PRIVATE & SMALL GROUP TOURS TO THE WORLD'S BEST DESTINATIONS
Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!
When Is Whale Season In Alaska?
Whale Season in Alaska runs from March to November. During this time, different species of whales migrate to Alaska and then to various feeding grounds scattered throughout the state. Gray whales are the first whales to return to Alaska in the early spring, followed by humpback and gray whales. Peak whale viewing season coincides with Alaska’s famous cruise season, which runs from May to September. Some of the best whale watching in Alaska takes place from the deck of a cruise ship!
Top Three Reasons To Go Whale Watching In Alaska
Seeing whales in their natural habitat is a bucket list experience for many people. If you’re searching for a vacation destination where you can spot them in the wild, you’ll have many options. But whale watching in Alaska is truly special. Here are three reasons why the best whale watching is in Alaska.
- Alaska is easily accessible! You don’t need a passport to get to Alaska, and whale-watching cruises are easy to arrange once you are there.
- Alaska is beautiful! No matter where you decide to go whale watching in Alaska, it’s going to be very beautiful. There are so many different landscapes to see in Alaska, too, from the vast coastlines and sweeping forests to the incredible frozen glaciers.
- Alaska has a diversity of marine life! One of the best things about whale watching in Alaska is the abundance of other marine life that you can see. If you’re out on the water, you’ll have the chance to see sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, puffins, bald eagles, and a multitude of other shorebirds during your whale-watching excursion.
What Types of Whales Will You See In Alaska?
Alaska has a variety of whales swimming through its mysterious waters. Why? Whales Migrate from the warmer waters of Hawaii; Baja, California; Mexico; and Central America during the spring and summer months to the colder waters of the Alaskan feeding grounds. The most common whales to see during whale season in in Alaska are humpback whales, killer whales, gray whales, and beluga whales.
- Humpback whales - these whales are known for their distinctive songs and acrobatics, and are commonly spotted throughout the Alaskan cruise season.
- Orcas, or killer whales - these black and white beauties belong to the dolphin family. They are often seen in Alaska's coastal waters from May to June.
- Gray whales - these whales are generally sighted earlier in the season. They embark on one of the longest migrations of any mammal, traveling from Mexico to Alaska each year.
- Blue whales - blue whales are the largest animals on Earth! They can be found in Alaskan waters during the second half of summer, providing visitors with a truly breathtaking marine encounter.
- Minke whales - smaller than humpbacks or blue whales but still impressive in size, Minke whales can be spotted occasionally during Alaska's cruise season.
- Beluga whales – Beluga whales inhabit the shallow coastal waters off Alaska. They are uniquely colored (pure white) and can typically be found in small pods.
Whale Watching Cruise Season In Alaska
The best whale-watching method in Alaska is to get out on the water via a guided whale-watching cruise. There’s a reason whale-watching typically tops the favorites list of Alaska cruise excursions. Fortunately, cruise season and whale season coincide in Alaska, making it easy to spot the magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
With such a long season, when is the best time to cruise Alaska for whales? May through September is the best time to cruise Alaska for whale watching. During this time, visitors can expect to spot gray whales, humpback whales, blue whales, and orcas! Pro tip – if you book a cruise in May or September, you’ll be booking during the “off-season.” This means that you won’t have to pay peak-season prices to see whales; instead, you’ll be privy to off-season discounts and less crowded ships!
Where Are The Best Places To See Whales In Alaska?
The Alaskan cruise season kicks off in May, and visitors can expect pristine weather conditions as well as unparalleled wildlife encounters throughout whale season in Alaska. Alaska is huge and there are plenty of areas to see whales. But where is the best whale watching in Alaska?
- Southeast Alaska - One of the most common areas to see whales is along the Inside Passage. Many people travel this route when they’re on an Alaskan cruise. Whales are very concentrated along the Inside Passage waterways, which means this area offers the best whale watching in Alaska.
- Seward – one of the best places to see whales in Alaska is in Resurrection Bay, which is the body of water that sits outside of Seward. Taking a whale-watching cruise around the Bay will not disappoint!
- Turnagain Arm – if you are not interested in a cruise, one of the best places to see whales from land is the Turnagain Arm! If you drive along the Seward Highway between Anchorage and Seward, you can spot Beluga Whales.
- Homer – if you drive along the Homer Spit, you’ll be able to see humpback whales cruising around Kachemak Bay. You can even rent a kayak to see the whales up close.
- Whittier – known as the “Gateway to the Prince William Sound,” Whittier offers visitors the opportunity to combine whale watching with glacier viewing. You will also have an opportunity to see many different kinds of shorebirds on a tour around the Sound.
If you are looking for an amazing whale-watching destination, Alaska is the perfect place for you. The state’s pristine waterways and diverse marine life can make an Alaskan cruise seem like a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just make sure to start planning your trip now – whale season in Alaska is coming soon!