Juneau Whale Watching Excursion Reviews
A couple of things with the whale watching. You have to take a 20 minute ride to the boat. The boat we were in had windows and when we spotted any whales, the boat would get as close as it could (it wasn't that close) and you had to either go to the front or the back of the boat. Our boat had about 20 people. I think a smaller boat is better than a bigger boat but it really depends on how close you get to the whales. The windows definitely keep it warm but you have to get out of your seat to go outside and see the whales. One last thing, once the boat stops and is floating, you have to hope the whales come in your direction to get any close up views. Oh, expect to see lots of boats chasing the whales, I think at one point I counted 20 boats.
Absolutely the best excursion ever!
The tour we took was called "Whale Quest and Orca Point Lodge" and was lovely.
We had to tender in Juneau, so the day didn't get off to a great start - we wound up waiting for quite a few people so that we could start our tour. I wish Carnival would get each tour onto the tender one at a time, instead of calling 5 or 6 tours and having everyone get on whichever tender is free. It would save a lot of unnecessary waiting.
Once everyone was finally there, we were able to start our wee drive out to the Allen Marine Marina where we boarded a lovely boat. When we got out to an area where we were able to start animal watching we saw several whales who were playing right near the boat, as well as sea lions! Great times onboard! There are both indoor seating areas and outdoor standing areas, and we all had good views!
Orca Point is a lovely lodge - we only had 1 hour there, and we could have used at least 1 more! We had a choice of salmon and/or chicken kebabs, a variety of salads and rice and lemonade. Dessert was an amazing brownie. After eating you could explore the beachfront.
We then went back to the boat and headed back to town. We had about 2 hours left before all aboard, so we strolled around town and then got into the giant line for the tender back. We waited about 45 minutes before we got on the next tender back.
Great tour - horrible tendering in Juneau.
This was a good excursion.
We went on a Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Watching tour. The Mendenhall Glacier tour took us to the visitor's center and offered about 2 hours to walk around and explore. We only walked the two shortest paths close to the visitor center but both still offered great views of the glacier and surrounding areas.
The whale watching tour on Auke Bay, operated by Allen Marine Tours, was great. The boat was comfy inside with open air decks above that offered an incredible view of the surrounding area and wildlife. We ended up seeing about 7 different humpback whales. They were in small groups of 2 or 3 then all came together in one area. In some cases they were only 20 or 30 feet off the side of boat when they would surface for air. Watching those majestic creatures was a highlight of our trip. We also saw a group of 3 or 4 Dall's porpoises, some bald eagles and a group of Steller Sea Lions.
We had a great time . the guide was very informative. The time of year it didi not require any extra layers. wish we could of seen a whole whale . but the tails and water spouts were good.
AMAZING. Our guide said we had an amazing viewing. The whales were very active. Saw breaching, tail waiving, and them playing with sea lions. After the whale viewing we went to Orca Point Lodge and had a nice lunch of salmon, salads, and great brownies. The guides and the staff at the lodge were all very nice. Overall this was a great excursion and I would highly recommend it. The trip afterwards to Sawyer Glazier was breathtaking. The scenery, ice bergs, and the glacier itself were all amazing. Not to be missed.
great whale watching, great boat, great narrator
The whale watching was amazing. The captain did so much to make our 2 hours as memorable as possible. We saw humpbacks playing and feeding then an uncommon sight of about 20 or so orka feeding. So much fun. However the cruise line said they had the best prices....not so. We paid about 1/2 of what they were charging for a nice boat that held about 12 of us. It had an inside cabin with drinks. A lot of time for great pictures.
Whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier tour was definitely worth it. The whale watching captain took us to where whales had been spotted and they were spouting and swimming all around.
There only six of us on the boat for our whale-watching tour and our captain was both entertaining and informative. What was especially awesome was that we were there on the one day all summer when whales were sighted doing cooperative feeding, also known as bubble feeding. We saw seven whales working together to round up schools of fish. AMAZING!!
Great - saw tons of humpbacks and other wildlife. Nice amount of time on water. Nice savings vs NCL prices.
