Alaska'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.
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, 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.
Reviewer: Lorna Hudson
Our tour guide was quite knowledgeable about o Orca & Humpback whales. The boat was comfortable & not too large. They made sure we saw several whales & got good pictures. The 1 hr. stop for Mendenhall Glacier was a bit rushed for those of us who did the mile hike to the falls near the glacier, but definitely worth it.
It was a rainy day but there was a warm cabin with seats and hot drinks and snacks provided, We saw several whales. Very satisfying.
Our guide on the boat was fantastic! He was very informative but not too chatty. We saw a beautiful rainbow. We took turns sitting inside & standing on the lower & upper outside decks. We saw several barely break the water. A bald eagle flew right past the boat while we were cruisin'! We were nearing the end of the boat tour, & we finally saw one whale completely show its tail. It was beautiful! Wish we would've seen more, or even a breach, but you can't control the whales! Mendenhall Glacier was awe-inspiring. The water surrounding it was so serene, w/a beautiful fog over the water. There was a walking trail that they said was a good place to spot bears. Unfortunately, my husband & I were in the wrong place at the wrong time & didn't see any, but others in our group did see some! We did get to see a porcupine, which was a 1st for me! Fantastic trip! I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an excursion that's 1/2 relaxing, 1/2 on-the-edge-of-your-seat exciting!
Reviewer: Jeremy Nelson
Both of these adventures were off the charts cool! From the bus driver to the boat captain to the guide on the whale watching, each gave 200% to insure you had a great time. We saw about 10 whales+- and the glacier is beyond words.
We were lucky that on the morning of our tour the captain of our boat knew of a location where Orcas could be seen that day. It was amazing to watch. We then headed back and were able to see Humpback whales also. The bus driver we had on our way to Mendenhall Glacier was very informative, with a great personality. Would highly recommend this tour.