Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Destinations > Alaska
Register Forgot Password?

LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd, 2009, 10:07 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 5
Default Cruising Alaska- which port for orca watching??

Hello- new to the boards. We just booked RC Serenade of the Seas for July 4-11 and are totally overwhelmed by the excursion choices. We really would like to optimize our chances of seeing orcas- Orca Enterprises would be the best way to go? We are going to add a day or two to Vancouver- so I was also looking at some of the whale watching charters there.

Advice, suggestions welcomed.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 4th, 2009, 08:32 AM
Yukon's Avatar
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Posts: 210
Send a message via MSN to Yukon Send a message via Yahoo to Yukon

Orca in Alaska are just luck of the draw - humpbacks are what's guaranteed. For guaranteed orca viewing, take a tour into the Gulf/San Juan Islands from Seattle or Victoria.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old January 4th, 2009, 09:30 AM
Donna's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: on my computer
Posts: 27,219
Send a message via AIM to Donna

I didn an excursion in Victoria where we saw lots of Orca's. In Juneau with Orka Enterprises it will be the humpback whales, another great tour.

Message Boards Moderator
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old January 7th, 2009, 03:18 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539

As mentioned, orcas are NOT usually seen with Alaska cruisers. With some round trip Seattle cruises they do port in Victoria, and orca whale watches are available there. HOWEVER, these tours are an hour shorter than the regular tours. Which means the southern resident pods have to be within range, and it's a large area. The tour operator will know, if you are going to see them or not before you go, but this is too late to cancel for a a refund. When I go to Victoria, I always go out at least twice to hedge my bets. I have also spent several days on the northern end of Vancouver Island in Port Hardy and Telegraph cove with tours of the northern residents. I went out on 4 trips the last time.

If you are sailing inside Vancouver Island, you can have a chance of seeing orcas. I have several times, BUT it takes time invested out on a forward viewing area with a good pair of WIDE angle binoculars. It helps to know the area, which may be difficult from a cruise ship, but I request information from the bridge. Carnival, HAL and Princess, at times, will detour to Robson Bight, which is an orca hot spot on southbound transits.

I am always up at least 1/2 prior to the posted dawn time on the northbound transit. Have seen orcas a couple times in that timeframe too.

Out of Juneau, you have a very slim chance of orcas, but 100% chance of humpbacks, same with whale watch tours out of Hoonah. Another, iffy chance of orcas out of Seward, but again, multiple trips will hedge the chance.
Reply With Quote


alaska, alaskan, chances, cruise, lines, oort, orca, orcas, port, ships, spot, vancouver, viewing, watching, yukon

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Orca vs. Allen Marine - whale watching Hedy Alaska 11 June 20th, 2011 01:29 PM
Orca Watching in Vancouver nujdawg Norwegian Cruise Lines 0 June 10th, 2007 11:19 AM
Victoria Question--Orca Whale watching nujdawg Alaska 1 April 9th, 2007 05:10 PM
Bear Watching Thru Orca Tour jessie1 Alaska 2 January 28th, 2006 04:48 PM
Anybody ever dealt with Orca whale watching? Therese Alaska 10 January 18th, 2002 01:48 PM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:12 PM.
design by: Themes by Design

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1