Juneau, Alaska - Early June - Whales?

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#1
MA
545 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Hi,

We are considering taking a whale watching cruise in Juneau .. Our cruise departs 5/28 .. In New England, whales return to our waters by late June .. curious if anyone has taken a whale watching cruise in late May/Early June and how much activity did they see? It requires a 3-4 hour investment of our shore time, and we don't arrive in port until afternoon...so we are on the fence about doing this. We have ejoyed excellent whale watching from MA .. and not so excellent..where we only saw a couple of whales for a short period of time....So, jsut wondering how active the whales are in early June and if other wild life is also out and about ..

Comments about your personal experiences greatly appreciated!!

One last question -- Anyone attend the lumberjack show in Ketchikan? My 75 year old father will be joining us, and I thought this might be something he would enjoy... but didn't know if it was a "tourist trap" type of event.

Thanks!

Peggy Sue
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#2
25,470 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Peggy Sue we were in Alaska in Mid May last year and whales were more than plentiful. We did a Whate Watch excursion in both Juneau and Sitka and it was wonderful. I would highly recommend the one HAL offers.

Here is a link to our Alaska pictures from last May with pictures from both Whale Excursions.
http://community.webshots.com/album/186526211XRtUlo/2
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Lisa
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#4
Atlanta, GA
4,157 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Three years ago I was in Alaska the second week of June (not on a cruise, just a vacation around Alaska). Stayed two nights in Seward and took an all day cruise of the Kenai Fjords National park. Saw several pods of Orcas including one that swam right under the boat and a few Humpbacks. Lots of sea otters and some seals and sea lions. Eagles and Puffins too. Plenty of wildlife in early June.
The only thing with going that early in the season is the weather. It was very cloudy and drizzly and cold during our time there. The locals said that the good weather usaully doesnt start until the end of June.

Not sure if you are going on the cruise going all the way up to Seward or not
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#5
OCALA, FLORIDA
40 Posts
Joined May 2001
There are resident pods of Humpbacks in Juneau (Auke Bay) and Orcas in Seward (Resurrection Bay) which enable the tour operators to boast about refunds if no wildlife is seen. Try Captain Larry's Purple Catamarran out of Auke Bay and Kenai Fjords Marine Tours out of Seward for ResurrectionBay or Whittier for College Fjord. Excellent wildlife viewing in all these areas. Will be doing fist Wildlife Viewing in Sitka in June and am looking forward to it.
#6
Syracuse, New York
49,366 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by jerfl
There are resident pods of Humpbacks in Juneau (Auke Bay) and Orcas in Seward (Resurrection Bay) which enable the tour operators to boast about refunds if no wildlife is seen. Try Captain Larry's Purple Catamarran out of Auke Bay and Kenai Fjords Marine Tours out of Seward for ResurrectionBay or Whittier for College Fjord. Excellent wildlife viewing in all these areas. Will be doing fist Wildlife Viewing in Sitka in June and am looking forward to it.


For clairfication- Humpbacks are NOT Resident Alaska whales- they migrate from Hawaii mostly and are NOT pod whales either. They are single, or mother calf groups with sometimes a male escort. Brief chance encounters and nothing lasting. Season is June - Oct for Juneau later for Sitka. You will have good sightings of 100% humpbacks in Auke Bay with orcas only coming in every 5-10 days. For orcas- look at Friday Harbor Wa. or Victoria BC. I take the zodiacs there every chance I get for the resident pod orcas especially the L pod.
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#7
Garfield Heights, Ohio
385 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
I will be going on Cruise May 15 starting in Seward, with stops in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka. I was thinking about taking a whale watching tour. Not sure if it is a good time period. It would be me and my wife so I dont know if I want to spend that much money and end up not seeing any whales.
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#8
Syracuse, New York
49,366 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by Sigtau21
I will be going on Cruise May 15 starting in Seward, with stops in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka. I was thinking about taking a whale watching tour. Not sure if it is a good time period. It would be me and my wife so I dont know if I want to spend that much money and end up not seeing any whales.


You are IN SEASON, and humpbacks are viewed 100% of the Juneau whale watches.
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#9
Garfield Heights, Ohio
385 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
what about Orca's?

Will they be in season?
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NCL- 2002 Norway
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#10
25,470 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by Sigtau21
what about Orca's?

Will they be in season?
We actually saw more Orcas than Humpbacks last May. They should be plentiful.
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