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Jayleen's Alaska or Juneau Whale Watching


kuddles14
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It's a toss up between Jayleen's Alaska and Juneau Whale Watching. Has anyone have any experience with either of them? Pros and Cons on both would be appreciated.

 

 

Kathy

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I have not done either but I would go with Jaylene's because you spend more time on the water. More time on water will probably result in more whales seen.

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8 minutes ago, Coral said:

I have not done either but I would go with Jaylene's because you spend more time on the water. More time on water will probably result in more whales seen.

Thanks . Never thought about that 

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We’ve gone out with Juneau Whale Watch and with Jayleen when she was with Harv n Marv. More of as a result of poor weather, we could not make it back to the dock when with Jayleen. We transferred to another vessel that pulled up next to us. We would go out with Harv n Marv again but never Jayleen.  She just seemed so confused on what to do in rough waters.

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Another thing to consider is how big the boat is.  On a whaling trip, the fewer number of passengers the better.  The last one we went on, I think that there were 12 of us on the boat.

 

DON

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We have gone out with both Harv n Marv and Jayleen's Alaska many times.  Our preference is Jayleen's Alaska.  While "Glaciers" experience with Jayleen should be noted, we have never experienced that with Jayleen; we also have sailed with her in rough water.  Everyone experience will be different and recommendations will vary. So it is best to check out the information given and make a choice that is right for you.  Both companies have reviews on this board as well as TripAdvisor -- take a look.

 

https://jayleensalaska.com/

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On 6/4/2021 at 10:57 PM, donaldsc said:

Another thing to consider is how big the boat is.  On a whaling trip, the fewer number of passengers the better.  The last one we went on, I think that there were 12 of us on the boat.

 

DON

I disagree that smaller is better for whale watching boats.  Many of the boats in Juneau are small "six-pack" fishing boats that are low in the water with little deck space and no viewing access off the bow.  All boats, regardless of size, must maintain a certain distance from whales.  I find that boats with bow access and an upper deck actually are better, at least for photographing whales, because of the increased viewing opportunities and the slightly higher angle.  Speed is another factor.  Faster boats can access whales further out than slower, smaller boats, resulting in better viewing experiences and photos not cluttered up with half a dozen boats vying with each other for the best position. I loved the old Orca Enterprises boats, which are now owned by other Juneau whale watching companies, as being a great combination of all the above.

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3 hours ago, wolfie11 said:

I disagree that smaller is better for whale watching boats.  Many of the boats in Juneau are small "six-pack" fishing boats that are low in the water with little deck space and no viewing access off the bow.  All boats, regardless of size, must maintain a certain distance from whales.  I find that boats with bow access and an upper deck actually are better, at least for photographing whales, because of the increased viewing opportunities and the slightly higher angle.  Speed is another factor.  Faster boats can access whales further out than slower, smaller boats, resulting in better viewing experiences and photos not cluttered up with half a dozen boats vying with each other for the best position. I loved the old Orca Enterprises boats, which are now owned by other Juneau whale watching companies, as being a great combination of all the above.

 

I guess that I oversimplified my response.  I was comparing our trip w 12 people on board with room to move around with the larger boats   This is a quote from the Alaska Excursions site -

 

"There are 2 different sizes of boats used, with a maximum capacity of either 38 or 49 guests.  Compare this with the boats used by the cruise lines which hold up to 150 guests at once!"

 

DON

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5 hours ago, wolfie11 said:

I disagree that smaller is better for whale watching boats.  Many of the boats in Juneau are small "six-pack" fishing boats that are low in the water with little deck space and no viewing access off the bow.  All boats, regardless of size, must maintain a certain distance from whales.  I find that boats with bow access and an upper deck actually are better, at least for photographing whales, because of the increased viewing opportunities and the slightly higher angle.  Speed is another factor.  Faster boats can access whales further out than slower, smaller boats, resulting in better viewing experiences and photos not cluttered up with half a dozen boats vying with each other for the best position. I loved the old Orca Enterprises boats, which are now owned by other Juneau whale watching companies, as being a great combination of all the above.

I think the old Orca Enterprise boats are "small" compared to Allen Marine boats. Most of my whale experience has been on boats this size and I find them ideal. I don't want 100 people to be on my boat.