We hadn't booked anything through Crusie Line and waited until the morning to book something independently ashore (The weather was still fairly damp so decided against taking teh tamway to teh top of the mountain)
We got a good deal on a 2 hours Whale Watching trip which was really great. Only a small boat (14 passengers) and the guy did really well at fiinding plenty of hump back whales, plus seals & eagles.
We then got dropped off at Mendenhall Glacier and spent a couple of hours there, including do the walk to Nugget Falls.
I did the evening whale watching tour. It was fun, bit cool as the sun starts to set. We did see some whales. Its a gamble on where the whales are going to be. On the evening tour they serve dinner. Beef, pasta salad, green salad, dessert. You can have coffee beer and wine. Charge for alcohol. Not a issue. Go out and have fun.
We took a 5 hour excursion with Gastineau Guiding: Mendenhall Glacier photo safari and whale watching. Our guide, Cindy Kern, was exceptional, so we learned a lot about what we were seeing as well as getting some useful tips on talking better photos. The whale watching was excellent, with some great close up encounters with humpbacks. Recommended.
Although we glimpsed a few whales from the cruise ship, glad we booked the whale watch excursion with Allen Marine because we saw orcas, humpbacks and stellar sea lions up close. Captain Ryan and his crew (Samantha, Carly, Greg and Monica) aboard the St. Gregory catamaran were awesome! Tour bus driver was great too.
the town of Juneau is weird. The state capital but you cannot get there driving. Flying or by boat and it is fogged in most of the time. There were a lot more higher quality shops here then in Ketchikan. Many of the same souvenirs just with Juneau sewed on instead of Ketchikan. My mom and I had lunch after the excursion at Tracy's crab Shack. GREAT PLACE! Kind of expensive but everything is in Alaska. We had crab legs, crab cakes, and crab chowder. We tried the scallops. They were disgusting. Stay with crab!!! We ordered two combos.
The Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Watching was awesome. You can get up pretty close to the glacier and there is a huge waterfall that you can stand right beside! Frankly we could have stayed there a little longer. They only give you an hour there. the whale watching was fantastic. We had a great captain and the tour guide was very well spoken and knowledgeable. We saw 7 or 8 humpbacks and got to see a bubble feeding, seals, orcas and of course eagles.
the whale watching was fabulous our captain and naturalist were great they were so knowledgeable about the whales and the area. As we went in the summer the humpbacks were bubble feeding the young herring it was AWESOME and after all that we then went to see some Orcas that were in a different bay it was worth every Penny and then some.
Lots to see and do in Juneau as it is the Capital city, museums etc and of course the Mendenhall Glacier that is receding and it's waterfall that keeps getting bigger.
So glad we booked the Mendenhall Glacier, Whale Watching and Wildlife Quest adventure! We were fortunate enough to see Orcas, Humpback Whales, and Sea Lions. There were some bald eagles on the way to the glacier, but I never got to see them. However, the whales were unbelievable! We saw bubble net feeding, one humpback breached twice, and a group of them came up to feed! It was just beautiful and impressive. Nature at it's finest. I was afraid we were not going to get our guaranteed whale sighting, but we got more than we bargained for and was the highlight of our cruise!
Took tour with Gastineau Guiding. Our guide Richard was very knowledgeable about the area and our captain Scotty found several whales for us to observe. Tour was a lot of fun!
We actually took the Rainforest Trails and Whales expedition with a hike through the rainforest, a veiw of Mendenhall Glacier, and then a whale-watching adventure. Our guides were so professional and knowledgeable about the area. We were able to see quite a bit including a small iceberg flip out at the glacier, and several families of humpback whales and orcas. There were eagles, seals, and gorgeous scenery. They cannot guarantee whale sightings, but mid-June seemed the right time to see it all.
Fantastic! Close up views of whales and other sea life.
Weather was bad. Heard some of the ship tours didn't go. We were on a jet boat and went about 23 knots. Were launching off the swells and pounding down again. It was an E ticket ride but I think my back still hurts from the pounding. Really no opportunity to go outside due to the weather.
