Alaska
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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Our most recommended Alaska Dolphin & Whale Watching

Seward: Kenai Fjords National Park 6-Hour Cruise

1. Seward: Kenai Fjords National Park 6-Hour Cruise

Board one of the largest catamarans in the region and spend a day filled with wildlife, glaciers, mountains, and more. See whales and glaciers in Resurrection Bay and learn the history of the region from a National park Ranger. The cruise begins by searching for wildlife in the protected waters of Resurrection Bay. Whales, sea otters, and puffins are often sighted within minutes of leaving the harbor. A National Park Ranger will provide information on the area's wildlife, glaciers, fjords, and history. Stop at one tidewater glacier that has frequent calving events, where giant chunks of glacial ice break off and crash into the water. A full bar is available for those wanting to enjoy an Alaskan Amber or glacier margarita. Savor a deli-style lunch on board while you cruise.

Valdez: 6-Hour Columbia Glacier Cruise

2. Valdez: 6-Hour Columbia Glacier Cruise

Take a 6-hour journey through Prince William Sound, featuring a visit to the Columbia Glacier area. Jump on the chance to view history in the making and retreat back into the Chugach Mountains. Embark on a sightseeing cruise and explore first Port Valdez. Learn about early explorers, oil shipping, commercial fishing, and pass by cascading waterfalls down the coastal mountains. Travel through the Valdez Narrows and enjoy a hot soup lunch to prepare for the adventure ahead. Head through Prince William Sound and try to catch sight of seals, sea otters, sea lions, porpoise, Orca, Humpback Whales, puffing, bald eagles, and more. Enter into Columbia Bay and don your warm layers and winter gear. Discover a world surrounded by ice, largely untouched by people. Return in time to explore the Valdez community and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Seward: Kenai Fjords National Park 7.5-Hour Cruise

3. Seward: Kenai Fjords National Park 7.5-Hour Cruise

Step aboard a stable, high-speed catamaran for a full day exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. Start your cruise in Resurrection Bay where you'll will learn about the park, the surrounding area and wildlife from an experienced captain. Allow your captain to take you to the best wildlife viewing areas for the opportunity to see stunning marine life including whales, otters, seals and thousands of seabirds. Head out into the Gulf of Alaska past Bear Glacier, the largest glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. Take advantage of getting up close with 2 active tidewater glaciers, Aialik Glacier and Holgate Glacier as your cruise stops nearby. Watch for calving, where giant chunks of glacier ice break off and crash into the water. Experienced deckhands will secure a chunk of glacier ice to make the most amazing cocktails and glacier margaritas.

Juneau: Whale Watching Adventure

4. Juneau: Whale Watching Adventure

You will depart from the tram area in downtown Juneau on a bus driven by a local tour guide through a scenic route to Auke Bay, where you board a comfortable jet boat. The captain and naturalist will lead the way on an unforgettable search for whales in Favorite Channel, Stephens Passage, Lynn Canal, or Saginaw Channel. Binoculars are provided so you can see the humpbacks, killer whales, Dall’s porpoises, harbor seals, Steller sea lions, bald eagles, black bears, and towering mountains better. With the growing abundance of whales in the area and their comfort with small boats, you are bound to see many! This tour is three hours total, including transfers between downtown and Auke Bay and two hours on the water. Included in the price of the tour are onboard refreshments including bottled water, coffee, hot chocolate, and a small snack of locally caught Alaskan salmon spread on a fresh bagel.

From Valdez: 7.5-hour Meares Glacier & Wildlife Cruise

5. From Valdez: 7.5-hour Meares Glacier & Wildlife Cruise

Enjoy a cruise through the Prince William Sound, spot bald eagles, orcas, and visit the advancing Meares Glacier on a 7.5-hour adventurous cruise through the heart of the area. Begin your day by exploring Port Valdez where you will learn about early explorers, oil shipping, and commercial fishing. Cruise by waterfalls cascading down coastal mountains as you travel the calm waters of the Sound to Unakwik Inlet. Encounter marine birds and wildlife at incredible locations on the water. Look out for sea otters, sea lions, and porpoises. Watch out for wildlife including majestic humpback whales and sea birds such as puffins. Spend some time relaxing on the boat in front of the Meares Glacier and witness some calving activity, where the ice falls into the ocean. Be served lunch as you depart Meares Glacier. Pass a bullhead sea lion Haulout, to watch the sea lions resting before returning to Valdez at 5:00 PM.

Juneau: Humpback Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier

6. Juneau: Humpback Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier

Seamlessly combine two of Juneau's favorite activities on this whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier tour. Marvel at majestic humpback whales in the company of a naturalist guide, and select from a range of trails to discover Mendenhall Glacier, the world's only drive-up glacier. Upon check-in, you will either be escorted to one of the shuttles for a narrated 25-minute drive to the glacier, or to the boat harbor for whale watching. On the glacier section of the tour, you can choose to hike to Nugget Falls (1.5 hours round trip), take the Photo Point Trail (40 minutes round trip), look for wildlife along the Steep Creek trail, or stroll up the easy walk to the Visitor Center. Take your time at the glacier with flexible shuttles back to town every 30 minutes. During your time on the water whale watching, your naturalist guide will explain the feeding habits of these magnificent creatures and identify the many other kinds of wildlife that share these waters. Enjoy an enhanced experience on a custom-built boat with a warm heated cabin with large viewing windows, and two decks to hurry to when the captain slows after spotting the whales. There is a bathroom onboard and snacks are also provided.

