Auke Bay, Alaska
Whale Watching Auke Bay Reviews
Whale Watching in Auke Bay Jul 03, 2008
While visiting Juneau, my friend had one day off and we opted to go whale watching since he had never been. There are a number of tours offered near the cruise ship docks which involve a short bus ride to Auke Bay and a 3 hour tour in the Bay. Numerous tour times exist so no worries about having to get up super early if you don't want to!
The highlight of whale watching in this area is the humpback sightings. Unfortunately, due to a shortage of food, the humpbacks are not as playful and do not breach as often because they spend their time searching for food so do not be disappointed if you do not see a whale in a magnificent breach like you see on posters and on TV.
If you are lucky, you will get an Orca sighting which is said to be somewhat rare. We lucked out that day and saw Orcas right off the bat - the guide said it was only the 2nd time in two weeks they had been spotted. You definitely need a telephoto lens and a camera without a delay to capture good shots of these guys! Seems like they are up and gone in an instant!
We did see a couple humpbacks which require a significant amount of patience to spot. They can go down for approximately 7-8 minutes on a dive in search of food! And don't expect them to pop up anywhere near where you think as they will be on the opposite side of the boat from what you thought!
It seemed like the 3 hours flew by and I had hoped we would've seen more whales but considering we spent a considerable chunk of the tour following the Orcas, I was happy with the overall experience. What I didn't know at the time though was that I was going to do the Tracy Arm Fjord tour two days later which provided better whale watching opportunities!
My recommendation is that if you only have part of a day to do sightseeing, then do a whale watching tour but if you have a full day or multiple days to explore, do not waste the extra $120-$150 on the whale watching itself - put it towards the Fjord tour where you still see seals, bald eagles, humpbacks, and we even saw Orcas twice during the trip!
Part of the 4th of July Weekend in Juneau, Alaska (2008) travel blog
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