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Juneau whale watching


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On 6/19/2019 at 8:21 AM, GolfMommy17 said:

Anyone in Juneau on Aug 3 looking to book a whale watch tour?  Mine got cancelled as Captain Jack has passed away sadly,  and they cancelled my trip (Whale watching Juneau - aboard the Scania).

 

Jayleen can accommodate but I need another passenger for her to open a tour.  Any takers?

We were booked and cancelled as well due to Jack's passing.  We are a group of 9 so we couldn't take Jayleen's tour....we ended up booking with Harv & Marv.   But did you find out anything about when your refund will be available from the Scania?  I've left a voice mail and an email.  They are holding our $1519.  I looked it up and it looks like he passed in April, but we only just found out this week about it. 

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4 minutes ago, Cheryl H said:

We were booked and cancelled as well due to Jack's passing.  We are a group of 9 so we couldn't take Jayleen's tour....we ended up booking with Harv & Marv.   But did you find out anything about when your refund will be available from the Scania?  I've left a voice mail and an email.  They are holding our $1519.  I looked it up and it looks like he passed in April, but we only just found out this week about it. 

hi Cheryl - i just found out this week as well.  Captain Alan said i should get my refund 'in the coming days'.  i did not realize this happened quite a few weeks ago- and wonder why they are cancelling all the tours.  I did book harv and marvs experience as well for the small group.   I am glad you were able to rebook. i tried Jayleen, and a few others who all were booked.  I have heard great things about harv and marv so was pleased they had openings that date.

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I was also booked with Captain Jack for a trip back in May. When he suddenly died, we got only a few day's notice before the trip. We got our refund in just a couple of days. My understanding at that time was that Captain Alan was scrambling and trying to figure out whether he could keep the company going without Captain Jack. My guess is that he's now figured out it's not viable, and is winding it down and cancelling all trips--but that's pure speculation on my part.

 

FWIW, we were able to rebook with Jayleen on almost no notice--but then our ship was seriously delayed getting to Juneau, so that trip didn't happen either. Jayleen graciously refunded payment since it was out of our control, even though she wasn't in any way responsible. We're fortunate enough to be taking another Alaska cruise in July, and we're again booked with Jayleen, and crossing our fingers that it will actually all go without a hitch this time.

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If anyone else finds themselves without a confirmed whale watching reservation, whether because the operator had to cancel or they're still in the planning phase, we highly recommend Captain Steve.  See previous post for details:

 

Captain Steve, of Alaska Humpback Adventures (https://www.alaskahumpbackadventures.com/), in our opinion, is unparalleled!  Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g31020-d14070218-Reviews-Alaska_Humpback_Adventures-Juneau_Alaska.html.  We've booked them for both days in Juneau--always the first excursion we book as soon as we confirm our annual Alaska cruise dates (this will be our 13th!).  Cannot recommend them enough for an intimate whale watching experience (6-passenger boat).  A longtime Juneau resident, Captain Steve was the #1 captain for Harv & Marv's whale watching operation for years (which is where we "discovered" him) before he started his own company.  He's the brother-in-law of one of the founders (and Jayleen's uncle!).  The waters around Juneau are teeming with life so even if you don't luck out with a sighting of bubble-net feeding humpbacks, Captain Steve will make sure you've had a wildlife adventure by the time you return to the dock!  This year there are two calves in the area so there should be plenty of breaching and frolicking to observe!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/21/2019 at 10:16 AM, DougK said:

FWIW, we were able to rebook with Jayleen on almost no notice--but then our ship was seriously delayed getting to Juneau, so that trip didn't happen either. Jayleen graciously refunded payment since it was out of our control, even though she wasn't in any way responsible. We're fortunate enough to be taking another Alaska cruise in July, and we're again booked with Jayleen, and crossing our fingers that it will actually all go without a hitch this time.

I am sad to hear that Capt Alan may have to close shop.  we did get our refund and he had a spot with Jayleen for us, but our ship did not get in early enough for the tour she had available - but i did appreciate his effort.  I was able to book with Harve and Marve pretty easily.  looking forward to our trip. i am sorry that your initial trip did not work out but hope it's all good this month.

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On 6/21/2019 at 9:16 AM, DougK said:

we were able to rebook with Jayleen on almost no notice--but then our ship was seriously delayed getting to Juneau, so that trip didn't happen either. Jayleen graciously refunded payment since it was out of our control, even though she wasn't in any way responsible. We're fortunate enough to be taking another Alaska cruise in July, and we're again booked with Jayleen, and crossing our fingers that it will actually all go without a hitch this time.

 

@DougK, what delayed your ship getting into Juneau?   

 

That's awesome of Jayleen to do that.  Creates a lot of goodwill and future business I hope for her.

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18 hours ago, SempreMare said:

 

@DougK, what delayed your ship getting into Juneau?   

 

That's awesome of Jayleen to do that.  Creates a lot of goodwill and future business I hope for her.

 

There apparently was a problem with one of the engines on the Coral Princess, which meant the ship couldn't go at normal speed. As best I know, they managed to fix the problem sometime during the cruise, as there were no more delays.

 

And yes, I was very pleased with Jayleen's customer service. I'm quite looking forward to our trip with her a week from now.

