What To Expect On Your Juneau Whale Watching Tour

by | Jun 21, 2023

What To Expect On Your Juneau Whale Watching Tour

Welcome to your Juneau whale watching tour! My name is [name] and I’m an expert in all things whales. On this journey, you’ll get the chance to observe some of nature’s most majestic creatures up close and personal. If you’re a first-time whale watcher, don’t worry – I’ve got everything you need to know right here. So let’s dive into what you can expect on your Juneau whale watching tour!

The waters around Juneau are home to many different species of whales year-round, including humpback whales, killer whales, belugas, and more. It’s common for us to spot several types of these incredible creatures during our trips out on the water – so keep your eyes peeled! During your trip with me as your guide, I’ll provide interesting facts about each type of whale we see along with tips for spotting them from afar.

We also make sure to take it slow on every tour – there’s no rush when it comes to appreciating these amazing animals in their natural habitat! We spend plenty of time just observing the behavior of the pods that come near us before continuing onwards through the beautiful Alaskan waters. By slowing down and taking the time to watch patiently, we often get rewarded with unforgettable experiences like breaching or spy hopping (when they stick their head out above water)!

Best Time Of Year To Go

Juneau whale watching tours are best enjoyed in the summer months. From late May to mid-September, you can expect to encounter humpback whales and other marine life as they migrate through Alaska waters. During this period of time, the weather is milder and more bearable than at any other time of year. Plus, there’s an abundance of wildlife around – providing a thrilling experience for all involved! In addition, peak season here in Juneau offers longer days allowing for more generous viewing opportunities throughout the tour. Now let’s talk about where these incredible journeys take place…

Location Of The Tour

Juneau is the perfect place for your whale watching tour! Nestled in Alaska’s lush Tongass National Forest, this coastal town offers unparalleled views of majestic humpback whales. Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to explore its rich culture and history while taking in the beauty of nature.

Here are some things to know about Juneau’s location before your excursion:

  1. The city sits at the foot of Mount Juneau which overlooks Gastineau Channel
  2. You can reach it by boat or plane from nearby cities such as Sitka or Ketchikan
  3. There are a variety of wildlife spotting tours available all year round
  4. It provides access to an array of unique activities like kayaking, fishing, and glacier trekking

Not only will you get amazing views during your tour but also be able to experience the thrill and excitement that comes with spotting whales in their natural habitat. With expert guides who are passionate about both marine life conservation and providing visitors with incredible experiences, you’re sure to have an unforgettable journey.

And now that you know where the tour takes place, let’s talk about what exactly to wear when embarking on a whale watching expedition…

What To Wear

When it comes to clothing for a whale watching tour in Juneau, you’ll want to be prepared. It can get chilly on the boat so make sure you wear layers that are easy to take off and put back on if needed. A warm hat, gloves, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also essential items as well. Don’t forget your rain gear – even if it’s sunny when we set out, weather conditions can change very quickly here! Make sure everything is water-proof and durable enough to withstand some sea spray too.

Most importantly, wear comfortable shoes with a good grip. This will help keep you steady while moving around the boat during our excursion. We recommend something like rubber-soled deck or boating shoes – avoid flip-flops or open-toed sandals since they could easily slip off into the ocean! With these few things in mind, you’ll have no problem staying warm and safe throughout your whale watching adventure.

Now that you know what to wear, let’s talk about essential equipment to bring along…

Essential Equipment To Bring

When you’re heading out for a whale watching tour, it’s important to come prepared. There are some essential items that you should bring with you in order to make sure your experience is enjoyable and safe. Firstly, binoculars are an absolute must when looking out for whales on the horizon – they’ll help you get a better view of these majestic creatures up close! A warm coat or raincoat is also advisable as Juneau can get quite chilly during certain times of the year, especially if there happens to be windy weather. Finally, don’t forget to bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen – being hydrated and protected from sunburn will ensure your whale watching journey is comfortable and memorable. With this gear packed and ready to go, let’s take a look at the different species of whales you might see!

Different Species Of Whales You Might See

The Juneau area is a veritable playground for whales! With the variety of species that migrate through here, there’s sure to be something special swimming by on your tour. From towering humpbacks to sleek orcas, you’ll have front-row seats to an incredible show if you’re lucky enough.

