Whales and Mendenhall Glacier
Half-Day Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Watch Tour
Juneau's spectacular whales and the Mendenhall Glacier, all in a half-day program on a boat holding a maximum of only 40 guests. Whale viewing is guaranteed.
Your Juneau excursion adventure begins with a short drive to a scenic harbor. Here, you will board a mammal-friendly jet boat equipped with water jet drives to ensure a quiet underwater operation without dangerous propellers that may frighten or harm the animals. The boats have an enclosed and heated cabin, complete with indoor plumbing. In addition, the boat only holds a maximum of 40 guests. There are large viewing windows and an outdoor viewing deck, providing an up-close and personal experience while you observe and photograph the animals in their natural surroundings.
On this Juneau Alaska tour, you will be on the boat for approximately two hours in an area that the whales frequent every summer.
Returning to land, you will travel further into the valley to see the only "drive up" glacier in Southeast Alaska. Once you arrive at the Visitor's Center (entrance included), you will have approximately 45 minutes to explore on your own. You can walk around the Visitor's Center, which has an elevated view of the glacier across the Mendenhall Lake, or view exhibits, as well as a short film about the Juneau Ice Fields. For those guests feeling more adventurous during this Juneau excursion, there are several hiking paths around the lake area, including Photo Point Trail, which winds along Mendenhall Lake to an unobstructed view of the glacier face. At the appointed time, meet your guide for the trip back to town.
The whale watching was great! Saw orca and whales. Didn't see any whites breach, but saw their tails. We saw the tail of "Flame" one of the oldest and most easily identifiable whales in the Juneau area. The Mendenhall Glacier tour was just ok. We didn't feel like we had enough time to hike all the way to the waterfall area near the glacier, but we were able to view it from another photo spot. Our cruise took us to the Tracey Arm Glacier. Having seen that large glacier from such a close up view made the Mendenhall Glacier a bit of a disappointment to me.
Reviewer: Pat Kelly
Hoping to be lucky enough to see a couple of Humpbacks, we actually saw 4 of them, three times each. We were also were crazily fortunate to see an Orca in an area where they are almost never seen. To add a little spice, a harbor seal popped up a few times. The glacier was somewhat disappointing. Yes, it was huge, but it looked like so much dirty ice. The professional photographs are lots prettier.
Reviewer: Joe Pishioneri
We saw lots of whales that day. Even caught two on camera doing full breeches!!! The Captain was careful and knew how to make that amazingly well made boat perform. I'm an avid fisherman/boat owner and that boat was nothing but a well made craft with plenty, of muscle! The first mate was nothing but fun and full of knowledge that he imparted in a very entertaining manner. Only 2 minor downsides. One was the "lunch" which was pretty skimpy but tasty! Second was time managment. When we were taken to the Mendenhall Glacier, there was not enough time to make the hike to the falls. All that said, was it worth it??? YES Do it and you won't regret it ;)
Reviewer: Garry Leschyshyn
great time a whale flipped up right near our boat
Reviewer: janet vanluttikhuizen
Our day started out sunny and warm but very foggy. Thanks to the persistence of the crew we were able to see whales after the fog lifted. They were great at trying to get to where the whales were.Also very informative about the whales. Our bus driver John was fantastic and very funny. i would say he enhanced our experience by providing history combined with humour. Overall a great day