Whale Watching--Inside Passage or other

Old May 12th, 2006, 03:26 PM
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Whale Watching--Inside Passage or other

Is it better to take a whale watching trip from Juneau, Glacier Bay or Kenai Fjords National Park?

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Old May 12th, 2006, 07:10 PM
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There is no "whale watching" out of Seward to the Kenai Fjords. They are "route" trips, you might see whales but not guaranteed and the length of time viewing is only a small portion of the time you would get on a whale watch. My sightings for whales in Kenai Fjords has only been about 50% of my many trips.

Juneau and Hoonah offer excellent close to 100% sightings of humpbacks. If you want orcas, go out of Victoria, BC or Friday Harbor, Wa.

Not sure of your "Glacier Bay" reference, again you need tours for sure sightings. Sailing Glacier Bay may see them but far superior is a tour to Point Adolphus from Hoonah. You need a port of "Icy Strait" for that locations.

Look at booking with www.orcaenterprises.com out of Juneau and http://www.visithoonah.com/fishes/
out of Hoonah.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 09:37 PM
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Thanks BudgetQueen. I actually meant Gustavus when I said Glacier Bay.

Would it be awful to visit Alaska and not do the Inside Passage. If we went from the Arctic Circle to Homer and crossed the Sound from Whittier to Valdez and then went back up the Alaska Highway back to Canada and home would we have missed out on the most important thing?
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Old May 13th, 2006, 04:04 AM
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We took the ferry on our first trip to AK. While it was very nice, there are other parts of Alaska that are spectacular. We only saw one pair of humpbacks on a Kenai Fjords trip but had fantastic views of orcas. The boat stopped so we could watch. Compared to the rest of the states, Alaska towns/cities seem to be spread apart with unique personalities and sights. Homer is not like Seward which is not like Talkeetna. You will see a lot of territory if you go from the Arctic Circle to Homer and Whittier to Valdez. I don't think missing the Inside Passage will be missing a lot. You'll be seeing a lot.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 04:21 AM
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Hi Lynda,
No, it won't be awful if you skip the Inside Passage. As you already know Alaska is huge and you have to make choices as to what places to visit on your trip. May I ask how are you getting to the Arctic Circle? Previously you said you will be flying with your son from Fairbanks. Are you skipping Anchorage? While in Homer maybe you should consider a whale watching trip with Rainbow Tours. Somewhere here is my post describing in details our whale watching trip. I suggest you call Rainbow Tours and get information on seeing whales during your visit. Are you including only Arctic Circle, Homer and Valdez in your itinerary? I hope you are stopping somewhere between the Arctic Circle and Homer. Between Fairbanks (if you are flying from there to the Arctic Circle or if you are driving you need to go through Fairbanks anyway)and Homer there is Denali, Talkeetna and Anchorage. How many days do you have for the mainland of Alaska? I remember at first you said 10 days then 3 weeks. If you have 3 weeks maybe you should include Seward. It is so hard to decide what places to visit in Alaska, isn't it?
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Old May 13th, 2006, 04:21 AM
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It also depends how much time you have. If you are considering everywhere between Homer and Arctic Circle, I wouldn't plan on less than 2 weeks for an over view, 3 weeks otherwise.

I do very much enjoy the inside passage, it's a whole another factor in Alaska travel. One way cruise ships do a fantastic job with itineraries.

As just a suggestion, be VERY VERY prepared and allow triple the amount of time you think you'll need if you plan on driving yourself past the Arctic Circle. There are no services for miles and miles.
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