Saw quite a few whales. Maybe on a better day we would have enjoyed it more.
This tour also included a stop at a salmon hatchery. That was pretty much a joke. Can't really recommend that part.
We saw several small pods of whales , about 100 yards from out boat, and some sea lions on this 2 hour tour. The young crew was very enthusiastic and gave an informative narration. I would recommend this tour, but might look for a company that offers smaller boats, as we saw a couple of small boats that were able to get in closer to the whales.
We could not have asked for a better weather day for this excursion. It was sunny and cool but not cold. The naturalist on board provided interesting information about the different species and we were always on the lookout for whales.
There is a small area of land in the middle of the water where an eagle has made its home and he/she quietly sat on a stump ignoring us as we snapped pictures and commented on his/her beauty.
At one point we witnessed a large group of seals sunning themselves on the rocky embankment and with binoculars you could see several of the female seals were still nursing their young.
Whales were a little harder to spot but we did encounter a few. Or, we saw the same one several times. It never breached the water but we were able to watch as it surfaced before diving on three occasions.
These two excursions are at the top of the list for enjoyment.
The whale watch was good and we did view a few whales. Dall's porpoises played by our boats. This tour provided salmon spread on a bagel (yummy) and water/coffee too.
Took the photo safari with whale watching. Whales great! Photo tour, not so much. Skip this part and spend all of your time on the water.
Waste of time and money. Only brief whale tails here and there with poor visibility.
We booked the Whale Watching + Mendenhall Glacier excursion because I was concerned about having time to do both during our only 6.5 hours in the port. Although I know people rave about smaller boats, I don't think we missed anything by being in a larger boat. We saw whales galore. Plus we had hot chocolate and hot coffee, and large indoor area to view (important in the rain), and little treats of jams and salmon to nibble on. I wish we had more time at the Glacier, but that was because we had to get back to the ship, not the tour's fault.
Had a marvelous independently booked excursion with Harv and Marv: aboard Riptide with Brian as our captain. We saw lots of sealions and lots of whales, one breached 5 times!!! Harv and Marv took care of making ALL arrangements and bookings for our helicopter excursion with Coastal Helicopter...it's just all so easy to do yourself. ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL TOUR
Capt. Larry put us on the whales !!!! Whales were the only reason we went to Alaska and this tour knows where they are and does not disappoint. They had a first class boat and crew. Drinks and snacks were provided with the purchase. A great value.
The whale watching tour was pretty good-we saw a couple of whales, although we saw even more whales from the cruise ship. We saved about 50.00 per person by walking off the boat and booking on the dock. We also took the 10.00 bus to Mendenhall Glacier-I would highly recommend doing this. The tours only give you 45 minutes, and if you want to see the video and touch 200 year old ice, and walk to the amazing waterfall and edge of the glacier, then you need more time. The rangers also had telescopes trained on mountain goats that you could watch. We were probably there for 2.5 hours.
We booked the whale watching, salmon bake for 2:30pm. arrived at meeting spot by 1:45, only to be told at 2:25 that it was cancelled. Found a kiosk that took us whale watching at 2:30, but boat was very small and crowded, so they transferred us to a larger private group. Stressful day, but whales and eagles were worth it.
Alaska's Whales and Rainforest Trails, run by Gastineau Guides, led by Cortney Wagner. Our guide is a native to Juneau and has a degree in Zoology. She has lots of local lore and knowledge and expertly led us, along with Captain Annette, out to see humpback whales and later, to the Mendenhall Glacier.
It was rushed but great! Would have liked to have more time. Guide was excellent.
We bought the tickets in the harbour for $ 50 less than on the ship.
$ 125 each for the combination with Glacier and Whalewatching. We first went around for about one hour in the City, than took the bus to the Mendenhall Glacier. Another bus took us to Auke Bay to the ship and we had a tour from almost 3 hours and saw several humpbackwhales, some bald eagles, some sea lions. It was really a wonderful experience and especially for us, because we made a whalewathing tour in Victoria a few days ago and we say no whale, no dolphin, only a few sea lions. And paid a lot for that.
