- Juneau combo: whale-watching cruise and salmon hatchery tour
- Spot humpback whales and other marine animals such as seals and orcas with the help of an onboard naturalist
- Enjoy the design of the whale-spotting boat, which puts you at water level for a better view
- Visit the Ladd Macaulay Salmon Hatchery for a behind-the-scenes tour
- Learn about the lifecycle of king and coho salmon, and touch ocean creatures like starfish and sea cucumbers
- Salmon tastings included
What You Can Expect
Forward-facing seats inside the heated cabin offer good views of the water, and the water-jet drives provide quiet underwater operation without dangerous propellers that may scare or harm the whales. All of this adds up to whales that feel safe around the boat and will come close! Humpback whales actively feed and play in the area from May to September. You may also see other local animals like orcas, seals, sea lions and porpoises.
Learn about the whales’ habits and behaviors from the onboard naturalist, and snack on tastings of Alaskan salmon, Alaskan chocolate and fudge, washed down with soft drinks, hot chocolate and bottled water. You can even hear the whales’ underwater communication – or ‘singing’ – via your boat’s underwater hydrophone.
When your 2-hour whale-watching cruise ends, travel by refurbished military bus to the Ladd Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, part of a non-profit organization that works to sustain Alaska’s important salmon population through research, education and tourism.
During your 35-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the hatchery, you’ll learn about the lifecycle of salmon – from egg to adult – and see their near-shore marine environment. With a knowledgeable guide, find out what goes on at a salmon hatchery, including the hatchery’s Salmon Smolt and Rearing Facility, where four large raceways hold king and coho smolt (young salmon). Check out the 5,000-gallon (18,900-liter) saltwater aquarium and the touch tank, where you can touch starfish, crab, sea cucumbers and other ocean critters.
Round out your salmon experience with tastings of king salmon dip, salmon jerky, canned smoked salmon and salmon caviar. You'll then return by bus to the Mt Roberts Tramway, where your tour began.