Posted July 15th, 2012, 01:50 PM
Not an expert on Alaskan geography by any means, but here's what it looks like from google maps. You sail through Stephens Passage to get to Juneau, and the entrance to Tracy Arm is right off Stephens Passage.
When we've whale watched with Harv & Marv in Juneau, we've sailed out of Auke Bay. I'm not sure if we ended up heading back into Stephens Passage -- guess we could have done. The area marked as Stephens Passage on google maps is south-east of Juneau, while Auke Bay is northwest of Juneau. Like I said, I'm not an expert, but that's what it looks like on the map.
For Harv & Marv at least, it's maybe a 20-30 minutes drive from the cruise ship to board their boats, and then a short ride out of Auke Bay to where we have seen whales.
Having done the Tracy Arm excursion that meets back up with the cruise ship in Tracy Arm, we did see whales. The catamaran stopped and gave us a pretty good view, but it was nothing like the experience we had from the small 6 pack boat that Harv & Marv uses.
Depends on how interested you are in seeing whales as to whether the catamaran (which will not have guaranteed sightings) would be enough
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