First up are the majestic humpback whales. These gentle giants can grow up to 50 feet in length and weigh over 40 tons when fully grown. They feed primarily on small schooling fish such as herring or capelin and will often lunge out of the water during feeding times. You may also see them breaching, tail-slapping, and spy-hopping around Juneau waters.

Next are killer whales – more commonly known as orcas. The largest member of the dolphin family, these sleek black-and-white predators specialize in hunting marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, and even sharks! While they don’t typically come close to shore in Juneau, there’s always a chance one might surprise us with an appearance while we’re out whale watching.

We could spot any number of other cetaceans too – minke whales, porpoises, dolphins – all offering unique glimpses into their lives beneath the waves. With luck, your trip will provide plenty of exciting sights and sounds from some very remarkable creatures! Now let’s take a look at how close you can get…

How Close You Can Get To The Whales

The next item on the agenda is how close you can get to the whales. As a whale watching tour guide, I must remind everyone that respect for wildlife should always be of paramount importance: never approach too closely or encroach upon their space. There are legal distances that boats need to stay from certain species in order to maintain healthy relationships between us and them.

For most baleen whales – humpbacks, minkes, blues, finbacks, and gray whales – we try not to come any closer than 100 yards as this allows our passengers an intimate experience without disturbing them. For sea mammals like dolphins and porpoises, it’s typically okay if we cut the distance down even more; they have been known to approach vessels out of curiosity now and then! But beware: these smaller creatures may seem friendly but they still possess powerful teeth so keep your hands away (just in case).

When observing orcas (also known as “killer” whales) however, there are special regulations enforced by federal law which mandate that all tour boats remain at least 200 yards away from them at all times. This is done both for safety reasons and also because orcas require greater protection due to their endangered status. It’s true that sometimes wild-eyed orcas will swim up close alongside the boat – especially when hunting prey – but don’t worry: those encounters usually only last a few seconds before they return back into deeper water.

Now let’s move on to discussing other marine life you may spot during your Juneau whale watching tour…

Other Marine Wildlife You May Spot

Hold on tight! As you venture out deeper into the waters of Juneau, you never know what kind of marine wildlife may cross your path. On any given tour, we could spot a variety of creatures from:

Seals and Sea Lions:

  • Harbor seals are the most common to spot while whale watching in Alaska’s coastal waters. They can range in size from 4-6 feet long and usually live in small groups around rocky areas.
  • Steller sea lions are larger than harbor seals with males growing up to 10 feet long and weighing over 2,000 pounds. We have seen them lounging near our boats as well as playing together like dogs do on land.


  • Bald eagles, puffins, murres, cormorants, and other birds are often spotted along our tours looking for fish or resting nearby before they take flight again. It’s always exciting when one swoops down close enough that you can see its feathers shimmering in the sunlight!
  • Fish & Other Animals:
  • You also might get a glimpse at some Dall porpoises jumping through the waves or salmon swimming against the current beneath your boat. Every once in a while an otter will even make an appearance!

No matter which animals decide to join us on our journey, it is sure to be a memorable experience filled with beauty and wonderment. With all these potential sights to behold, let’s now discuss safety considerations so everyone has fun and stays safe during their tour…

Safety Considerations

Now that you know about the other marine wildlife you may encounter during your whale watching tour, let’s talk about safety considerations. Safety is of utmost importance on any excursion, and a Juneau whale watching tour is no exception!

First off, always listen to the instructions given by your guide before and throughout your trip. This includes putting on life jackets if they are provided, remaining seated while the boat is in motion, not throwing anything into the water or onto the shoreline, and keeping hands and feet inside at all times unless instructed otherwise. All these measures will help ensure everyone’s well-being as well as protect wild animals from potential harm.

Second, be aware of where you’re standing when taking pictures. Make sure to keep an eye out for any obstacles so you don’t slip or fall over them. Additionally, watch out for slippery surfaces like wet decks – it can be easy to lose balance quickly if you aren’t paying attention. Also, consider using binoculars instead of zooming with a camera lens; this helps avoid scaring away wildlife due to sudden movements or loud noises.

