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Old June 10th, 2008, 08:45 AM
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Default How about whale watching in Victoria BC?

Its looking like not enough time in Juneau and I saw this in the Princess's list of shore excursions. Has anyone done this tour through the cruiseline and if so, how was it?
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Old June 10th, 2008, 11:31 AM
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We may elect to do this too since our Alaska time is so limited.

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Old June 10th, 2008, 07:30 PM
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We have reserved this excursion for late July. I'll be happy to let you know what we think upon our return!
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Old June 10th, 2008, 08:35 PM
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Thanks Hawk,
Would really appreciate it. We arrive in Juneau at 2:00, so kind of late, but I still need to check with Capt. Larry to see if its possible. Otherwise there was Victoria, BC... The ship isn't even offering any whale watching in Juneau, so that says something.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 10:05 PM
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In Juneau you're seeing humpbacks, while Victoria has orca. We've been out withj Captain Larry twice, and took the Victoria orca tour last July. The orca viewing was (pretty good), but we got POUNDED by heavy seas (and we took a larger boat, not the zodiacs). If I had to choose one, it'd be Juneau again - better scenery, sheltered waters and lots of whales. Icy Strait Point (Hoonah) is better than either Juneau or Victoria, though, for those going there.

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Old June 11th, 2008, 07:44 AM
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Thanks Yukon,
I still want to see if Capt. Larry goes out later in the day, if not there is Victoria, if nothing else.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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What is your port time in Victoria?? If arriving 6pm or later, do realize that these orca whale watch tours are shortened compared to the regular trips. With that- means the orcas have to be within range and you have an overall shorter time viewing. Regular trips have about an -75-80% chance of sightings, with less time that's going to be less.

Out of Juneau you have 100% chance of sightings of humpbacks.

when I go to Victoria I always go on at least 2 trips, so to stack my odds.

They actually will know before you go if you'll see whales, but too late to cancel.

I always go on the zodiacs, and never mind the ride. It certainly could impact some people. But there is nothing like being on the same level.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 07:25 PM
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Thanks Karen,
Just what I needed to know.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 09:19 PM
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I did the Orca tour last Sat.
Water was smooth and we saw plenty of Orca's.
Got back in time to walk around the town before it got too dark.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 09:39 AM
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Hi Sg,
Did you by chance see any Orca's from the ship there?
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Old July 26th, 2008, 05:39 PM
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Did both back in June, and the two trips were totally opposite!

I photograph a lot of wildlife, and know that nature has a mind of her own... with that said.

Juneau, was the 'mother load' for whales. Not only did we get to see a lot of whales, but sea lions and eagles. What made it extra nice were the tour folks and the boat. They knew what they were doing, offered all kinds of interesting facts, didn't mind answering all those questions we had. The boat was in great shape, even had a working rest room.

Then there was Victoria... No whales, a couple of harbor dolphins, and a capt and guide that didn't appear to know much or even care that we didn't see anything. From what I understood it had been days since they and seen a whale, and the fact that we come so late in the day, they had plenty time to get reports on whale sightings (or lack of). My feeling they should have either canceled or offered a partial refund. Of course they didn't, so all I have left from that trip is a $100+ bookmark (ticket stub) and a bad memory of them.

My suggestion, do the whales in Juneau. You can use Larry or book through the ship... either way you will end up in the same place, seeing the same whales.

I'm returning this Aug. and will be doing the same trip in Juneau.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 07:44 PM
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I did end up booking an excursion and hopefully we'll see Orca's, just needed something to do there and wanted to see the area, but not just a garden and tea, so this will do.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robinpow
Did both back in June, and the two trips were totally opposite!

I photograph a lot of wildlife, and know that nature has a mind of her own... with that said.

Juneau, was the 'mother load' for whales. Not only did we get to see a lot of whales, but sea lions and eagles. What made it extra nice were the tour folks and the boat. They knew what they were doing, offered all kinds of interesting facts, didn't mind answering all those questions we had. The boat was in great shape, even had a working rest room.

Then there was Victoria... No whales, a couple of harbor dolphins, and a capt and guide that didn't appear to know much or even care that we didn't see anything. From what I understood it had been days since they and seen a whale, and the fact that we come so late in the day, they had plenty time to get reports on whale sightings (or lack of). My feeling they should have either canceled or offered a partial refund. Of course they didn't, so all I have left from that trip is a $100+ bookmark (ticket stub) and a bad memory of them.

My suggestion, do the whales in Juneau. You can use Larry or book through the ship... either way you will end up in the same place, seeing the same whales.

I'm returning this Aug. and will be doing the same trip in Juneau.

I reference this all the time. The orcas have a big range, with a SHIP excursion, they are shortened compared to the regular trips, which then require even closer range of the southern orca pods. IT is a chance you take, they NEVER cancel these tours, unless sea condition related. IF you thought this, you certainly were mistaken, the whale sightings are never guaranteed.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 05:45 PM
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I promised to post after our Victoria whale watching excursion. Just experienced it last Thursday. We were the first boat out - saw no whales. We saw heron, a couple of eagles and lots of seals with their pups. I don't hold it against the tour folks that we didn't see whales - what happens happens. But, like the previous poster I felt they did nothing to enliven the excursion with commentary that could have made the experience interestng nonetheless. Most of the people on the boat dozed off - a pretty expensive nap.

We'd been to Victoria in the past so the other excursions were to places we had already seen. If I had to do it again I'd just walk around downtown or stay on the ship.

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