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Old May 21st, 2002, 11:41 PM
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Default Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise ship?

We will be cruising the Inside passage on the Radiance on June 15. Will we see whales while cruising or should we book a tour? If a tour is recommended will an 11 and 13 year old enjoy it?
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Old May 22nd, 2002, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise ship?

You may see whales from the ship while cruising if you keep your eyes searching the water whenever possible. If you take a tour I would suggest going through Orca in Juneau as one possibility. Your chances would be better and with a smaller group than on the bigger tour boats that the cruise lines use. There are also several other local outfits that could be used besides Orca. If you see whales on a tour your kids will probably enjoy it.

Orca whales have been known to be seen between Vancouver and the Inside Passage. Juneau and Seward are good for whale tours. We have also seen them coming in and out of the fjords for glaciers as well as leaving or coming into Skagway.

Any way you look at it seeing whales is just pure luck. They can show up at anytime and no one time period is better for seeing whales than any other.
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Old May 22nd, 2002, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise s

Peb,
We're doing the inside passage starting on Aug. 30th, is that getting late to spot any whales??

Thanks for any advise!

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Old May 22nd, 2002, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise ship?

Donna,
We've seen lots the last two times that we went (both times were in September). Some people on last September's Dawn cruise saw some Orcas (we missed them). But we had humpbacks spouting with a great view from our balcony!!

Shar
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Old May 22nd, 2002, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise s

Thanks Shar,
Thats what I was hoping to hear, still unsure of where to take a whale watching excursion from, or just wait til we get to port and go that way??

Thanks again!

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Old May 22nd, 2002, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise ship?

Donna,
Karen's probably the best source for that. I believe both she and PEB agree that Orca in Juneau is the best way to go for whale watching. I haven't made my reservations for Sept yet, but I'm going to.
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Old May 22nd, 2002, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise ship?

We've made our reservations (independantly) with ORCA. I have heard nothing but great things about Captain Larry and his boat. It's much smaller and faster, so you get out there quicker to spend more time with the whales. Their website is
www.alaskawhalewatching.com . There's a number you can call to book. 50% deposit required. 40 days and counting until we board the Sea Princess!!!!!!! Happy cruising to all this summer!
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Old May 22nd, 2002, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise s

Hi Rick,
Thats exactly what I've been looking for, thanks for the info and the link :-)

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Old May 27th, 2002, 10:39 AM
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Default Whale watching

We were on the Dawn Princess last June and saw a lot of whales from the ship -- but remember, you're way up there (our cabin was on deck 12). For a more satisfying experience, I would definitely suggest a whale watching expedition on a smaller boat -- the smaller the group, the better. We booked with ORCA in Juneau and saw several humpbacks. On their recommendation, we did the first trip of the day since Princess left port early last year. Their shuttle driver was kind enough to drop us off at a bus stop about 1 mile from Mendenhall Glacier, so we were able to walk to the visitor center at the glacier, and then walk down a short trail to see the glacier. Took the blue bird bus back ($5 pp) into town. In my mind, we had the best of both worlds this way in the short time we had in port.
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Old May 27th, 2002, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Whale watching

Donna ==>

One of the reasons I remain a diving nut at 70 is that I still hope to dive with the gentle giants of the sea. I've got a total soft spot for all types of whales and dolphins, which is why I've been studying and photgraphing them for some time

Each year about 2000 humpback whales gather along the coast of Alaska to feed...from British Columbia to the Bering Strait. The best spot to see them is off Port Adolphus right near the mouth of Glacier Bay. This is an easy run from Juneau, which is why Captain Larry is so highly recommended. Boats out of Juneau use sonar to find the whales and thus direct the whale watching tours to where they can be seen.

While I've seen whales from cruise ships, they tend to steer clear of large vessels. Whale watching boats are viewed more as relatives <G>

Humpback whales leave Hawaii in April and begin to arrive in Alaska waters in May. In October, they tend to gather off shore for one last feeding binge before heading for Hawaii again. This last feeding binge is when Sitka has their whale festival. Then its off to Hawaii. They won't feed again until they return in the Spring.

August should be a very good time to see whales. Ideally you'll have the chance to see them do their bubble ring routine...a truly remarkable sight.

Enjoy...
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Old May 27th, 2002, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Re: Whale watching

Hi Jim,
Thanks so much for the whale watching tips, I had no idea. I sure do hope we spot some, will look into that excursion :-)

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Old May 27th, 2002, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Whale watching

Donna ==>

Here's a shot of a humpback whale breaching...taken directly into the sun off the coast of Massachusetts...not Alaska, my favorite spot to see the humpback doing itsd thing.

http://users.ecoisp.com/jimm/breach.jpg

Let's see if this picture works this time.

JimM
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Old May 27th, 2002, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Whale watching

One more time as a test...



JimM
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Old May 28th, 2002, 06:41 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Whale watching

Hey Jim,
It did work :-)


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Old May 29th, 2002, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise ship?

