Juneau Boat Tour Excursion Reviews
Juneau. We booked Harv & Marv's Whale Watching Tour. 4 hours round trip $145 +tax per person. We hooked up with 3 other Cruise Critic Members for a private tour. Super awesome to not have 15-50 people fighting for a good shot (photo) of the whales. Harv & Marv's captains all talk to each other so when a whale is spotted we can find them quickly. This allowed us an amazing chance for a rare sighting of 7 Orca whales as close to our boat as the law allows. Joleene (daughter of "Harv") was our captain. And while she is only 19/20, she is extremely knowledgeable. On the way back, our bus driver stopped at the Mendenhall Glacier visitors center. Just enough time for a few pictures, but it was beautiful.
Back in town, we stopped at the Red Dog Saloon for dinner. A very cool bar with good food and beer and and endless display of alaskan memoribillia to feast on.
Juneau – like Ketchikan it is a tourist shopping mall. Native Alaskan moccasins made in Canada, overpriced 12-14” high totem poles, 3 for $9.99 T-shirts and the Caribbean jewelry stores. There are some treasures to be had and it all depends on your tastes and expectations. The tram to the top of the hill is $32 USD tax in and debatable for what you paid for. Yes it is a nice view and yes there are a few trails and a gift shop. I would not have felt I have missed anything if I did not go up. Then again I live on the west coast in Vancouver BC so it’s sort of my back yard. For those from other non-mountainous, non-rainforest areas…get out in nature. It really is just a cool thing to be in it even if you have to pay a bit.
Tracey Arm Fjord excursion
We did do the ship excursion to Tracy Arm Fjord with Allen Marine Tours. Yes ship excursions are pricier but we chose this excursion because the boat has a two level top viewing platform area. Plenty of room for the 40 passengers to get happy snaps. The other non-cruise line company has aft and bow viewing areas which looked a bit crowded. We got to both Sawyer and South Sawyer glacier, saw a bear and stared and the seals lazily sunning themselves on the ice flows. Tracy Arm Fjord is magnificent scenery when the weather is good. I don’t have the experience to say if a ship or an excursion can always or does always make it all the way to the glacier. I’ve read a lot in these forums and am still debating if it is a time sensitive decision or ice sensitive decision for ships to stop short.
Was it worth it even at the higher shipboard excursion cost? We had a beautiful sunny day so yes and more yes. It’s different viewing from a smaller vessel 2 foot off the water than 14 decks above.
We did a triple combo through Shore Trips that was Whale Watching, Mendenhal Glacier, and Salmon Bake. What a wonderful day. The people on the whale watching trip were very informative and entertaining. We got to see about 10-12 different humpback whales and I was very happy about that since we went so early in the season. The glaciers are so beautiful, and there is a visitors center at Mendenhal Glacier that has all kinds of interesting things to learn. The Salmon Bake was great. Who knew Salmon could be that good? It was a beautiful location also with lots of great photo ops.
Everything was perfect!! Private tour and highly recommend...if you can find them!!
A superb whale watchinbg tour with Dolphin Tours. We booked it in Juneau
We took the catamaran trip to Tracey Arm from the Volendam. We transferred to the smaller boat at sea and went up into Tracey Arm while the Volendam continued into Juneau. The catamaran took us to the Volendam at the end of the ercursion, so we only missed about 2 hours of time in this port. This excursions was an amazing experience. The small boat brought us through miles of incredible landscape filled with high peaks and waterfalls. We went right up next to a couple of the falls, so close you could almost touch them. Then we went over to the Sawyer glacier, saw it calving and saw seals on the ice. This was a beautiful trip. The Volendam also cruises into Glacier Bay, which was really wonderful, but the Tracey Arm trip is different and we were glad we had both opportunities. Very worth it. We needed several layers as it was cold and windy. They had some food (burgers) available to buy on the boat. This was a really fabulous experience.
We got into Juneau with plenty of time to shop and eat. We ate crab at Tracey's which is right near the ship. A picnic table and paper plate establishment with good crab. We had chowder, crab cakes (spicy) and crab legs, all really good. Then we went to the Red Dog Saloon for a drink and ended up staying the rest of the evening to listen to Brian sing old country (Johnny Cash) we had a great time there.
Allen Marine did a fabulous job on this Tracy Arm/Sawyer Glacier excursion. We saw killer whales, eagles, seals, beautiful waterfalls, etc. Sawyer Glacier was beautiful. They have a naturalist onboard and even scoop up a piece of glacier for you to feel/see up close. My only complaint is the cost is pretty hefty for a family of four.