Doing the southbound HAL cruise in early June, plus land the week before including Denali. Question on need for boat based tours to see glaciers or wildlife. Not interested in seals, sea lions, otters, see all that here in California. But will small boat tours get us much closer and to different glaciers than we will see on ship? And will wildlife from boat be that different or closer to make it worth the time in lieu of some other sightseeing in Seward, Sitka, Juneau and Ketchican. Thanks for any help? Whales are always good as long as we don't have to get green to see them, such as trip to Kenai Fjords which I know Karen thinks is a must, and we may do that depending on weather. Anyone ever taken trip from Whittier to Prince William Sound? Thanks.
The best tour of all- for land animals is Denali Park- WHEN will you actually be there??? If going on your own go as late as you can. If on a cruise tour- you may be shortchanging yourself if you are going on the "natural history tour" (for clairfication all May tours until the very end of May go on the Natural history tour- as the park road is NOT open). In my experience wildlife- Juneau for humpbacks, only place for close viewing nearly 100% of the trips. Orcas- only come into Auke Bay every 5-10 days. Instead consider parking yourself out on the open front deck of your ship for orcas your last sailing day back into Vancouver- better still- take an orca watch out of Friday harbor Wa. or Victoria, BC. tops for orcas. For clairfication - any trip out of Seward- is wildlife VARIED. Likely to see a little of everything for a short viewing. especially on the 6 hour tours. Even on the 9 hour (which I take) your aren't tracking a particular animal so you see what is on the "route". As for your glacier question- are you going to Glacier Bay??? You would get to view at least 4 glaciers there with close up views of Grand Pacific and the Majorie. The Whittier trip is viewing - very close of glaciers but no wildlife. If you are going to be in Seward, consider hiking up to Exit Glacier, not a real spectacular looking glacier but the cheapest for getting close.