whale watching & qt on Stephen's Passage

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#1
563 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
We want to do a whale watch excursion out of Juneau... there is also a Tracy Arm excursion that gets off the ship onto a Catemaran in Tracy Arm entrance while the ship goes on to Juneau.

My question is..... I read the whale watch is about an hour's drive from Juneau - or either it is an hour's boat ride (was confusing to me).... anyway - is the whale watch tour boat IN Stephen's Passage????

The catemaran from Tracy Arm surely has to go thru Stephen's Passage as well to go on to Juneau... correct???

In that case -- it seems if we did the Tracy Arm excursion then we'd be in the same area to do whale watching too - even though the catemaran would not be obligated to stop and allow 'slow viewing' of the whales since it would be on it's own schedule to get to Juneau......

Am I totally lost or partially on track here??????

Thanks for any insight!
#2
South Jordan, UT
5,214 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
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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#3
Syracuse, New York
49,119 Posts
Joined May 2000
Yep, you are off track. From the Juneau docks it is a 20 minute transfer to Auke Bay, where the whale watches are. They don't go south, they sometimes will go to the Lynn Canal.

You do have "possible" humpback sightings in Stephen's Passage, but no where in the numbers of Auke Bay.
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#4
563 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by Budget Queen
Yep, you are off track. From the Juneau docks it is a 20 minute transfer to Auke Bay, where the whale watches are. They don't go south, they sometimes will go to the Lynn Canal.

You do have "possible" humpback sightings in Stephen's Passage, but no where in the numbers of Auke Bay.
Thank you for your patience and once again sharing your knowledge! This helps as I look at my map.....