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  #1  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 03:44 PM
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mpduquaine mpduquaine is offline
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Default Whale AWatching in Alaska

Where is the best place to do the Whale Watching?
Skagway, Ice Straits, Juneau or Ketchican?
We are going in the beginning of August. 3rd through the 10th.
I want to go to the best place. Thank you in advanced.
Michele
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  #2  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpduquaine View Post
Where is the best place to do the Whale Watching?
Skagway, Ice Straits, Juneau or Ketchican?
We are going in the beginning of August. 3rd through the 10th.
I want to go to the best place. Thank you in advanced.
Michele
Probly not Ketchikan or Skagway. The Juneau operators guarantee whales or your money back. Never happens.
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  #3  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 06:50 PM
Assateague Island Princes Assateague Island Princes is offline
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Whale watching in Icy Strait and Juneau are your two options. There is plenty to do in Juneau other than whale watching, and other excursions are more limited in ISP - less touristy, more "Alaskan". So I'd look into ISP for whale watching (we went w/Misty Bay Lodge and LOVED it!) Consider something else in Juneau - lots of options, helicopter to a glacier and dog sled camp, blue bus out to Mendenhall Glacier, rent a car and drive it (highly recommend), kayaking in Mendenhall Lake in front of the glacier (also highly recommend), or if you really like whale watching, do it in both ports! We have been twice w/Harv and Marvs in Juneau, and LOVED it as well!
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  #4  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 09:38 AM
Budget Queen Budget Queen is offline
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Both Hoonah and Juneau have 100% sightings of humpbacks on whale watch tours.

Consider booking where it fits your time best.
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  #5  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 06:11 PM
Kathie44 Kathie44 is offline
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In '03, DH and I did combo tour of the Mendenhall glacier and a whale watch. We saw humpback whales "bubble fishing", not a common sight on these trips. The whales split into two groups and some of them blew bubbles to herd the fish together and the others swooped in and scooped them up in huge mouthfuls and then they switched so the bubble blowers could eat. Truly amazing.
Relatives (Including my TA) have been there more recently and said their whale watch out of Icy Strait was awesome. I am going back this Aug. with a friend and hope to do one out of Icy Strait. The ship tour prices are WAY higher than before, so I'm hoping to find someone on my roll call who knows how to set up a private tour that might be cheaper.
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  #6  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 07:05 PM
CMcG CMcG is offline
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Originally Posted by Kathie44 View Post
The ship tour prices are WAY higher than before, so I'm hoping to find someone on my roll call who knows how to set up a private tour that might be cheaper.
I've been researching recently for our trip in about a month - independent pricing will probably be similar to ship pricing but it will be a much smaller boat (6 passengers rather than 50+). In Juneau I'm generally finding about $150 for 2.5-3 hours on the water in 6 passenger boat.
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  #7  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:05 PM
sugarcharlie sugarcharlie is offline
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Originally Posted by CMcG View Post
I've been researching recently for our trip in about a month - independent pricing will probably be similar to ship pricing but it will be a much smaller boat (6 passengers rather than 50+). In Juneau I'm generally finding about $150 for 2.5-3 hours on the water in 6 passenger boat.
Where are you finding these independent tours? Four of us will be in Juneau at the end of May and I would like to find something similar. Only thing I have booked for Juneau so far is a 3 hr gold panning and salmon bake combo tour, but would cancel it if a good whale watching tour was available. Only problem might be that there are 5 ships in Juneau that day and it is Memorial Day so maybe fewer people will be working?
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  #8  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:12 PM
Assateague Island Princes Assateague Island Princes is offline
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If you're looking for smaller, independent providers in Juneau, have you checked with Harv and Marv's (www.harvandmarv.com)? We've gone whale watching with them twice, and it was wonderful. We love the smaller, but very comfortable boats, the bow and aft outdoor viewing if you choose, and the large windows in the cabin for viewing as well. Its great to have that more personal rapport with the captain (we had "Marv" whose real name is Jay) and he is just so enthusiastic and friendly, and oh so knowledgeable about what he considers "his" whales. Both he and his daughter Jayleen are excellent photographers as well. Give them a call or shoot them an email from their website. If you're lookiing for this season, you may be too late, but you'll never know til you try. Good luck!
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  #9  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:31 PM
CMcG CMcG is offline
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Originally Posted by sugarcharlie View Post
Where are you finding these independent tours? Four of us will be in Juneau at the end of May and I would like to find something similar. Only thing I have booked for Juneau so far is a 3 hr gold panning and salmon bake combo tour, but would cancel it if a good whale watching tour was available. Only problem might be that there are 5 ships in Juneau that day and it is Memorial Day so maybe fewer people will be working?
I can't remember how I found them - try Google (juneau whale watching), look on Trip Advisor, various other threads on Cruise Critic. I contacted Harv&Marv, Orca and Alaska Galore. I'm finding availability (for May 26) but there is only one other ship in town that day. With such a short tourist season I doubt that the holiday has an impact - your problem will be the number of cruise ships.
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  #10  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 10:33 PM
JNU WW&FISH JNU WW&FISH is offline
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Default whale watch

