Whale watching is one of the most incredible experiences you can have and looking for whale watching tours in Juneau is the first step in that majestic adventure. While you may think that the only difference in whale watching tours is price, there is more to it than hopping on a boat and sailing to where the whales are. Choosing the wrong tour can lead to an uncomfortable experience and worse yet, no whale sightings or unsafe excursions.
You don’t want to go out on the sea with an inexperienced crew or on a boat packed with too many other adventurers. So, how can you go about picking the right whale watching tours? Well, let’s go over some tips to help you choose the best tour for your whale watching trip.
When looking for whale watching tours in Alaska, look at the crew first. See what their credentials are and what kind of training they’ve had. A boat managed by an inexperienced crew can be an unsafe excursion and the last thing you want is that. There is nothing wrong with calling the tour or field office and asking about how their staff is trained. After all, you’re literally in their hands.
What’s the Focus?
In places where marine tours are big tourism dollars, many companies will offer whale watching as a side note on the way to other, more lucrative, activities. If you’re looking for whale watching tours in Juneau specifically, look at tour companies that focus on whale watching as they’ll be more keen on investing in your experience.
What About the Boat?
The kind of boat used factors greatly into your experience. Different boats require different skill sets which involves the first tip but, different boats also lends itself to different experiences. For example, a catamaran boat is more stable, and the higher perch allows you to see more whale behavior without interference from the waves they make. Also, this kind of boat is similar to a glass bottom boat as you can look directly through. Smaller boats would have to stay a certain distance from the whales as the waves are more likely to flip it. So, look at the kind of the boat the whale watching tour uses and see if it matches your expectations.
Alaskan whale watching tours can take a while. Sailing out to the spot and back plus the time you spend watching. Does the tour include snacks or a meal? Does it include something to drink or a poncho? These are not quick trips and so, it is best to ask about things like that.
Whale Close Up?
Different whale watching tours will only get so close to the whale for different reasons. Some are for safety and others for not wanting to interfere with nature. No matter the company’s reason, does it match up with what you want? Some people feel more comfortable at a distance and others want to get right up close and see the massive majesty of the whale. There is no wrong answer but, picking the right tour for your expectations does matter.
You knew it had to be here somewhere as the cost of most Juneau whale watching tours matters a great deal. Different companies offer different amenities, crew training, and equipment. So, price is definitely a factor. Compare and contrast what different tours offer as well as what you want out of your whale excursion. Why pay more for an experience you’re not interested in or pay less for subpar one? See what each business brings to the table and decide if you’re getting the bang for your buck.
Rather than take an overcrowded boat, you can charter a boat that fits a smaller amount of passengers. It’s a good way to not fight for the sight of a whale. With that, it’s probably best to go for tours that are more “exclusive”. For instance, Alaska Fjordlines offers boats best for smaller groups and keeps it affordable without detracting from the whale watching experience. Why shuffle and bustle your way to the edge of a boat like it’s a concert when you can have a more intimate experience during your whale adventure?
Watch the Whale Wonders!
When all is said and done, take a look at what you want out of your Juneau whale watching tours and that’ll guide you to appropriate companies. After you know what you want to see or experience, use these tips to find the best company for you. There is no right answer as it’s your adventure to be had. Remember to check out what each tour offers, what kind of boat and crew they have, as well as the prices of the tour and you’ll do just fine.
Get out there and find your whale adventure, it’ll be the experience of a lifetime!