Seasick on Juneau Whale Watching Tour ?

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#1
Southern California
1,438 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
We will be on a Princess cruise in Alaska July 5th and considering whale watching in Juneau. My adult daughter gets sea sick easily (though she's been OK on larger cruise ship), do you think she would be OK on a whale watching boat?
We would likely book independently of the cruise.
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Marcie
#2
Oklahoma City
7,436 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by petlover
We will be on a Princess cruise in Alaska July 5th and considering whale watching in Juneau. My adult daughter gets sea sick easily (though she's been OK on larger cruise ship), do you think she would be OK on a whale watching boat?
We would likely book independently of the cruise.
We were on a Holland tour (whale watching) in Sept and thought the water was not rough at all. IMO, the area we were in is very "protected", more like being on a lake or river than open ocean. She should be just fine.

DaveOKC
#4
Seattle, WA
1,504 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Choose your tour carefully. On our first Alaska trip, we used Gastineau Guiding for a whale watching "photo safari" , and their boat was quite stable. On our second Alaska trip, we picked a whale watch and salmon bake, and the boat had quite a lean when we were stopped and everyone got to the same side of the boat...perhaps 20 degrees. I felt the ship was reasonably stable and not in danger of capsizing, but it made enjoying the excursion difficult, and could easily upset someone who's marginally seasick.

Essentially just look at the boat and decide for yourself how much the center of gravity would be affected by the predicted quantity of people. 14 on the GG boat was no problemo, but 40 people on the other boat was too much IMHO.
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#5
Oklahoma
1,118 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
I think I would stay away from independent small boats if she gets sick easily. The larger boats are a little more stable. Also we have found taking ginger root pills (can buy at Wal Mart) before going on excursion seems to help with sea sickness.
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#6
Syracuse, New York
49,488 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by petlover
We will be on a Princess cruise in Alaska July 5th and considering whale watching in Juneau. My adult daughter gets sea sick easily (though she's been OK on larger cruise ship), do you think she would be OK on a whale watching boat?
We would likely book independently of the cruise.
Sorry, but what "we" think, has nothing to do with what your daughter is going to experience. I suggest, she consider precautions by consulting with a health care professional. I HAVE seen plenty of sea sick cruise passengers in Alaska, and a few on whale watches, and I'm certain most of them, did not "think" they were going to get sick.
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#7
12 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
I have cruised many times and only gotten sea sick once (when the crew themselves were getting sick too -- force 10 winds). With that being said, the absolute worst day of my life was my whale watching tour in Victoria on a zodiac. I don't think I have ever been that sick. I also tend to get seasick easily. I did a larger boat trip (25-30 people) in the protected waters of Juneau and was fine. It does tend to vary and there are a lot of over the counter medicines that can help. From someone who does get seasick, though, it can be one of the absolute worst feelings -- much worse than pain.
#8
84,876 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Our adult daughter still gets sea sick and when she was younger we did a whale excursion in Juneau. She needed to take Bonine which worked well for her.

I always recommend consulting with the physician since we don't know your daughter and I would ask about taking something like Bonine. The key is to take it a couple of hours before the tour.

Keith
#10
Illinois, USA
282 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
I grew up in Juneau and frequent the waters that the whale boats operates when I am fishing.

I cannot speak intelligently as to the Princess Whale Watching tour (or any of them as I have a boat to use up there), but as a rule of thumb, the larger the boat, the less you will potentially be affected by the waves (this is far from an absolute, but I don't think it is a bad generalization). As someone mentioned, if you were out in a small Zodiac, you will have a very different experience that if you are in the large, covered aluminum boats I see some whale tour operators use that probably fit 50 people or the double decker boats that fit who knows how many people.

The waters in the area aren't as dramatic as what i have seen on Cozumel, but the waves can get big enough to get your attention and I've seen the water conditions change extremely quick (for instance if the wind turns and the tide is suddenly running against the wind).

If this is of extreme concern to you, you can always check out the Marine forecast in the area. Here is the link I use when I am in town: http://www.kinyradio.com/weather.html

On the left hand side, there is a link under "Boating/Flying" and click in "Inside Waters". Scroll down slightly (maybe 1/4 of the way on the scroll bar...pretty near the top) and find the entry for "Northern Lynn Canal". If you look right now, you'll see seas are at 12 feet. I sure as heck would avoid something like that.

Try and check this link a few days before you hit Juneau. I'm not sure how tides are in the California area, but with all the islands in SE Alaska, the waters are never really constant. How choppy the water gets around Juneau really depends on wind, tides, and locations.

Without knowing the specifics of your daughter or the size of the boat you are going out on, it is tough to say whether she should medicate right away or not. I hope the link helps a bit though.
#11
Wheaton, IL USA
2,126 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by Keith1010
Our adult daughter still gets sea sick and when she was younger we did a whale excursion in Juneau. She needed to take Bonine which worked well for her.

I always recommend consulting with the physician since we don't know your daughter and I would ask about taking something like Bonine. The key is to take it a couple of hours before the tour.

Keith
This worked very well for my friend who had forgotten her patch for the cruise (and did not need it) but felt well on the whale watching tour.

Sue
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#12
Claxton, TN
2,811 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I am one that suffers from terrible motion sickness. My recommendation is for your daughter to start taking Bonine (over the counter) two days before the excursion to get it in her system. I took Bonine our entire trip and was fine on the small 6 passenger whale watching tour with Harv and Marv. Without medication I would have been vomiting over the side every time we stopped. The small boats bob a bunch, at least to me, when they stop. Larger boats will be more stable.

Lisa
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#13
USA
8,952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
FWIW even a small private boat on smooth water will move a lot. Unless you have experience doing this I would suggest taking some meds. Your child will be sleepy but not ill. Nothing worse than being ill, seen it many times and no fun for anyone.

That being said, I'm very prone to motion sickness so I always take a little medication for small boat rides. One of my 3 kids is like that and we ALWAYS give him some too, nothing like someone barfing over the side to ruin a excursions.

The other alternative is to take the Princess sponsored excursion which will be on a much larger craft.
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#14
Southern California
410 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
This past August, I went on a Harv and Marv boat to go whale watching. What was very nice about their boat was the seats were on hydraulics so when we hit the rougher seas, the seats absorbed a lot of the movement.

I get seasick (on the cruise we had 16' swells and I was queasy). I took Bonine and was okay. The one thing I noticed with Bonine is I got a little sleepy but not as bad with Dramamine.
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#15
Anchorage, Alaska
3,078 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
We were on one of the Harv and Marv smaller boats last summer and it was rough. Water was going over the bow and cabin as we were heading back to the dock. We were transferred to another larger vessel in order to make it back safely. As mentioned, check out the vendors with larger boats.