After Ketchikan Juneau was terrific. Even though there were four boats in it didn't seem that crowded.
We took a whale watching tour with Harv and Marv's and it was the highlight of our trip. The boats are small and their employees are fantastic. Can't remeber the guys name that drove the shuttle but he was terrific. Then we had Captain Steve and I can't imagine ever having a better man or captain to be around. He way exceeded any expectations we ever had! Wouldn't even consider going out again in Juneau with any other tour and especially would request Captain Steve!
Went with the White school bus people. They have smaller blue boats that are the perfect size for whale watching. We were taken to a large protected area where we found a large pod if humpbacks. They came very close to us. Got lots of tale shots and even a rainbow !
We booked the Harv and Marv's whale watching trip. The whale watching part lasted about 3 hours - about 2 hours driving around and 1 hour actually watching whale / seals, etc. The scenery was really great - with glaciers all around you. The whale watching part is just so so, short and rushed. Feels very commercial. In the end we were dropped off at the Mendenhall Glacier, and opted to walk to the Nugget Fall - very pretty. We called a Taxi to go back to Juneau. 9 people for $40 - a better deal than taking the bus.
I knew I didn't want to book an excursion through the ship, I wanted to go with a local company and after much research, I booked a whale watching tour through Orca Enterprises and was so very happy that I did! Captain Larry was the boat captain who is a very interesting man with lots of experience. Our tour guide was a young lady that obviously loved her job. I think she was almost more excited when we were whenever we would spot a whale! It was a great experience! We saw tons of bald eagles and ended up seeing a whole heard (is that the right word?) of whales! We even got to see one breach! It was very educational and exciting! We only had about 16 people on our boat so there was plenty of room for everyone to move about and watch the whales. They even provided a snack of cheese and crackers and smoked salmon along with coffee and hot cocoa. It was well worth the money and I would highly recommend booking a tour with Captain Larry and Orca Enterprises.
We booked our whale watching excursion independently from Norwegian with Harv and Marv's. It was amazing! Captain "T" was excellent and I would highly recommend him. Our boat was small with only 6 passengers making the experience more intimate and exciting. I never felt seasick or scared. We saw Humpbacks, sea lions, eagles and orca's. Captain "T" gave us an experience we will never forget!
Went with Orca Enterprises as was much cheaper than the cruise-approved one, which went at the same time from the same point anyway! So amazing. Humpbacks everywhere. Fun and knowledgeable staff, Captain Larry's is the only boat to go with.
Allen Marine are great! Whole experience was great. Staff so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Saw whales close up and lots of other wildlife. Boats are very comfortable and complimentary hot drink welcome. Guide leaflet and use of binoculars a nice touch.
Lots of whales, a nice boat, nice touches.
GREAT! Got right on bus to boat. Provided some binoculars. Had free hot chocolate, water, coffee. Saw lots of whales
Didn't see too many whales but we did see one full breech which made the trip. Buffet dinner was very nice as well.
8 of us booked together on "The Alaskan" with Captain Shawn of Harv and Marv. Since we were a large group, we had the 12 seat boat to ourselves. After a little confusion getting picked up from the cruise ship, we had a great time. The weather was clear and sunny. The boat was amazing. It had been specially designed and they chose to have hydraulic seats (just like 18 wheel truckers) for each person. My father has a bad back and typically has a lot of trouble in small boats on the ocean. These seats made all the difference for him. Binoculars were provided and were great. The naturalist and the captain were wonderful and we learned alot. Saw about 7 whales, seals and sea lions. Stopped at the Mendenhall Glacier on the return trip. The shuttle driver told us that the bears were active. We all got to watch a black bear fish a salmon out of the stream and feed it to her two cubs from the safety of the elevated boardwalk trail. Awesome!
My husband and the kids went on the Whale watching excursion. The kids enjoyed the excursion since they were able to see several whales. My husband said it would have been nice if they could get a little closer but overall it was a good experience for them.
