After port pickup, you’re taken to a pier where you’ll board a boat fully enclosed and heated with a marine restroom on board. Capacity is limited to 50 passengers on each boat, giving you plenty of space to move around. Depending on the day, your captain sets sail to Auke Bay, Favorite Channel, Stephens Passage, Lynn Canal or Saginaw Channel. Feel free to use the provided binoculars as you listen to naturalist-guides about the wildlife you see during the 2-hour cruise.
Look out for the star attraction in these waters — humpback whales, which feed in the nutrient-rich Alaskan waters. When a whale is sighted, step outside onto the viewing decks to capture pictures or videos of the whales in action. Crew may lower hydrophones into the water so that you can hear the whales communicate with each other.
The incredible sightseeing continues with a visit to Mendenhall Glacier, located between downtown Juneau and Auke Bay. Spend about 45 to 60 minutes here to soak up the scenery or explore one of the many trails.
Enjoy transport back to port, knowing that you made the most of your time in Juneau with this Mendenhall Glacier and whale-watching combo-tour.
Worry-free Shore Excursion:
We will ensure your timely return back to the ship in Juneau for this activity. If your ship is delayed and you are unable attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Whale sightings guaranteed! If no whale is sighted on the tour, you will be given a refund of USD$100.00 per adult and USD$50.00 per child.
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 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 humpback whales that can be found here year round. Length up to 56 feet (17 meters).
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 orcas is spotted every five to 15 days during the summer, as they hunt nearby. Orcas 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 orcas can be seen with their fins rising out of the water, with the alpha male with the tallest of the group. Length up to 30 feet or (9 meters).
Dall's Porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli)
The strikingly marked, fast-swimming porpoises love to ride the bow wave of a boat. They are very playful and will often jump out of the water, delighting passengers. These animals are seen on most trips until July, and then occasionally through September. These fun playful creatures are a wonderful addition to any trip. 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. They are 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. They can be seen hauled out on channel markers or rocks from April through September and can be heard grunting continually while they sun themselves. Hundreds live near Juneau. Endangered with a declining population in western Alaska, they are doing better in southeast Alaska. Length up to 10.5 feet (3.2 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 tours. These cute creatures are a favorite photo opportunity for many passengers. Length up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).