Donna,
The web site is:
http://www.ptialaska.net/~whales/

I've tried e-mailing them without results. So far I've left three messages - so I guess I'm gonna have to use the ol land-line.

Shar
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Old May 29th, 2002, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise ship?

Hey Donna,
I thought I already gave you Captian Larry's web address....

www.alaskawhalewatching.com

That's the one for Orca Enterprises. We just called and got reservations, it was easier that way. The have a toll free number and Carol (the owner) really knows her stuff!

Hope this helps,
Rick
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Old May 29th, 2002, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise s

Thanks Rick,
Thats always good to know :-)

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Old May 30th, 2002, 07:14 PM
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Default Alaska Whale Watching

We will be cruising the Inside passage on the Radiance on June 15. Will we see whales while cruising or should we book a tour? If a tour is recommended will an 11 and 13 year old enjoy it?
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Old May 30th, 2002, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: Alaska Whale Watching

In June, there's a good chance you can see whales though odds are they will not be close to the ship. If you want to get up close and personal...something more appealing to 11 and 13 year olds...contact Captain Larry at Orca tours...his address is in this thread of messages. Humpback whales tend to congregate around Point Adolphus...near Glacier Bay not far from Juneau. Orca tours come highly recommended though there are other tours out of Juneau.

JimM
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Old June 2nd, 2002, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise ship?

Hi,

Also booked with Awesome Orca in Juneau. Carol from their office is very nice and helpful to deal with!

Theresa
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Old June 2nd, 2002, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise ship?

Emma.,
Thanks! I will call them.

Shar
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Old June 6th, 2002, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: thanks booked with capitan larry and carol is great!!!

thanks for all the information!
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Old June 9th, 2002, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise ship?

One thing to remember is that charter boat captains may NOT go within 100 yards of whales. Nobody tells the whales this.

It seems to me that, regardless of how fabulous the expedition might be, any charter boat captain who disregards the laws should be turned in.

Just something to consider.

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Old June 9th, 2002, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise ship?

Cruise ships may not go within 100 yds of whales. However, the code of ethics that applies to whale watching tour boats is subject to interpretation. Find yourself a good, recommended tour guide and you'll do just fine.
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Old June 12th, 2002, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise ship?

Just got back from HAL Statendam southbound and while several people and the naturalist saw whales from the ship, they were never very close and ships don't alter course to get closer. I did see one as I walked out on deck on morning and saw no more in the next 1/2 hour. Awsome Orca in Juneau and Kenai Nat'l Park Tours in Seward both gave us good whale sightings including orcas and humpbacks. No full breaches out of the water but plenty of backs, tails, fin flipping and one shot of the head and mouth. Eagles, sea otters, seal lions, harbor seals were frequent. Inside passage area where orcas are often seen and studied ( can't remember name, but think it was Robson Straight) showed us nothing from ship although we were on deck on a beautiful sunny day for hours.
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Old June 15th, 2002, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from cruise s

I have some advice if you wish to whale watch from the ship- it requires a great deal of time but I have always been greatly rewarded. Dress warm- knit hat and gloves and have a good pair of binoculars- I greatly prefer my wide angle- necessary in my opinion, 10x50's, I also have my 16x50's when I have confirmed spotting. You need to be out on a front open deck for the best opportunity- side viewing cuts your sightings by over 50%, it is necessary to constantly scan ahead of you looking for the spouting. Possible areas- several hours before and after Juneau and Glacier Bay. Last sailing day back into Vancouver indeed Robson, I am out from afternoon until dusk. I am a vast minority though with the persistance of watching, most cruisers are not. As for close up and very likely views do go on a whale watch, I have gone with Orca and Dolphin, but Allen Marine does have the fastest boats and do give a good tour despite the 150 passengers. My preference is toward the smaller boats, Sitka also have good whale watching. Likely sighting in both areas will be humpbacks with orcas only comeing into Juneau every 5-10 days. Orcas tours are excellent from Victoria BC or Friday Harbor Wa. I take one every time I'm there. In a little over a week, I'll be 4 days on a research boat out of Gloucester Ma. We're going about 100 miles out to where the sand eels are and massive humpback action. In probably a couple years, Stellwagan Bank- will again have the migration back of the sand eels and the humpbacks will follow, they are on about a 7 year cycle. With the food back it will again be likely to have 50 humpback sightings on the trips out of Gloucester and Cape Cod as it was about 5 years ago. SO keep the east coast in mind as well for the wonderful sightings - trips also less than 1/3 the cost of Alaska. ENJOY
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Old June 15th, 2002, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from crui

Hi Karen,
so much for your whale watching infomation. You didn't mention when you were there, we'll be there end of Aug., what do you think about whales there at that time?

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Old June 19th, 2002, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Whale watching tour or will I see them from

Most of my Alaska trips are mid to late August. Excellent whale sightings!!!
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