Finally, pay close attention to weather conditions both before and during your tour. High winds or rough waters can make it difficult to spot whales clearly as well as increase chances of sea sickness; bear in mind that heavy rain may also force tours to be canceled unexpectedly! With proper precautions taken care of beforehand however, there should be nothing stopping you from having an enjoyable experience on your Juneau whale watching adventure! Now let’s move on to discussing tour duration and cost…

Tour Duration And Cost

The cost of a whale watching tour in Juneau is low compared to the immense reward you will receive. You’ll be able to witness nature’s majestic creatures up close, and at an affordable price! Our tours typically last between 2-3 hours but can take longer if we are lucky enough to spot multiple whales. During this time, your experienced guide will provide interesting facts about whales and answer any questions you may have. We also have high-quality binoculars on board for everyone to use so that even when a whale dives deep into the depths of the ocean, you won’t miss out on any of the action! Now it’s time to grab your camera – let’s move on to tips for capturing great photos!

Tips For Capturing Great Photos

Now that you know the duration and cost of a Juneau whale watching tour, it’s time to learn how to capture amazing photos. Photographing whale is an incredible experience, as these majestic creatures offer up some truly stunning photo opportunities. With just a few tips, your photos will be sure to impress!

First off, make sure you have the right camera equipment for the job. A DSLR or mirrorless camera paired with a telephoto lens gives you greater control over exposure settings and allows for better close-up shots. However, even if all you have with you is your smartphone camera, this can still work in getting clear pictures of the whales from afar. Also, make sure to bring plenty of memory cards and extra batteries since there are no outlets on board the boat.

Next, take advantage of lighting when taking pictures. Natural light from sunrise or sunset creates interesting long shadows that can add depth to your images. If possible try to avoid shooting directly against the sun as this will create harsh backlighting which can ruin a shot. To reduce glare on sunny days use natural shade such as trees or clouds; otherwise a polarizing filter is recommended for reducing reflections off water surfaces.

Finally, don’t forget about composition when framing your subject matter – always aim to keep something interesting in both foreground and background elements while avoiding empty spaces in between them. Try experimenting with different angles like shooting vertically rather than horizontally and play around with various perspectives until you get the perfect shot!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There A Minimum Age To Go On A Whale Watching Tour?

Ahoy there! Do you have a landlubber in your party who wants to go whale watching? We’re happy to accommodate the wee ones, but here’s something that must be considered – is there a minimum age requirement for joining us on what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience?

Let me put it this way: if you’re young enough to know how to say “Whale Watching” – then you’re good to come along. That being said, we do require parental permission and supervision if someone younger than 18 years of age wishes to join us. This isn’t just any old jaunt around town; rather, it requires respect for the mighty creatures of the sea and an understanding that our environment should always be treated with care.

So grab your binoculars and set sail with us as we embark on an epic journey into Alaskan waters. There’s no telling what kind of whales we’ll encounter or which majestic views will unfold before our eyes during the trip. With so much potential wonder out at sea, why shouldn’t everyone get to take part in this incredible adventure? The answer is simple – they can!

No matter the age, experience level, or background of each voyager aboard our ship, everyone has an equal opportunity to witness whales breaching off in the distance or see other wildlife swimming alongside our vessel. So prepare yourselves for breathtaking sights and memories that are sure to last a lifetime!

Are There Restroom Facilities Available On The Tour?

Yes, there are restroom facilities available on the whale watching tour. Our vessels have modern bathroom facilities complete with running water and flush toilets. This means you’ll be able to stay out at sea longer without worrying about getting back in time for a restroom break.

The advantages of having these amenities onboard include:


  • You don’t need to worry about feeling uncomfortable while on board our vessel;
  • The bathrooms provide an extra level of privacy that can help make your trip more enjoyable;
  • All restrooms are regularly maintained and cleaned throughout the day.


  • Restrooms are located within easy reach so you won’t have to go far when nature calls;
  • There is plenty of space for everyone, making it easier for both large and small groups to use them together;
  • Bathroom lines move quickly due to the efficient layout of each vessel’s restroom area.