check out juneautravel dot com
they have a list of almost all of the tour companies for anything you might possibly want to do while in Juneau
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  #11  
Old April 24th, 2012, 02:40 AM
sugarcharlie sugarcharlie is offline
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Originally Posted by JNU WW&FISH View Post
check out juneautravel dot com
they have a list of almost all of the tour companies for anything you might possibly want to do while in Juneau
Thanks, I'll check out that site. We are in Juneau on May 28th and there will be 4 other ships in port so I want to make sure I find something before everything is booked. I thought nine hrs in port would allow time to o everything but we are doing the gold panning and salmon combo from 1-3:30 and trying to do the whale watching after. I also have seen so many good posts about Tracys Crab Shack, that I'd like to find time to try some king crab legs! Wow, so many treats, so little time.
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  #12  
Old April 24th, 2012, 03:48 PM
dread_pirate dread_pirate is offline
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My dh is worried about seasickness - he's a bit prone to it. Is it tough being on a small boat like Harv & Marv's? Are the larger (ship) excursions less prone to that kind of movement?
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  #13  
Old April 24th, 2012, 04:17 PM
gymjudge55 gymjudge55 is offline
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We are going with Rum Runners on August 5th in Juneau. There are just 4 of us going on the boat for 6 hours, a combination fishing/whale watching tour. The captain Chris seemed so nice and moved another group around to accommodate our group. Not much talk about them here but good reviews on TA.
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  #14  
Old April 24th, 2012, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dread_pirate View Post
My dh is worried about seasickness - he's a bit prone to it. Is it tough being on a small boat like Harv & Marv's? Are the larger (ship) excursions less prone to that kind of movement?
You are on water, including the cruise ship, any could trigger someone prone into motion sickness. The only sure answer is prevention based on the individuals health status by a professional. Not sure of any value about past trips by a single time visitor would have for what the future will bring for the OP.
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  #15  
Old April 24th, 2012, 06:28 PM
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Default Seasickness

On of the problems with a whale watch is that you are often moving slowly or sitting still -- both difficult situations if you are prone to motion sickness.

A couple of suggestions. Number one, and this sounds counter-intuitive, eat a normal breakfast. Stay away from greasy foods, and don't overeat, but eat.

Secondly, and particularly because he is prone to it, I would start taking Bonine, Dramamine or equivalent a day before and keep taking it.

I would also get some ginger pills or candied ginger and take it or eat it starting an hour or so before. This is clinically proven to reduce or eliminate motion sickness.

I have posted several long discussions of seasickness, but this case is different as you will be on a small boat. That's a whole different ballgame than a cruise ship.

While I strongly recommend Harv and Marv, there is another operator who has about a 75-100 passenger boat (I am guessing by the size) and that might be a little easier to take.

When we were out, the seas were pretty flat, and it didn't make any real difference, but if the seas are up just a little and you are in a small boat moving slowly, you need to take some precautions.
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  #16  
Old April 24th, 2012, 08:49 PM
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Marillian Marillian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Assateague Island Princes View Post
If you're looking for smaller, independent providers in Juneau, have you checked with Harv and Marv's (www.harvandmarv.com)? We've gone whale watching with them twice, and it was wonderful. We love the smaller, but very comfortable boats, the bow and aft outdoor viewing if you choose, and the large windows in the cabin for viewing as well. Its great to have that more personal rapport with the captain (we had "Marv" whose real name is Jay) and he is just so enthusiastic and friendly, and oh so knowledgeable about what he considers "his" whales. Both he and his daughter Jayleen are excellent photographers as well. Give them a call or shoot them an email from their website. If you're lookiing for this season, you may be too late, but you'll never know til you try. Good luck!
I am so glad to hear this! After researching whale watching tours, my husband and I booked on Harv & Marv for this coming August.
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  #17  
Old April 24th, 2012, 10:01 PM
Assateague Island Princes Assateague Island Princes is offline
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Happy to have helped! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time with Harv and Marv. Class act all the way! Happy Whale Watching!
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  #18  
Old May 5th, 2012, 02:52 AM
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I am so glad to hear this! After researching whale watching tours, my husband and I booked on Harv & Marv for this coming August.
You will not be disappointed! We went with them in May 2009 and have a trip reserved with them in July again. We had an amazing day and saw both orcas and humpbacks. We were so happy to be on the smaller boat. Enjoy!!
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Old May 5th, 2012, 10:16 AM
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You will not be disappointed! We went with them in May 2009 and have a trip reserved with them in July again. We had an amazing day and saw both orcas and humpbacks. We were so happy to be on the smaller boat. Enjoy!!
Here's a couple of shots from the outings AuntBevy and I took with H&M:




















Have a blast! We're headed out with H&M mid July - can't wait!


L.J.
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  #20  
Old May 5th, 2012, 11:48 AM
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Here's a couple of shots from the outings AuntBevy and I took with H&M:


Have a blast! We're headed out with H&M mid July - can't wait!


L.J.

Wow! Great photos! What camera did you use?
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