Excellent, friendly staff and a wonderful whale-watching trip. Worth the money.
whale guarantee was good. Experience just to say we did it.
Fantastic to see whales, great trip with entertaining crew and even an entertaining and funny bus driver (way better than our comedian on the ship)
Saw lots of whales and even some breaching which was cool - but disappointed in the size of the boat. Thought it would be more intimate and everyone would have a window seat or good view - not the case - we were the last bus to arrive so stuck in the middle with not a good view over the other people. Next time I would investigate more and find a smaller more intimate boat setting.
Excellent, small group experience. Only 14 passengers in a small, fast boat. Knowledgeable small boat operator and an excellent tour operator along as well. Tour operator provided excellent insights into the skills needed to photograph whales. He suggested camera tips and trips to use in the environment. He even helped individual guests one-on-one with their particular camera questions. We had excellent whale sightings as well as other marine mammal sightings.
Saw lots of tails, no breaches. also saw some eagles and other wild life.Enjoyed the salmon bake.
Harv and Marv's is the best. We saw tons of whales all around and even under the boat. Six passengers only for a great experience.
I did Harv and Marv and was on a boat with 12 ppl. They met us at the port, on time, took us out and Captain Shawn was very knowledgeable about the whales. He knew where to wait and for how long. The young girl that was on board was extremely knowledgeable and had incredible amounts of information on all the sea life.
It was good - Sarah was a wonderful guide.
Captain Larry and Kelly gave us a great experience. We saw plenty of whales and learned a lot!
the whale watching on a smaller boat was terrific...
Our day was filled with Orcas and Humpback sightings!
"Whale Watching Quest" Big Company, large fleet, custom stainless steel boats,
Naturalist on board. Guaranteed a sighting or refund promised. No need since we saw at least 20 Humpbacks. Highlight of tour was watching a pod of whales "bubble-feeding". Look it up. Evidently pretty rare because the Captain and the Naturalist went berzerk. Also every other tour boat in the area made a B line to the site. Dropped a microphone overboard and we could hear whale song. Pretty incredible.
Great trip. Saw several humpback whales. Knowledgable naturalist.
Excellent whale watching! They were bubble-net feeding, which was really awesome to watch! Really enjoyed that day. Would definitely reccommend this!
ORCA runs a wheelchair accessible transfer vehicle for whale watching. Their people were very helpful pushing the wheelchair up & down a VERY steep ramp at the pier. But once on the boat, there was no ability to get upstairs to the forward viewing area.
Humpback whales gave us quite a show and did not disappoint. Sea lions, bald eagles and a massive glacier added to the overall experience.
Took out a boat with a crew of 2 and we had a nice time, saw several whales within reasonable distance. Boat was scary with kids but overall this was a nice excursion. Tourist trap town but Tracy's crab shack was great!
this tour was really good- We saw lots of whales, two were breeching for over 30 minutes, it was great. The salmon dinner at the lodge was really good. We only had 15 minutes at the Mendenhal Glacier (which was fine with me, Ive beent here before)
(We arrived late to Juneau, then all 3000 people were trying to get off the ship at the same time, which made all of us an hour late to our tours-reason for short time at glacier)
We booked a private charter for just 3 of us on a small 6-person boat and we saw a FANTASTIC display of whale bubble net feeding! It was just us so NO jostling for the best photo position and NO waiting for the best spots. Our Captain Liz was absolutely fantastic and it was expensive but totally worth it for us.
This was a total waste of money. The captain spent half the time trying to find one whale that had gone very far out, and when she got out there and realized she couldnt find it we then only had a few minutes to go back and watch some of the whales that were closer in. She made the decision to bypass those whales at the beginning and then had to go back to them afterwards but by that point was almost out of time. I barely got to see anything and spent a fortune.
