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Juneau Photo Safari Excursion Reviews

Juneau Photo Safari cruise excursion
Overall Rating
Join in as local guides take you by land and by sea to some of the most memorable spots in Juneau for picture-perfect snapshots.
Member Image mindyjol
1 review
Jul 2015
There were only 12 of us in the group- two families. Our guide, Molly, was enthusiastic, energetic and very knowledgable. We drive through "the road" (literally the only main road in Juneau, which dead-ends in both directions) to about a one-hour hike/walk through the rain forest culminating in a view of the glacier. Molly pointed out all the flora and fauna along the way, and helped us with finding great photo opportunities. I was glad for our small group, especially when I saw the crowds at the Mendenhall glacier center (we got to view the glacier from a secluded lookout point). We were then given a bag with nuts, dried fruit, granola bar, water, and a York peppermint patty to munch on as we drove to stop 2: the harbor to board our little boat to view whales. The day was flawless: sunny, with a light breeze. On our 2-hour ride, we witnessed at least 5 different bubble-net feelings with pods of up to 12 whales. We witnessed the blow-holes, the flukes (tails) and finally, spectacular breaching of multiple whales. Molly was so excited, she said this was a very rare occurrence. We got some great once-in-a-lifetime photos!
Read mindyjol's full Norwegian Pearl cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image beasley11
1 review
Jul 2015
Excellent tour with Molly. Started with a history of Juneau, a hike thru the rainforest to the Mendenhall Glacier; then whale watching on Ault Lake, I think was the name.
Read beasley11's full Celebrity Solstice cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image AnthonyP
1 review
Jul 2015
Skip was an absolute amazing guide on this trip, he made up for the terrible cruise we had. This was an excellent excursion. He even went above and beyond having waterproof film cameras to give to the kids at no extra charge, snacks, water, ponchos, then he proceeded to help everyone with their cameras by adjusting each one to the maximum settings to get the most out of the experience. We saw so many whales, and he taught us so much about the wildlife there and gave us individualized lessons on how to use our cameras. It was so well worth it.
Read AnthonyP's full Jewel of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image Apsleybabe
1 review
Jul 2015
Combined glacier & whale watching photo safari. Super guide, very knowledgeable and great fun (Scott) - happy to take time to show everyone how to get the most of their camera. Excellent time on whale watching boat . good windows and nice and warm. Snack was a bit disappointing. Lovely walk through forest to glacier.
Read Apsleybabe's full Volendam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image 27Hectares
1 review
Jun 2015
One of the longer excursions on the trip, was a really educational and interesting tour. Spent a fair amount of time on the boat and a bit of time exploring Admiralty Island. Great crew, who were very knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna as well as the history of the area. We also got to see sea lions, humpback whales, and channel dolphins.
Read 27Hectares's full Disney Wonder cruise review
Provider: Disney Cruise Line
Member Image izzielu61
1 review
Jun 2015
We went on a whale watch and saw plenty of sea-life and eagles!! We saw 15 humpback whales in a bubble feed! Along with harbor seals, sea lines, and eagles...it was great! Our tour guide Molly was very knowledgeable as well as a great photographer! My husband and I both got sooo many wonderful photographs!! We also had great photo opportunities at the glacier!
Read izzielu61's full Amsterdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image blschletter
1 review
May 2015
This was the Whale watching and Photo Safari and it was well worth every penny. Everyone on this boat ( only holds 14 passengers) said the same thing. Great photo opportunity, very knowledgeable tour guide ( Micea and Captain J.) and very interesting. Harbour seal, mama and baby whales, mama and baby sea lions, eagles and amazing scenery. I did not want to leave !!!!!
Read blschletter's full Norwegian Jewel cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Jsim2011
1 review
Sep 2013

This excursion included a hike/walk through rain forest to Mendenhall Glacier, and a boat trip to look for whales. the guide was excellent, very knowledgeable and interesting.

Read Jsim2011's full Oosterdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image Poipu04
3 reviews
Sep 2013

We did the Gastineau Guiding by Land and Sea Photo Tour. Our guide, David, a professional photographer, was excellent. I am new at photography, and he helped me with all of the setting of my camera and even took some shots for me when I couldn't seem to get it right. He was very knowledgeable about nature, and really helped us appreciate the short hike at Mendenhall Glacier. He told us exactly how to anticipate the whales surfacing so we could get the shot. We even spotted a bear at Mendenhall Glacier, because he knew where to look! It was too dark to get a good picture, but just seeing it was enough for me. This was a highlight of my trip and well worth the steep price!

Read Poipu04's full Norwegian Pearl cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Bippity.Boppity.Bu
1 review
Aug 2013

Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari (Juneau)
About $200, purchased from Carnival in advance

Although pricy, this tour boasted a maximum group size of 14 people, and we only had 11 in our group. We boarded another tourbus - very similar to the tourbus we were on in Skagway - and went to a harbor somewhere in or around Juneau. Another feature of the tour was that the Tour Guide, David, was a professional photographer, and he gave us tips for photographing wildlife during the trip to the marina. I'm not much of a photographer, so I found his information very handy. The boat was perfect for the number of people we had - we could all move around without getting in each other's way, and the windows opened in and latched to the ceiling, so they were also out of the way while we were trying to watch for whales.

