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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.

Highlights

  • 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

Recent Photos of This Tour

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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Itinerary

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

Jean V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Outstanding experience. Crew was helpful and informative.

Thomas F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

The whale watching part of the tour was fantastic. Not only did we get to see a pod of Orcas very close up, we actually had a humpback whale swim directly under our boat! Our tour guide said that was the first time she had ever seen that happen. What an experience. Because of all the whale activity out on the water, the tour spent extra time there, so our time at the glacier was cut a little short. I didn't mind at all though, seeing so many whales so close up was well worth it.

Michael R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This was a great way to spend our limited time in Juneau. We probably saw 25-30 whales, including both Humpback and Orcas! Apparently the Orca's were a rare siting so we were happy to have had perfect timing. We even saw some sea lions sunning themselves on a buoy! There was both inside and outside viewing on a smaller boat and snack mid way through the trip bagel and drinks. The second part of the trip was to Menenhall Glacier. We had enough time to hike down to the waterfall to get closer to the glacier and take some photos. There was a salmon walk too but since time was limited, we only walked a bit on that path. Enough to see the salmon in the creek and a porcupine in a tree. We missed a bear by minutes according to some others on our tour which was our only disappointment. I would have liked to spend a bit longer 30 minutes maybe here because we felt rushed but that was our cruises fault not the tour. We only had limited time. Next time I guess.

DForest12

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

It was a great tour. We saw a great number of whale sightings. We even got to see a bubble net feeding which is not very common. The glacier was amazing. The only small complaint was that the speaker system in the bus could use an upgrade

Lawrence P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Great fun and crew was very helpful. Saw many whales

Heather K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Amazing tour, very professional and organized. Whale watching was amazing and highlight of our cruise! We will definitely do again!

Doug C United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

We saw humpback whales bubble feeding which was amazing! The Captain and the girl on the boat talking to the group were both very good. Great excursion!

Margaret R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

The tour was outstanding! The guide and naturalist were so friendly and knowledgeable, the whales and other sea life super abundant, it couldn't have been a better trip.

Cal A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Very knowledgeable guides and very comfortable accommodations on the boat. Really enjoyed the tour.

Monster

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

We saw more than we ever expected and the personnel was outstanding!!!

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