PRIVATE & SMALL GROUP TOURS TO THE WORLD'S BEST DESTINATIONS
Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!
Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour
Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights
Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure
What Kind Of Whales Will You See In Juneau?
Seeing whales is a bucket list item for almost everyone who visits Alaska. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities to see these gentle giants during your trip, but there are better times of the year than others to visit. Before you set off on your Alaskan adventure, knowing where and when to go whale watching in Alaska is essential!
Juneau is one of the best whale-watching spots in Alaska. Pacific humpback whales migrate to Juneau after wintering in Hawaii, drawn by the nutrient-dense waters surrounding the city. Whale watching in Juneau, Alaska is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Not only can you see humpback whales on Juneau, Alaska whale watching tours, but you can also see orcas, or killer whales. Porpoises, Steller sea lions, and harbor seals are also frequent visitors to the bays and harbors near the city.
The Best Time To See Whales In Alaska
If you want to know when the best time to see whales in Alaska is, the answer depends on which species you want to see! Gray whales, orcas, and humpback whales tend to appear at slightly different times throughout the year. Gray whales begin arriving in Alaska in April, while transient Orcas are seen more frequently beginning in early May. But if it's humpback whales you want to see, late May is the best time to visit Alaska – and Juneau, more specifically. By the end of this month, more than 600 humpback whales can be found in the waters around Juneau. The whales spend their feeding season (from May through September) here, which means Juneau, Alaska whale watching tours are fully operational during this time.
Where Can You Take A Whale Watching Tour In Juneau?
During the summer months, whale watching tours in Juneau, Alaska are offered daily. Popular boat tours take visitors to Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm, where whale sightings are almost guaranteed and you will be sure to spot multiple whales on a single trip! Humpback whales are the most easily spotted type of whale near Juneau, but the orca (or killer whale) is also a frequent visitor to the area. To see these magnificent creatures, consider reserving a spot on one of these three popular cruises:
- Whales, glaciers, and rainforests half-day tour – spend a day whale watching, enjoying scenic views of Alaska glaciers, and exploring the Alaskan rainforest. Start your day with a two-and-a-half-hour boat tour, where you’ll search for humpback whales, orcas, seals, sea lions, and porpoises. Enjoy stories told by knowledgeable guides, as well as the underwater song of the whales themselves through a hydrophone! After the boat tour, take a hike through a secluded rainforest, where you can see black bears, spawning salmon, and scenic views of Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls.
- Tracy Arm full-day tour – Tracy Arm is a glacial fjord approximately 45 miles south of Juneau. The surrounding waters are a haven for humpback and orca whales, both of which can be seen on this full-day tour. Enjoy views of the nearby mountains, glaciers, icebergs, and waterfalls during your cruise, with sightings of seal pups in the water and bears and goats along the shore. This popular tour is perfect for whale watching near Juneau, Alaska, and for enjoying the natural beauty of Alaska at its best.
- A full-day cruise through Prince William Sound – take the all-day Meares Glacier excursion through Prince William Sound and enjoy looking for humpbacks, orcas, porpoises, sea otters, seals, sea lions, and puffins! The boat will cruise within 1,000 feet of the Meares Glacier, which means you will be close enough to see it calf – if you’re lucky!
Planning A DIY Whale Watching Tour
While guided tours are one of the most popular ways to go whale watching in Juneau, Alaska, you can also plan your own whale watching adventure! One of the best places to see whales without a tour in Juneau is at Cross Sound. Two-thirds of all the humpback whales that migrate from Hawaii to Alaska spend the summer months feeding in Cross Sound, making this a popular whale-watching destination. You can also spot whales near Elfin Cove, where humpback whales congregate to feed. This location also has a nice view of Brady Glacier, so you can take in the scenery and see whales while avoiding crowds, too. But if a feeding frenzy is more your speed, Amalga Harbor is the place to go! Orcas are drawn to the harbor to feed on salmon during the annual salmon runs, while sea lions can be seen there, too.
Summer Whale Watching Adventures In Alaska
The best time to see whales in Alaska is from mid-May to September. Juneau is undoubtedly one of the best places to see these magnificent creatures. Still, there are many other locations in Alaska that offer fantastic whale watching tours for visitors in the summer. If seeing a whale up close is on your bucket list, get ready to be awed by the sight of these amazing creatures!