We are cruising on the Golden Princess in July. In Juneau, we want to go whale watching but are trying to decide between the Princess shore excursion or going out on our own with Harv & Marv? Any advice will be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
We loved Princess's tour--Whale Watching and Orca Point Lodge. The boat was large and comfortable with good narration, and we saw lots of wildlife including many whales. The salmon bake lunch at the lodge was very good, and it was cooked outdoors and served indoors which was important to us. It was a cold rainy day and eating outside as many of the salmon bakes do, would have been miserable. It was the best tour of our cruise.
We went with Harv and Marv...fantastic! We saw Captain Larry on Orca and there is no way it could have been as personal as our viewing. We had 6 in our group and had the boat all to ourselves. Captain Steve was awesome...would go with them again in a heart beat. More than worth it!
I am pretty sure Dolphin Adventures is right off the pier as well. The same place where you catch the bus to Mendenhall Glacier. They bus you to Auke Bay and put you on a boat to take you to the whales.
I honestly don't know who is best (I think it is up to the whales to decide on any given day) but they all pretty much will go to the wherever the whales are - that's their job ;-)