 

I do prefer to be on the bow taking pictures, and lower to the water. 

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We went with Jayleen in 2018, and are booked with her next year already. Small boat, super custom to what you want to see. Jayleen is the absolute sweetest, born and bred Juneauite. You will not be disappointed by going with her.

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Hello Kuddles 14

Just finished a whale watching tour with Jayleen's on Thursday 6-10-2021. She was fantastic & the boat was super clean. 5 people total on her boat. She is very knowledgeable & safety minded for your trip. She has binoculars on board, so just bring your camera. We had several Humpback sightings & calm water. The day was cool & overcast, so I advise layers when outside on the deck. It was raining hard in Juneau when we left, however we encountered no rain in Auke Bay. This trip was the ending of our 14 day land trip in Alaska. Jayleen is a wonderful person & wants all of her customers to have a great experience.

Safe Travels,  onespots

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54 minutes ago, onespots said:

Hello Kuddles 14

Just finished a whale watching tour with Jayleen's on Thursday 6-10-2021. She was fantastic & the boat was super clean. 5 people total on her boat. She is very knowledgeable & safety minded for your trip. She has binoculars on board, so just bring your camera. We had several Humpback sightings & calm water. The day was cool & overcast, so I advise layers when outside on the deck. It was raining hard in Juneau when we left, however we encountered no rain in Auke Bay. This trip was the ending of our 14 day land trip in Alaska. Jayleen is a wonderful person & wants all of her customers to have a great experience.

Safe Travels,  onespots

Glad to hear you had a good time.  Did you have an afternoon or a morning tour?  We will be out with Jayleen on the 27th; afternoon tour.  Jayleen has been posting pictures of her tours and we've enjoyed watching from afar.

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5 hours ago, onespots said:

Hello Kuddles 14

Just finished a whale watching tour with Jayleen's on Thursday 6-10-2021. She was fantastic & the boat was super clean. 5 people total on her boat. She is very knowledgeable & safety minded for your trip. She has binoculars on board, so just bring your camera. We had several Humpback sightings & calm water. The day was cool & overcast, so I advise layers when outside on the deck. It was raining hard in Juneau when we left, however we encountered no rain in Auke Bay. This trip was the ending of our 14 day land trip in Alaska. Jayleen is a wonderful person & wants all of her customers to have a great experience.

Safe Travels,  onespots

 

I would never depend upon a tour operator to supply binoculars.  I know that mine are good and fit my needs.  There is no certainty about the quality of tour operator binocs.

 

DON

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Another vote for Jayleen.   We had Captain Amber there was only 5 of us on the boat.  Had an awesome time.  
like supporting an all female company.  
 

 

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19 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

I would never depend upon a tour operator to supply binoculars.  I know that mine are good and fit my needs.  There is no certainty about the quality of tour operator binocs.

 

DON

 

Jayleen had a few very nice pairs of binoculars when I went with her a few years ago.   Was nice that she did have them for their guests.   

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1 hour ago, Ptroxx said:

 

Jayleen had a few very nice pairs of binoculars when I went with her a few years ago.   Was nice that she did have them for their guests.   

 

That may be the case for Jayleen but you can't assume that for other outfitters who say that they have binoculars.  Mine was a general and not a specific comment.  Also, you sort of have to fit the binoculars to the user.  The last time I bought mid priced binoculars that cost me ~$500, I spent a couple of hours in the store trying every set in the store in that price range and also more expensive ones before I decided on the ones that were the best fit for me.  Also there are adjustments that you can make to the optics that would be hard to do quickly on a tour.  

 

I will admit that I am a bit of a binocular snob but it works for me.

 

DON

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Hello Italy 52

 

Seems time of day for  whale watching is subjective. Whales generally are feeding 23 hours of the day. Morning or afternoon seems to have little bearing on the amount of activity. The boat captain is constantly in search of finding whales for you. I like morning because I find the early morning light better for the type of photos I like to take. However there is no guarantee & perhaps you will have greater activity on your afternoon tour. Best of luck, you will enjoy Jayleen.