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Just back from the 14-day Voyage of the Glaciers on the Island Princess.  Went out with Captain Steve (Harv & Marv's #1 captain for years but has started his own Alaska Humpback Adventures--see previous posts and TripAdvisor for reviews) on the northbound and southbound Juneau port days.  We thought our first trip was great, as we watched a humpback cow and calf feeding together as well as another 4 or 5 humpbacks.  But the next week Captain Steve followed a hunch and found a large group of bubblenet feeding humpbacks that hadn't been seen in the waters of Auke Bay (Juneau) yet this summer.  We watched them net about every 5 minutes for as long as the regulations allow and got amazing video footage and stills.  Captain Steve's boat has a hydrophone, which enabled us to hear the whales signaling so we knew when they are about to surface!  Steve seems to have a sixth sense about finding the whales, as he's proven many times over the years.  Of course, all the captains radio each other when they find the whales (his first call was to Jaylee, who happens to be his niece!) because they want everyone to have a great experience, so within a short time many boats were gathered to enjoy the most uncommon spectacle of bubblenet feeding. It was an amazing whale watching experience that was one of the major highlights of our cruise!  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/19/2019 at 6:07 PM, Alaska0799 said:

Just back from the 14-day Voyage of the Glaciers on the Island Princess.  Went out with Captain Steve (Harv & Marv's #1 captain for years but has started his own Alaska Humpback Adventures--see previous posts and TripAdvisor for reviews) on the northbound and southbound Juneau port days.  We thought our first trip was great, as we watched a humpback cow and calf feeding together as well as another 4 or 5 humpbacks.  But the next week Captain Steve followed a hunch and found a large group of bubblenet feeding humpbacks that hadn't been seen in the waters of Auke Bay (Juneau) yet this summer.  We watched them net about every 5 minutes for as long as the regulations allow and got amazing video footage and stills.  Captain Steve's boat has a hydrophone, which enabled us to hear the whales signaling so we knew when they are about to surface!  Steve seems to have a sixth sense about finding the whales, as he's proven many times over the years.  Of course, all the captains radio each other when they find the whales (his first call was to Jaylee, who happens to be his niece!) because they want everyone to have a great experience, so within a short time many boats were gathered to enjoy the most uncommon spectacle of bubblenet feeding. It was an amazing whale watching experience that was one of the major highlights of our cruise!  

thanks for this detailed description.

I've booked through Capt Steve as well for upcoming voyage. As someone mentioned before he appears very knowledgeable and  compassionate through his correspondence, so looking forward to meet him. My school aged daughters are extremely excited about this excursion. 

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56 minutes ago, Bluestar01 said:

thanks for this detailed description.

I've booked through Capt Steve as well for upcoming voyage. As someone mentioned before he appears very knowledgeable and  compassionate through his correspondence, so looking forward to meet him. My school aged daughters are extremely excited about this excursion. 

Nice to hear!  Captain Steve is great with kids--he and his wife still have two school age daughters at home.  Know your trip will be an educational and memorable one for the whole family!

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  • 1 month later...

How bumpy of a ride are the smaller 6 passenger tours (Jayleen or Steve etc)?  We are a family of 6 adults so it would be great to have a boat all to ourselves. My mom and dad are in there 70s with some aches and pains, especially back problems for mom. 

 

Also, we will be in Juneau from 1-9 pm very late August. Would we be able to do  a non cruise whale watch and Mendenhall in that time frame? Mendenhall closes at 7:30. If not what do you think of the tram?

Edited by mawvkysc
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18 minutes ago, mawvkysc said:

How bumpy of a ride are the smaller 6 passenger tours (Jayleen or Steve etc)? 

 

Most of the time the smaller boats are fine. You do feel things more than the larger boats though. Occasionally things will get rough. On one of our trips several years ago we were out with Jayleen when she was with Harv and Marv. It got so rough she was having difficulties getting us back to shore. The waves were breaking over the bow, hitting the top and flowing into the back area of the boat. Jayleen called another boat for help which we transferred to and they transported us back to Auke Bay.  They canceled the next trip.

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On 7/14/2019 at 10:20 AM, Italy52 said:

Just returned from our 6th trip with Jayleen and have two more excursions booked for next year.  I think you will be very happy with your choice.

 

Just booked with Jayleen for May and you have me excited for the trip!

 

 

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On 5/31/2019 at 8:03 AM, quack2 said:

I've always had good experience with Harv & Marv. 3 or 4 trips with them so far.

 

I would not take a cruise ship offered whale watching excursion.  Too many people on the boat means photo opportunities are limited.

 

I would normally agree w you about any ship tour but we did one with Princess and the boat had only 10 or 12 people on it.  They offered larger boat options but this one was guaranteed to have a maximum of I believe 16 people,  It was an  excellent tour and we got plenty of photo ops and sometimes all of us were outside of the cabin and up at the bow.  If you do want to take  a ship tour for whales, you just have to read the tour descriptions carefully.

 

DON

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10 hours ago, cruise kitty said:

 can I ask how long it took her to get back to you?  I emailed her yesterday & haven't heard back yet.

 

-Debbie

As a follow-up to whatever LEtune might say, I just wanted to throw this out there:  Jayleen just finished up her whale watching season so there could be a possibility that she is on vacation. 

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4 hours ago, Italy52 said:

As a follow-up to whatever LEtune might say, I just wanted to throw this out there:  Jayleen just finished up her whale watching season so there could be a possibility that she is on vacation. 

 

Thank you!  I've emailed twice & also just filled out the contact form.   I've read such good things about her,  I'm hoping she has availability.  Since we're going in May, I feel I need to book now.  

Edited by cruise kitty
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1 hour ago, cruise kitty said:

 

Thank you!  I've emailed twice & also just filled out the contact form.   I've read such good things about her,  I'm hoping she has availability.  Since we're going in May, I feel I need to book now.  

You're welcome.  Have you also tried to phone Jayleen direct?  Just another option.  Hopefully, you will hear back soon.

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