native groups and five Athabaskan languages have had unique names for Denali that all translate to some form of “The Great One” or “The Tall One.” Alaska has more than 100 volcanoes and volcanic fields.. Alaska contains more than volcanoes and volcanic fields than any other state in the U.S. Don’t worry, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska volcanoes have produced one or two eruptions since 1900.. According to USGS, Alaska has 94,743 square miles of water area in the state.. Alaska is the only state that does not collect state sales tax or levy an individual income tax (some cities have sales tax, however).. Alaska has the most commercial fisheries in the U.S. Five species of salmon, four species of crab, cod, shrimp, halibut and more are harvested in Alaska.. Check out Gray Line Alaska’s rail tours and vacation packages to experience Alaska for yourself.

Whale Watching Bar Harbor: What can be more fascinating than to go on a cruise on Frenchman Bay and spy on the most awe-inspiring creations of nature-the

To know more details about what species of whales you can observe, the best whale-watching tours, whale museums, or the best whale-watching time, check out the article “Whale Watching Bar Harbor: When Can You See Whales in Bar Harbor, Maine?”. Yes, there are whales in Bar Harbor!!. The best time to watch whales in Bar Harbor is from May To October.. Bar Harbor Whale Watch offers you a 3.5 to 5.5 hours adventurous tour in Frenchman Bay’s vast water.. Here, at the Bar Harbor Whale Museum, whale lovers come across the large whale skeletons, history & conversation and can have the wonderful sight of the Gulf of Maine mammals.

Over the last several decades whale watching has become an amazing form of entertainment for millions of people all over the world who want to get a glimpse of the amazing majestic creatures we all know and love as whales. Through whale watching numerous countries have been able to improve their economic success while educating people about the importance of whales … Whale Watching Information, History and Facts Read More »

Whale watching is the act of observing of whales in their natural habitat (similar in a way to bird watching) which involves spectators standing at the end of a pier or on the deck of a boat with binoculars watching these marine mammals as they live undisturbed in their natural habitat.. Whale watching tourism is extremely important for developing countries looking to bring awareness to their nation as well as helping a number of economies by bringing in additional capital to countries that can benefit from the additional tourism boost.. In fact whales have been hunted since the B.C.. The combination of new technology along with increasing commercial needs for the use of whale oil, blubber and meat led to highly competitive whaling activities that further decreased existing whale populations.. As the commercial whaling era began to come to an end in most countries the introduction of whale watching as a tourist attraction began to grow.. Over the years whale watching has also become a popular method used to attract tourist to developing countries in the hopes of bringing in more capital for economic stimulation and growth.. Several concerns have developed including the concern of ships, technology and people interrupting the whales natural habitat, putting whales at danger and interrupting their natural breeding and migration patterns which could lead to further endangerment of the species .

When you think of California, the first thing that comes to mind is probably its world-famous beaches. However, there’s another side to this coastal state that’s just as impressive: its whales! Every winter, gray whales migrate south from Alaska to Baja California, and whale watching trips are a popular way to see them. If you’re looking for an unforgettable wildlife experience, here’s everything you need to know about whale watching in California.

Every winter, gray whales migrate south from Alaska to Baja California, and whale watching trips are a popular way to see them.. If you’re looking for an unforgettable wildlife experience, here’s everything you need to know about whale watching in California.. The first thing to do before planning a whale watching trip is to figure out which areas you want to visit.. Whale watching trips typically take place from December to April, when the gray whales are migrating.. Most whale watching tour companies offer half-day and full-day trips.. Whale watching trips typically take place from December to April, when the gray whales are migrating.. This is especially important when you’re whale watching, as trips can often last several hours.. This is a great spot for whale watching during the winter months when gray whales migrate south.. Monterey Bay – Monterey Bay is one of the most popular destinations for whale watching in California.. One of the most important things to remember when planning a whale watching trip is to bring your camera.. So there you have it – everything you need to know about whale watching in California.

Find out the best Tromso whale watching tours as well as the best time to see orcas and whales in Tromso during whale watching season.

There are a variety of Tromso whale watching tours to choose from, and all of them give you the opportunity to not only see wildlife, such as humpback whales, orcas, sea eagles, seals, and dolphins, but also explore the fjords and islands around Tromso.. In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know about the 5 top-rated Tromso whale tours and the best time to see orcas in Tromso .. If you want the best whale watching in Tromso , this fjord cruise and whale safari boat tour is the Tromso whale safari for you.. The boat on this Tromso whale watching tour has a silent electric motor so it can get close to whales and orcas without being noisy and disturbing them.. Another great option if you want to go Tromso whale watching with minimal interference in the whales’ natural environment is taking this silent tour .. In addition to having a silent electric engine, the boat on this silent whale watching tour in Tromso has both an underwater drone and hydrophone to capture the sights and sounds of the whales underwater.. Tromso whale tour with orca watching. This is a full-day Tromso orca watching tour , which will allow you ample time and opportunity to see humpback whales and orcas up close.


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