At first we waited in one spot for about ten minutes or so and spotted two whales - close enough so that we could see their tales flip in the air as they dove underwater. When it was clear that those whales had moved along, the boat moved to another location where there were already several whalewatching boats present. The captain of the boat acted as secondary tour guide to keep things interesting. Again, after about ten minutes or so, we saw a whole pod of about five or six whales - the tour guide said there was a baby with them too. The boats aren't allowed to get more than 100 yards from the whales, but the whales can do whatever they want, and they seemed determined to give all the watchers a good time - first coming up near one boat, then another, and then ... our boat! A couple of them came up right there (points to a spot no more than 25 feet away.) And, okay, I didn't get great photos, but I don't care, because I saw whales! It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
From there we went by bus (and got a hearty snack) to the Mendenhall Glacier, where the Parks Service has a visitor's center. Our Tour Guide took us along a nature trail, about five minutes or so to a bridge over a creek where salmon were spawning. The bears really like the spawning salmon - it's like a buffet - and right around the corner from the bridge was a bear! It wandered off down the trail we were going to take, so we turned around and went back the way we came.

After that, we walked over to see the Mendenhall Glacier. There's a small lake that the glacier feeds, with little icebergs in the lake. The Visitor's Center is maybe a mile across the lake from the edge of the glacier. It was really gorgeous.

Read Bippity.Boppity.Bu's full Carnival Miracle cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Line
Member Image renee_t
1 review
Aug 2013

The was the first part of the same tour. We had a photo instructor who took us in a small 14 passenger bus into the rain forest area near Mendenhall glacier. He suggested that we change the brochure-described .75 mile hike to a much longer hike. I was afraid to object even though I knew it would be a problem for me. My arthritic knees were bothering me a great deal. The photo instructions were great, the hike was just too strenuous.

Read renee_t's full Grand Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image TravelerRobMD
1 review
Aug 2013

We did the Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari. WOW! David is great. The boat is very comfortable and very photo friendly (obviously). We saw bald eagles, seals, sea lions, humpback whales and a large, active pod of orca's who put on quite a show. At Mendenhall, we didn't see a bear, but he was nearby (half eatten salmon and plenty of scat). Oh, the glacier is awesome as well! This tour is limited, so it isn't crowded at all.

Read TravelerRobMD's full Sapphire Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image cfowle1
1 review
Jul 2013

The best thing about this tour is that it is limited to about 14 people. The whale watching was excellent. The side trip to Mendenhall Glacier was a disappointment. It is labelled as a photo tour but we took a forced march through the woods where the guide pointed out flowers and gave the general canned glacier talk. We were given little time to take photos, which was a primary reason for choosing this tour. We thought the photographer guide would give us insight into interesting photo opportunities but that did not occur. A few of us located our own photo opportunities but felt rushed. If you are a photographer this is not the tour for you. Take a taxi to the glacier and explore on your own.

Read cfowle1's full Sapphire Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image grinthock
1 review
Jul 2013

TAKE THIS EXCURSION! Ignore the description, if you don't care about your camera, fine - the person who took us out was an EXPERT whale photographer (by trade) and was able to track the whales movement in the water enough to get us as close as legally possible, we watched as other tours tried to find a good spot but as the whales moved we were ahead and they were always chasing. We saw bubble net feeding (rare) and got some great info. Also saw the glacier, and bears, and other wildlife.

This was one of the best excursions.

Read grinthock's full Celebrity Century cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image Mr. Coffee
1 review
Jul 2013

The five-hour tour was split into two parts. We began with a boat tour of Auke Bay, sighting seals, sea lions, eagles and whales. The special photography instruction that we received on the ride over was helpful and informative. I learned about all kinds of buttons on my camera!

The second part was a walk along the Trail of Time at Mendenhall Glacier. Our guide pointed out the best photo locations and explained the plants and history of the glacier.

Snacks were also provided on the bus.

Read Mr. Coffee's full Disney Wonder cruise review
Provider: Disney Cruise Line
Member Image Thumpers01
1 review
Aug 2012
we boarded the boat with an amazing photography expert who took the time to visit every person, check the settings on their cameras and make suggestions. Then we went whale hunting. Sadly the wind kicked up, storms came in and it was cut short. We were in the van heading back when without asking they informed us we would each get a $100 refund on the trip due to the bad weather.
Read Thumpers01's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image Turtle0246
1 review
Jul 2012
Opportunity to see whales, a mother bear and 2 cubs, eagles, hike around the glacier, and have many photo opportunities.
Read Turtle0246's full Amsterdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image sunlou25
2 reviews
Jun 2012
I loved being in a small group & on a small boat. The help with learning my cameras settings and features was invaluable! The guide was wonderful - told us lots but wasn't always talking.
Read sunlou25's full Diamond Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image coastalkate
1 review
Jun 2012
Picked up right at the dock. Knowledgeable guide assisted with camera settings and information during short (not strenuous) Tongass National Forest hike. Saw a beautiful waterfall and then the Mendenhall Glacier. Shuttled to Auke Bay with 11 others and taken out on a safe and specially designed small boat for whale watching. They offer a $ back guarantee, but we were happy to leave our money when we got to see humpbacks bubble net feeding! We also saw Steller sea lions and Bald Eagles. Back to the ship on time. Fantastic choice!
Read coastalkate's full Carnival Spirit cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Line
Member Image mrell345
1 review
May 2012
Lots of great scenery and wildlife. We found a group of humpback whales in no time, lots of seals to sea and I have never seen so many eagles. The photographer who led this tour was very knowledgeable and fun to follow.
Read mrell345's full Radiance of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International

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