Juneau: Whale Watching and Wildlife Cruise with Local Guide

7. Juneau: Whale Watching and Wildlife Cruise with Local Guide

Head out on a wildlife adventure in Juneau on a whale watching cruise. Glide over the ocean in search of these marvellous creatures, taking in the impressive surrounding coastal landscape as you sip on drinks and tuck into snacks onboard. Begin your adventure in downtown Juneau at the central cruise ship terminal. Enjoy a narrated and scenic drive to the small boat harbor, where you meet your captain and crew. Board your state-of-the-art whale watching boat, built specifically for this purpose. After a short safety briefing, embark on a search for whales and other wildlife off the coast of Alaska. As your boat navigates protected ocean waterways and channels, ride in comfort with multiple viewing decks and restrooms onboard. As you search for whales, learn about the area's flora and fauna from your local guide. Once whales are spotted, view the animals from a safe distance with plenty of photo opportunities. Marvel at their majestic beauty as they glide smoothly through the water, hopefully seeing a whale breach out of the ocean or slap its tale on the surface. Keep a lookout for other water wildlife along the way, including seals, sea lions, eagles, and more. Once you've soaked up this natural landscape, return back to the boat harbor where your driver will bring you back to downtown Juneau.

Juneau: Sentinel Lighthouse and Whale Watching Cruise

8. Juneau: Sentinel Lighthouse and Whale Watching Cruise

Cruise to the Sentinel Island Lighthouse and search for humpback and orca whales on this cruise from Juneau. Snack on locally produced Alaskan fudge, granola bars (or similar), and caribou sausage sticks. Relax with beverages like coffee, tea, and water.  Be picked up from the meeting point in a comfortable van and listen to  facinating commentary as you ride to Auke Bay (Don D. Statter Harbor). Meet your captain and crew. Board the ship and venture off to explore the rugged Alaskan shoreline. Relax in a heated cabin with a hot cup of coffee and enjoy outside viewing areas while watching for wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of local sea life like humpback whales, killer whales, Dall porpoises, harbor porpoises, harbor seals, and Steller sea lions. Sail through Alaska's Inside Passage and learn about whales and the history of Alaska's lighthouses. Once humpbacks are spotted the captain will maneuver the vessel into position for the best photo opportunity possible. Arrive at Sentinel Island and disembark the ship for a short walk on a scenic boardwalk with photo opportunities along the way. View Lynn Canal, (one of the longest and deepest fjords in the world) and the surrounding islands and waterways. Immerse yourself in history as you approach the Sentinel Lighthouse and think of the maritime history that goes back to its construction in 1902. Visualize the isolated life of a lighthouse keeper. Pursue a shop with commemorative lighthouse pins, t-shirts, caps, and sweatshirts that are available for purchase with proceeds benefiting ongoing lighthouse restoration. Climb the lighthouse tower, inspect the beacon, and look out at Lynn Canal. Return to the boat for a scenic ride to Yankee Cove to meet up with a driver that will take you on a trip to the Brotherhood Bridge viewpoint where you can see the Mendenhall Glacier (weather permitting). Head back to the ship and return to your meeting point in Juneau.

Hoonah: Icy Straight Whale Watching Tour

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.

Juneau: Whale Watching Cruise with Snacks and Beverages

10. Juneau: Whale Watching Cruise with Snacks and Beverages

Explore the Alaskan coast on this sightseeing cruise from Juneau. Admire glaciers and lighthouses as you search for a variety of local wildlife. Keep cozy with the heated cabin and bathroom. Relax with complementary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Board the ship at the meeting point in Juneau and venture off to explore the rugged Alaskan shoreline. Be on the lookout to see a variety of local sea life like humpback whales, killer whales, Dall porpoises, harbor porpoises, harbor seals and Steller sea lions. Listen as your naturalist guide provides a facinating look into the lives of the majestic creatures that you see. Observe the habitats of bald eagles and try to spot their nests. Search for seagulls, surf scoters, oyster catchers, and harlequin ducks. Capture pictures of the Point Retreat Lighthouse and Sentinel Lighthouse. Return to the starting point of your cruise at the end of your tour.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Alaska

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What people are saying about Alaska

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 2 reviews

One of the best boat tours I have ever taken. The weather made the trip spectacular but I was very impressed with the boat handling and narration from the captain. We saw pods of orcas, a humpback and lots of other wildlife. They provide binoculars, lunch, a snack and even made some glacier ice margaritas.

The tour was excellent. The crew really want out of their way to locate wildlife for us to view. They even went the extra mile and stayed longer at the ice glacier to make sure everyone got to take enough pictures. Prices onboard for food and beverages was very reasonably priced

It was a great trip, even through rough seas in the Gulf of Alaska crossing. Excellent captain and a friendly and knowledgeable crew. We saw eagles, seals, orcas, otters, and Daal porpoises and got a bit of history on each. Fantastic!

We were lucky enough to be able to see two different pods of killer whales on our tour. The views were breathtaking and the crew did an awesome job.

Very hospitable guides and passionate about whales!