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Old April 27th, 2007, 04:46 PM
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Default Whale sightings from cruise ship????

Hi there

I was wondering if you would have any whale sightings from your cruise ship? I am going on the Sun Princess on May 27th. I am not booking a whale watching tour (at least for now) (been on 2, out of Boston before).
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Old April 27th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Whale sightings from cruise ship????

AnnieBabie61,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I was wondering if you would have any whale sightings from your cruise ship? I am going on the Sun Princess on May 27th. I am not booking a whale watching tour (at least for now) (been on 2, out of Boston before).
Whale sitings from cruise ships are quite common, especially when crossing the Gulf of Alaska. There are no guarantees, but your odds of seeing a few whales are very good if you are out on deck when the ship is in open waters.

Norm.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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Be aware however that you most likely won't see the whales very closely. But scan the water and watch for the spout (thar she blows!) and you'll locate whales. One cruise I was on the Captain came to a virtual stop when whales were near as we left Glacier Bay so we had a really great view and they were relatively close. But the best way to see whales closely is a whale watch excursion.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterC
Be aware however that you most likely won't see the whales very closely. But scan the water and watch for the spout (thar she blows!) and you'll locate whales. One cruise I was on the Captain came to a virtual stop when whales were near as we left Glacier Bay so we had a really great view and they were relatively close. But the best way to see whales closely is a whale watch excursion.
Someone I met here told me once that "if whales are a priority, an excursion is a must. I spend almost every waking hour up on deck and have been rewarded with a few good sightings, but I always take whale watching excursions. I'm a long time repeat customer of" (Company name deleted so as to avoid advertising.)

Get some good binoculars (like these 6 great pairs of 10x42 Summits I just received today!) and dress warm. It will be cold while the ship is cruising in the wind and rain.

-Case
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Old April 28th, 2007, 01:15 AM
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I am quoted above. I disagree, most people do NOT see any wildlife from a cruise ship. It requires a great deal of time invested, best at the front of the ship, side viewing cuts your chances by over 50%. It is far better to track them from ahead and keep sight of them, rather than have them just come up once as you sail by from a side view. It also helps to know, which most people do not, the areas.

A good pair of wide angle binoculars is a must. I greatly prefer 10x50's.

A ship naturalist can be very valuable for information. I also request of the bridge when we will sail though prime areas.

The above mentions Point Adolphus, which is in Icy Strait east of Glacier Bay. Some ships do sail by after leaving Glacier Bay. However, If I am coming from Skagway/Juneau, I am up in this area prior to dawn and always see plenty.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: Whale sightings from cruise ship????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
AnnieBabie61,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I was wondering if you would have any whale sightings from your cruise ship? I am going on the Sun Princess on May 27th. I am not booking a whale watching tour (at least for now) (been on 2, out of Boston before).
Whale sitings from cruise ships are quite common, especially when crossing the Gulf of Alaska. There are no guarantees, but your odds of seeing a few whales are very good if you are out on deck when the ship is in open waters.

Norm.
No this is not correct. Whales are NOT generally in open waters. They are where the food is concentrated and that is due to bays, shores etc. The Gulf Of Alaska is NOT a prime area for whale sighting, in fact a poor area, if you only take that "tip".

Prime areas, are Icy Striat, Dixon Passage, Johnson Striat, Snow passage, Auke Bay with a whale watch.

IF you wish to see humpbacks, I suggest you contact your ship naturalist and verify when sailing the above areas, or put in a call to the bridge.

I always, have very good sightings, but a great many people see nothing.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 01:47 AM
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Karen-

Mind clarifying a bit? I think your comments might mis-lead the OP a bit.

Who quoted you above? I sure didn't. (And conversely if it was a quote from your posts online, why would you disagree now? Change of heart?)

Who referenced Pt. Adolphus? Unless there's a post missing or I'm reading incorrectly, there was no mention of Pt. Adolphus in the thread.

While we're on the topic of "knowing the area," Pt. Adolphus is about 6.5 miles SSE of Glacier Bay. To head due East from Glacier Bay would put you in Gusdavis and near pleasant Island, pass Excursion Inlet and Pt. Couverden is a few miles SE.

Humpbacks are found all summer long in the open oceans, large bays, and sounds of SE Alaska. While it's convenient for self-proclaimed whale experts to insist that they congregate near land, that's not entirely true. The animals congregate where large amounts of food gather. Ocean pinnacles, seamounts, and even massive clouds of krill, herring, etc. can be found in open expanses of ocean.