This was the experience of a lifetime! When we first went out we saw three or four humpback spouts. Captain Gary asked if everyone saw them then announced the whale guarantee was up. Utter disappointment as I realized I signed up for this for the next 5 hours. Then Captain Gary got a strange call over the radio using some code words. Stealthily we slipped away from the hoards of other whale watching boats and were the first to come upon not one, not two but three resident Orca pods! I bet we saw over 50 different Killer whales! Little babies, huge bulls, we saw their faces their teeth their tales, you name it! At one point four Orcas breached in synchronization, one, two, three, four perfectly timed and spaced apart. It was like seeing Sea World in the wild! Amazing! Breath taking! After whale watching we hiked for a bit in the rain forest learning about all the amazing plant life. Arriving at Mendenhal Glacier our guide, Sarah a native of Juneau, told us about her childhood and how much the glacier has receded since then. When she described where it would be in the next three to five years, I cried! Yes I cried! I am glad to have experienced this glacier and am saddened that my kids may not be able to.
The excursion was exactly as advertised. They even provided binoculars. They guaranteed that you would see at least one whale or they would give you $100. That wasn't necessary. We actually saw three whales, bald eagles and sea lions. The boat was roomy and the cabin staff and guides were excellent.
The boat ride was nice. After the first whale showing it's fluke, it was boring. Not enough activity for us.
We chose to book the whale watch and glacier combo. It was absolutely amazing. We got up close with the whales and the glacier was beautiful.
We went whale watching with Captain Jayleen from Harv and Marv's Outback Alaska onboard the OB1. We saw humpback whales right next to the boat, and sea lions and eagles. On the way back into town our driver stopped at the Mendenhall Glacier for 15 min so we could take pictures. It was incredible.
This tour was okay but not great. The crew were good, the boat was comfortably warm inside with the opportunity to go up-top if you chose. It was also a stable ride with none of the 100 people on our tour getting sick. The whales just didn't cooperate. We only saw two, a mother and calf the crew told us. And we didn't get very close.
After the boat, we stopped at a nice little lodge to eat. The meal was so-so except for fresh salmon grilled on arrival which was wonderful and you could have as much as you wanted.
Mendenhall Glacier was overpacked with tourists and we did no have a lot of time to really enjoy. There were so many buses for pick-up that I was panicking thinking I had missed ours. I spent more time trying to figuere out pick-up than enjoying the beautiful glacier. I tried to go into the visitor center and it was totally impossible.
Do not miss this.
We saved about $50 booking this on our own-
Had a smaller boat- only held 16 people but there were only 6 of us on it.
Had a great experience- saw lots of humpbacks, bald eagles, and sea lions.
Excellent ride for whale watching on a 33-ft. catamaran. Just 3 passengers and a young child. Bob was an excellent skipper, knowing where to go. Harry was an expert on whales, gave us tons of information. We saw a group of Orcas and then went to a different location to watch a Humpback for about an hour. Go some great photos.
This tour, Best of Juneau, gave us the No. One thing we were hoping to see . We saw humpbacks bubblenet feeding! And we had a full breach about 20 feet from our railing! Awesome event!
It was a great day - pricing is ok at about $139.00. You can get a shuttle out to the glacier for $8.00 at the dock if you want to add it to fill the rest of your day. Go on the Whale watching on the early (8:30) departure.
Perfect weather and a playful young whale made this a wonderful cruise. Food was good too.
Saw lots of whales and food was good on this excursion.
This was really excellent. The tour boat folks were top notch and we saw a great many whales.
Orcas, humpbacks, sea lions, and eagles abounded on our 3.5 hr whale watch tour. On way back our private tour operator took us to see Mendenhall Glacier as well.
Exceptional experience. Saw lots of whales. Great tour guides.
Did not see much whales throughout the excursion, but still a nice experience!
Great experience, we were the only 2 on the boat. Saw whales and other wildlife. Very educational.
Good tour - we got to see a bit of Juneau. We did see whales - not up close.
We ate GREAT crab legs at Tracy's. Highly recommend. The place doesn't look like much - just picnic tables under tents - but it is great!
Never again: they forgot us to pick us up at Mendenhall Glacier. On the boat we saw too less for two hours. Waste of time. Transportation again bad: too cold in one part and too hot. Easy to get sick.