5 star rating: Highly Recommended 120 Reviews

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  • Location:Juneau, Alaska
  • Duration:3 hours (approx.)

Juneau Whale Watching Adventure and Mendenhall Glacier Tour

Discover the great outdoors of Alaska at its best on this 3-hour combo tour that features whale-watching and a visit to Mendenhall Glacier. From the comfort of a roomy, heated boat, enjoy unparalleled views of humpback whales, bald eagles, seals and sea lions, while learning about the wildlife from onboard naturalists. You'll also explore the trails of Mendenhall Glacier and learn about its formation.


  • Alaskan whale-watching and Mendenhall Glacier tour from Juneau
  • Travel through Auke Bay, Favorite Channel, Stephens Passage or Lynn Canal
  • Use provided binoculars while viewing whales and other marine wildlife
  • Explore Mendenhall Glacier and learn about its formation at the visitor center
  • Choose from a variety of morning and afternoon departure times to suit your schedule

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What You Can Expect

Juneau Whale Watching Adventure and Mendenhall Glacier Tour

Juneau Whale Watching Adventure with Optional Mendenahall Glacier Tour

Get ready for jaw-dropping views of wildlife and landscape beauty on this two-part tour. First, step aboard a boat fully enclosed and heated with a restroom on board. Depending on where the best whale sightings are that day, your captain sets voyage to Auke Bay, Favorite Channel, Stephens Passage, Lynn Canal or Saginaw Channel. Pick up the provided binoculars as you hear naturalist-guides share commentary on the wildlife you spot during the 2-hour cruise.

You can’t help but gasp when you see the massive and majestic humpback whales, which feed in the nutrient-rich Alaskan waters. From the outside viewing decks, snap unforgettable pictures or videos of the whales in action, perhaps catching a few breaching. Crew may lower hydrophones into the water so that you can listen to whales ‘speaking’ with each other.

After your whale sightings, visit Mendenhall Glacier, located between downtown Juneau and Auke Bay. During the 45 to 60 minutes you’ll spend here, learn about how the glacier was formed and stroll along one of the many nearby trails, spotting wildlife along the way.

Please note: You will not be permitted to stand on the glacier itself, but will enjoy unobstructed views from approximately one mile (1.6 km) away. Plus, whale sightings are guaranteed! If no whale is sighted on the tour, receive a refund of $100.00 per adult or $50.00 per child. Depending on which departure you select, you may visit the glacier before the whale-watching cruise.

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Which animals may be sighted on the Juneau Whale Watching Adventure?

Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

During the season humpback whales are spotted on more than 99% of the tours. There are many humpback whales that feed, socialize and play in the waters near Juneau from mid-April through October. Humpbacks are among the most playful whales, and often breach (leap from the water), bubble net feed, and slap their tails. Humpback whales are seen more often than any other mammal. Most of the humpback whales here in Juneau spend their winter in Hawaii. There are a few that can be found here year around.

Orca (Orcinus orca)
Orca whales, also known as 'killer' whales, can be seen any day of the year in the Juneau area. These hunters search for salmon and small marine mammals over a large area. A 'pod' of orca can be spotted about every 5 to 15 days during the summer, as they hunt nearby. Orca whales are active and fast-moving, and stay in tight family groups for their entire lives. The family pod will travel together with the dominant males traveling in a separate group nearby. The orca whales can be seen with their fins rising out of the water. The alpha male of the group will have the tallest fin, sometime up to 6 feet out of the water. These whales are found in all oceans over the world. Length up to 30 feet (9.1 meters).

Dall's Porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli)
This strikingly marked, fast-swimming porpoise loves to ride the bow wave of a boat...sometimes. They are very playful and will often jump out of the water. These animals are seen on most trips until July, and then occasionally through September. Length up to 6.5 feet (2 meters).

Harbor Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)
These quiet, shy animals are hard to spot and rarely surface more than once near boats. Occasionally seen in passing. Length up to 6 feet (1.8 meters).

Steller Sea Lions (Eumetopias jubatus)
Steller Sea Lions are curious and often approach the boat singly or in groups. Occasionally, these animals are known to steal fish from your fishing line. These animals can be seen hauled out on channel markers or rocks from April through September. In addition, these animals can be heard grunting continually while they sun themselves on the haul outs. Hundreds live near Juneau. Endangered and declining in western Alaska, but they are doing better in southeast Alaska. Males are up to 10.5 feet (3.2 meters), females are up to 7 feet (2.1 meters).

Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina)
Harbor seals are common, but shy and reclusive. These animals often haul out on rocks or blocks of ice. They can be seen as their small round heads bob in and out of the water. Seals exhale as they dive and can reach great depths. Hundreds live near Juneau and are seen on many of our tours. These cute little animals provide a favorite picture opportunity for many passengers on tour. Length up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

We were more than pleased with our Alaska Whale tour. We were able to find our location to board the bus to the tour easily. The tour guides were pleasant and worked hard to give us a good show. We saw numerous whales, including a mama and baby whale. Awesome. The complimentary hot chocolate was an added bonus. By booking thru viator we were able to save money verses booking off the cruise ship. I would definitely recommend this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

This trip was fantastic. It was the last run of the season, very few tourists and all the captains, mates and naturalists went with us for a last farewell to their whale friends. Even without those circumstances, all the employees we met were courteous, helpful, knowledgeable and plied us with soft drinks and soda and bagel with salmon for a snack. Could not recommend it more. Easy pickup up by shuttle and knowledgeable driver full of information about the area both to and from. Went out of their way to accomodate.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

This was a wonderful experience. The captain kept us moving towards where the whales were till we were in the midst of at least a dozen of them. We didn't know which one to look at first. It was a very exciting excursion. The Mendenhall Glacier Tour was also very informative. Not a lot of ice but a lot of information.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

The tour was outstanding - the Captain and Naturalist were very helpful and informative. The jet boats are great for travel and watching. And, we saw two whales breaching multiple times each - fantastic - good job!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Our excursion was wonderful. Can't wait to return to Alaska. Viator saved us money! Thank you!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Great tour we saw 5 whales!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

loved it .. Jet Boat tours went far above expectations

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Seeing the orcas and watching one breech right off the stern of the boat was phenominal.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Ashley and Amy ? were excellent tour guides for the whale watching on the Raven . We saw a rare sighting of several whales performing the bubble net maneuver and come up with mouths open simultaneously. Amazing! These girls are well suited for their positions with the tour and I'd recommend this tour to anyone!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

It was pretty rough, but loved our tour director and driver. We saw lots of whales and the trip to the glacier was spectacular, as well!

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Tour code: 3681WHALE


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