I'm sorry if this sounds in any way "rude" or "confrontational"... it's not meant as such. I think the point that should be made in this thread is that if good sightings and viewing of humpback whales in Alaska is a priority, get on one of the many quality excursions offered.

-Case

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen16
I am quoted above. I disagree, most people do NOT see any wildlife from a cruise ship. It requires a great deal of time invested, best at the front of the ship, side viewing cuts your chances by over 50%. It is far better to track them from ahead and keep sight of them, rather than have them just come up once as you sail by from a side view. It also helps to know, which most people do not, the areas.

A good pair of wide angle binoculars is a must. I greatly prefer 10x50's.

A ship naturalist can be very valuable for information. I also request of the bridge when we will sail though prime areas.

The above mentions Point Adolphus, which is in Icy Strait east of Glacier Bay. Some ships do sail by after leaving Glacier Bay. However, If I am coming from Skagway/Juneau, I am up in this area prior to dawn and always see plenty.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 05:59 AM
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We did see a pod of Orca's from the ship, also some dolphins. You just never know, but have to be out a good deal and just enjoying the senery.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanCanCase
Karen-

Mind clarifying a bit? I think your comments might mis-lead the OP a bit.

Who quoted you above? I sure didn't. (And conversely if it was a quote from your posts online, why would you disagree now? Change of heart?)

Who referenced Pt. Adolphus? Unless there's a post missing or I'm reading incorrectly, there was no mention of Pt. Adolphus in the thread.

.
[/quote]

I post this same thing all the time. Sorry if there is someone exactly like me using the same points- overall it takes a great deal of time invested to view wildlife from the ship, and I am always on whale watches despite having good sightings from a ship, with a competing company of yours.

Peter C. mentions excellent viewing of humpbacks after they left Glacier Bay. Point Adolpus is a COMMON area cruise ships sometimes go. I've been there when 3-4 ships are all lined up. Sorry if I made an assumption of a common sailing area.

I've been 14 cruise ships sailing Alaska. With people wanting to know their best opportunity for humpbacks, I liked areas that I have had very good luck at. The Gulf of Alaska has never been one of them, the area is just too vast. Same with boat tours out of Seward, whales aren't a given due to the big area and route trip.

I don't know how many cruise ships you have been on sailing Alaska, you reference "many". But they only go with limited routes. If anyone IS interested in some viewing from a cruiseship, then a message to the bridge of contact with a ship naturalist can give you a timeframe to perhaps look.
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Old April 29th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen16
I am quoted above. I disagree, most people do NOT see any wildlife from a cruise ship. It requires a great deal of time invested, best at the front of the ship, side viewing cuts your chances by over 50%. It is far better to track them from ahead and keep sight of them, rather than have them just come up once as you sail by from a side view. It also helps to know, which most people do not, the areas.

A good pair of wide angle binoculars is a must. I greatly prefer 10x50's.

A ship naturalist can be very valuable for information. I also request of the bridge when we will sail though prime areas.

The above mentions Point Adolphus, which is in Icy Strait east of Glacier Bay. Some ships do sail by after leaving Glacier Bay. However, If I am coming from Skagway/Juneau, I am up in this area prior to dawn and always see plenty.
Karen16, thanks a lot for the information. We are planning to get up early every morning to spend time out on the deck. We will be out looking for whales with our Zen-Ray summit binoculars (yeah, powerful 10x and very, very clear image). We figure a surprise encounter with whales on the cruiseship seems to be more exciting. Now, we are still debating if we need to book a tour as backup in case we don't see anything on the cruiseship.
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Old April 29th, 2007, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaCruiser
...We will be out looking for whales with our Zen-Ray summit binoculars (yeah, powerful 10x and very, very clear image). We figure a surprise encounter with whales on the cruiseship seems to be more exciting. Now, we are still debating if we need to book a tour as backup in case we don't see anything on the cruiseship.
The bigger ships tend to just blast on through, but keep a sharp eye out in Frederick Sound - an hour South of Tracy Arm - if your ship is sailing that route.

Not wanting to upset the delicate balance of the universe, I'll take a risk and answer the question too... yes, if it's a major interest to get good views of humpback whales, a dedicated tour is a must. I think even Karen will agree.

Sightings are a virtual "given" out of Juneau and ISP, so you might start looking for a tour in one of those ports. There are plenty of great operators in Juneau, so be thinking about what type of tour is best for your situation (small, medium or large; personality of the crew, customer service, price, etc.)

-Case
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Old April 30th, 2007, 07:15 PM
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Good grief. I am out on deck most all sailing, but I am always on a whale watch out of Juneau- including my next trip in 2 weeks, which I'll be booking in the next few days.
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