Additionally, all our boats feature oversized viewing windows which allow passengers to take in stunning views of whales, glaciers, mountains, and other wildlife during their journey. With such breathtaking sights coupled with quality restroom accommodations, we guarantee a memorable experience every time!

How Deep Is The Water In The Area?

The deep, blue abyss of the Juneau water awaits us on our whale watching tour. As we glide through these mysterious depths, I’m often asked how far down can we expect to go.

To answer that question, let’s explore a few key facts about the depth of this special area:

  • The average depth in this part of Alaska is approximately 400 feet.
  • There are some spots where it could get as deep as 1,200 feet!
  • In other areas, you may find shallow waters at just 50-100 ft below the surface.

As an experienced tour guide and certified diver, rest assured we will always remain within safe limits while exploring these mesmerizing depths and its many inhabitants. From humpback whales to harbor seals to fin whales – there’s something for everyone beneath the waves here in Juneau! And don’t forget your camera; with such staggering depths comes vast amounts of beauty waiting to be captured by even amateur photographers!

We hope you’ll join us for an unforgettable journey into the underwater world off the coast of Juneau where each dive site offers new surprises and memories that will last a lifetime. So come along and prepare yourself for an adventure like no other!

Are There Any Discounts Available For Senior Citizens Or Large Groups?

Are there any discounts available for senior citizens or large groups? That’s a great question! Here at Juneau Whale Watching Tours, we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to experience whale watching in Alaska. In fact, we offer discounts for both seniors and larger groups of travelers.

To start with, if you’re a senior citizen over 65 years old, you can enjoy 20% off on our standard tour packages. We also have special group rates for parties consisting of 6 people or more – so be sure to bring your friends along!

Our goal is to provide everyone with an unforgettable whale watching experience while keeping it affordable. That’s why we strive to not only cover all aspects of what makes up a memorable tour but also ensure that our prices remain competitive. So whether you’re traveling alone or taking advantage of one of our discounted options – come join us on one of our tours and embark on an exciting adventure filled with majestic sights in nature!

Will I Be Provided With Binoculars Or Should I Bring My Own?

When it comes to whale watching tours, one of the most frequently asked questions is whether you will be provided with binoculars or if you should bring your own. As an expert in Juneau whale watching tours, I’d like to provide some insight into this question.

To begin, many tour companies do offer binoculars for guests on their trips; however, they cannot guarantee that everyone will have access to them as availability may vary depending on group size and other factors. For best results, bringing your own binoculars can help ensure a more enjoyable experience.

Here are a few features to consider when selecting binoculars:

  1. Magnification level – Will directly determine how far away objects appear
  2. Object lens diameter– Larger lenses allow more light through which improves visibility
  3. Quality of optics– Look for multi-coated optics for maximum clarity
  4. Weight & Comfort– Make sure they fit comfortably in your hands before deciding!

If you’re looking to purchase binoculars specifically for whale watching, there are plenty of options available ranging from basic models all the way up to high-end professional equipment. However, not everyone has the budget or need for such advanced gear so even mid-level options can still give great results. That being said, always make sure whichever pair you go with meets at least the minimum requirements mentioned above.

No matter what type of binoculars you use during your tour, having them on hand can dramatically increase the quality of your experience by allowing you to get up close and personal with wildlife without disturbing them – something every nature lover should appreciate! So don’t forget: Whether it’s a pair provided by your tour company or ones that you brought yourself, having binoculars ready makes any whale watching trip much more rewarding.


Welcome aboard! I’m your trusty whale watching tour guide and I’ll be taking you on an incredible journey through the waters of Juneau.

As we set out to sea, I want to make sure that everyone is safe and comfortable throughout the voyage. To answer a few questions: there’s no minimum age requirement for our tours; bathroom facilities are available onboard; the water depths range from shallow to deep so prepare accordingly; discounts may be available in certain cases like seniors or large groups – just ask us ahead of time; binoculars will be provided but feel free to bring your own if you wish.

Now, let’s get ready for some spectacular sights as we explore this majestic landscape filled with whales, porpoises, and other wildlife! Get ready for moments you won’t soon forget as these wonderful creatures gracefully swim around us – it almost feels like they welcome us into their underwater world. So sit back, relax, and enjoy each moment as we take this unique adventure together!

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