9. Hoonah: Icy Straight Whale Watching Tour
Your tour will begin as you meet at the cruise pier, where your guide will take you by air-conditioned minivan to your charter boat. The drive offers some amazing views as you pass along Shaman Point where you can observe the local wildlife, including Alaskan Brown Bears, bald eagles, blacktail deer, and more.
From here you will cruise around watching orcas, sea otters, sea lions, porpoises, seals and the feeding humpbacks in their natural habitat. Humpback whales come to Hoonah in great numbers to feed on the nutrient rich waters of Glacier Bay and Icy Strait every summer, beginning in May before migrating south again in September for the winter.
You can marvel at the sight of humpback whales, large baleen whales that can reach over 50 feet in length and weigh as much as 30-50 tons. Amazingly, active typical whale sightings will include diving, blows, and flukes (tails). Lucky whale-watchers may get to see breaching and bubble-net feeding, a cooperative feeding method where a pod forms a circle and dives under the water; they then blow air to create a wall of bubbles that force krill and plankton to the surface where the whales can eat them. Observing humpbacks practice bubble-net feeding is a real treat and a truly thrilling experience.
Designed for speed, your boat provides comfort and luxury, perfect for spotting the wildlife along Alaska's waterways. You will stay warm and dry with viewing decks and heated cabins whilst experiencing the wonder and beauty of your whale-watching trip. You will later return to the docks from where you will be transported back to Icy Strait Point with plenty of time to explore downtown Hoonah.