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Whale watching Juneau


sbukha01
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Hi Fellow Cruisers,

so this is our first trip to Alaska and we will be taking the Holland America 7 day round trip from Seattle. I have booked the 3 and half hour kayak of Mendenhall Lake and also wanted to see if I can squeeze in the whale watching tour. Our Kayak gets done by 5pm and most of the whale watching trips leave at 4:30pm. I wanted to know from people that have been to the port of Juneau if there are going to be local tour operators on the port that might have a tour at 5:30 pm. Just wondering if there are going to be loads of tour operators with open slots the day we arrive with tours in the evening. Going this Aug 2021 and ship is in dock till 10pm. 

Thanks in advance!!

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6 hours ago, sbukha01 said:

Hi Fellow Cruisers,

so this is our first trip to Alaska and we will be taking the Holland America 7 day round trip from Seattle. I have booked the 3 and half hour kayak of Mendenhall Lake and also wanted to see if I can squeeze in the whale watching tour. Our Kayak gets done by 5pm and most of the whale watching trips leave at 4:30pm. I wanted to know from people that have been to the port of Juneau if there are going to be local tour operators on the port that might have a tour at 5:30 pm. Just wondering if there are going to be loads of tour operators with open slots the day we arrive with tours in the evening. Going this Aug 2021 and ship is in dock till 10pm. 

Thanks in advance!!

Probably not.  There will not be enough time on the water to ensure you see any whales or enough passengers to make the excursion worthwhile for the private operator.  You may be able to arrange a private tour by contacting a tour operator before you leave for the cruise.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

HAL offers the Evening Whale Watch that leaves around 5:30.  (I think that’s the right time. We leave on Saturday, and the excursions have disappeared from the Navigator app)
The HAL whale watch in ISP leaves at 6:30 for sure. I’m on it.

Edited by Suzanne123
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Yea the 5:30 is no longer available but I think it would be great to do it in ISP as there doesn’t seem much to do at that port. But the ones in Juneau seem to be longer by at least 1 hour compared to the on in ISP. Let me know your experience and would like to know the tour company that you go with at ISP.

 

 

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On 7/18/2021 at 5:58 AM, sbukha01 said:

Thanks I was thinking the same thing….I was wondering if not in Juneau I could try and catch the whale in Icy Strait Point?

Although both Juneau and ISP are wonderful Humpback whale watching ports, Juneau has the edge.   As of the last report, although humpback numbers in the GlacierBay/Icy Strait area have begun to increase they are still about 40% lower than the peak in 2013.  

 

Do the whale watch in ISP, as sbukha01 indicated, there’s not much else to do there. Yes, subjective.

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2 hours ago, Glaciers said:

Although both Juneau and ISP are wonderful Humpback whale watching ports, Juneau has the edge.   As of the last report, although humpback numbers in the GlacierBay/Icy Strait area have begun to increase they are still about 40% lower than the peak in 2013.  

 

 

 

Do the whale watch in ISP, as sbukha01 indicated, there’s not much else to do there. Yes, subjective.

 


I might be reading some of the older posts but a lot of the 2019 reviews/ posts also have  a lot of good stuff about ISP whale watching…some of reviewers mentioned more chances to see Orcas, more bubble-net feeding at ISP so I thought of going for it. Hoping the one in ISP isn’t a bummer…
 

you are absolutely right about ISP as I was looking forward to meeting some natives at hoonah but we only have 4 hours at ISP and with the whale watching tour - 2.5 hours, I don’t think we will have time for Hoonah….

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ISP will be a spa day for us. Looking at the reviews on Google, the town gets over run with just one ship. So off to get souvineers,  then back on the ship. But, others say it's beautiful. 

 

We are doing a whale watching excursion with our cruise in Juneau.

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On 7/19/2021 at 2:20 PM, sbukha01 said:


I might be reading some of the older posts but a lot of the 2019 reviews/ posts also have  a lot of good stuff about ISP whale watching…some of reviewers mentioned more chances to see Orcas, more bubble-net feeding at ISP so I thought of going for it. Hoping the one in ISP isn’t a bummer…
 

you are absolutely right about ISP as I was looking forward to meeting some natives at hoonah but we only have 4 hours at ISP and with the whale watching tour - 2.5 hours, I don’t think we will have time for Hoonah….

Unlike Juneau where you have a bus ride and boat ride, whales will surface very near the ISP pier.  It is a very short boat ride to where the whales are found in ISP and the whales are more actively feeding.

 

https://rogerjett-photography.com/wp-content/gallery/humpback-whales/P6040699.jpg

 

https://rogerjett-photography.com/wp-content/gallery/humpback-whales/P6040865.jpg

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