Happy Travels, onespots

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11 minutes ago, onespots said:

Hello Italy 52

 

Seems time of day for  whale watching is subjective. Whales generally are feeding 23 hours of the day. Morning or afternoon seems to have little bearing on the amount of activity. The boat captain is constantly in search of finding whales for you. I like morning because I find the early morning light better for the type of photos I like to take. However there is no guarantee & perhaps you will have greater activity on your afternoon tour. Best of luck, you will enjoy Jayleen.

Happy Travels, onespots

Thanks for your response.  We have gone on 6 whale watching trips with Jayleen with all of them being morning excursions.  For our upcoming tour in a couple of weeks, it will be an afternoon one so wasn't sure what to expect.  Agree, mornings are nice for shooting pictures.  No matter what the circumstances, I know we will have a good time.  Thanks again.

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  • 1 month later...

I had a booking with Jayleen last week, but there were small-craft warnings that day and she had to cancel. She told me that larger boats might be able to operate and I went out the same morning with Alaska Whale Watching in a 48-passenger catamaran. It was a good tour, but if the boat had been full instead of 2/3 empty, it wouldn’t have been. Based on my experience today in a 6-passenger boat in Sitka, I say that smaller is better.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/8/2021 at 4:56 AM, wolfie11 said:

I disagree that smaller is better for whale watching boats.  Many of the boats in Juneau are small "six-pack" fishing boats that are low in the water with little deck space and no viewing access off the bow.  All boats, regardless of size, must maintain a certain distance from whales.  I find that boats with bow access and an upper deck actually are better, at least for photographing whales, because of the increased viewing opportunities and the slightly higher angle.  Speed is another factor.  Faster boats can access whales further out than slower, smaller boats, resulting in better viewing experiences and photos not cluttered up with half a dozen boats vying with each other for the best position. I loved the old Orca Enterprises boats, which are now owned by other Juneau whale watching companies, as being a great combination of all the above.

We went with Juneau Whale Watch last Tuesday and agree with this. We had about 40 onboard with ample room in the bow but also on the upper deck which allowed everyone access to the rail for viewing and photos. We were the first boat to an area with active humpbacks and 4 other tour boats joined shortly after. We were near Aaron Island just east of Shelter Island and had a wonderful showing of humpbacks. Having done both, I would never go with Jayleen again.

Edited by Glaciers
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On 8/15/2021 at 3:00 PM, kochleffel said:

I had a booking with Jayleen last week, but there were small-craft warnings that day and she had to cancel. She told me that larger boats might be able to operate and I went out the same morning with Alaska Whale Watching in a 48-passenger catamaran. It was a good tour, but if the boat had been full instead of 2/3 empty, it wouldn’t have been. Based on my experience today in a 6-passenger boat in Sitka, I say that smaller is better.

We just returned from Alaska and had a whale watching tour with Jayleen on August 13th.  We consider ourselves very lucky as our tour was almost cancelled -- fortunately, weather conditions improved and we had a spectacular time.  We saw quite a few whales including one in particular who was doing quite a lot of fin slapping.  Jayleen thought it might be a mom trying to communicate with her calf.  We also saw something that I have never seen before and that was the most magnificent rainbow that seemed to follow us for miles and stretched from one edge of the water to the other.  I have always said that we go with no expectations and are blessed when unusual things happen -- it certainly did that day.

 

We have another whale watching tour scheduled with Jayleen next week.  We understand that we are taking a chance due to weather but we know that Jayleen will cancel if conditions are not good --- we are ok with that --- safety first and we appreciate that about her.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We went out with Jayleen's Alaska the week of August 15th.  It was in the afternoon 2-6pm, since we didn't get to Juneau until after noon.  In regards to the first comment on this thread about going with her when she was with Harv & Marv's, I believe that was years ago before her dad sold Harv & Marv's.  She is a great skipper ( the water was choppy and it was raining and she handled it with no problems) as well as a great photographer (look at her pictures online) who can advise you about the best settings for your camera.  It was actually Harv & Marv who recommended her as we wanted a small 6 person boat, and they were full.  We have done the larger boat with Princess and had to "fight" to get room at the rail to take pictures, so never again.  In addition to all that, she knows more about orcas and humpbacks that anyone I have ever known.  She had a wealth of information to share with us.  She actually recognized one of the humpbacks, her name, and her history.  You can't go wrong with Jayleen's Alaska!  We will use her again!!

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