Photo Credit: Patti Walsh

Alaska Whale Watching Tours

Alaska Whale Viewing Location Map

Alaska offers an array of exciting whale-watching opportunities.

Embark on day cruises or water taxis from Whittier and Valdez, to explore Prince William Sound. Or discover the majestic Kenai Fjords from Seward.

In Juneau and Hoonah, you can have other unique whale-watching experiences, such as kayaking adventures, which get you up close to these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat and offer a unique chance to see whales feeding.

Often called the “Salmon Capital of the World,” Ketchikan’s waters are teeming with life. Whale watching tours often include sightings of humpback whales, orcas, and even the occasional gray whale.

Sitka provides a unique whale-watching experience, where you can enjoy scenic beauty and wildlife encounters. The waters around Sitka are rich in marine life, making it a great spot for seeing whales, sea otters, and a variety of birds.

Hoonah / Icy Strait View All

One of the largest populations of humpback whales. Small group tours. Visit Hoonah independently, or look for Icy Strait Point on your cruise itinerary.

Season: May - Sept $195 per person 3 hrs

You’ll be sur­round­ed in one of the largest sum­mer pop­u­la­tions of hump­back whales found in Alas­ka with Glac­i­er Wind Char­ter’s small group tours. Keep an eye out for oth­er wildlife, like eagles, sea lions, seals, sea otters. You may even see coastal brown bears, eat­ing plants along the shore.

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Ketchikan View All

Small group zodiac tours. Visit independently, or look for Ketchikan on your cruise itinerary.

Season: May 01 to Sep 21 $175 2.5 hrs

Explore the gor­geous, dynam­ic scenery and wildlife around Ketchikan by get­ting out on the water in a low-impact Zodi­ac — an authen­ti­cal­ly Alaskan way to trav­el! Every expe­di­tion is dif­fer­ent as there’s flex­i­bil­i­ty for some spon­tane­ity. You can spend extra time in a place if there’s a mag­i­cal, Nation­al Geo­graph­ic-type moment happening!

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Homer View All

Whales in Kachemak Bay. 4.5 hour drive, or 1 hour flight from Anchorage.

Season: Mid-May to October 1 $3450+ (Up to 6 Guests) 5 - 8 hrs

Spend 5 to 8 hours ply­ing the gor­geous waters of Kachemak Bay on a lux­u­ry ves­sel. Your pri­vate group will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to see dif­fer­ent types of wildlife: Orcas, Hump­back and Minke whales; sea lions; Dall’s por­poise; sea otters; puffins; seabirds; and more. Enjoy a gourmet meal aboard, stop in the vil­lage of Sel­dovia, or take a skiff ashore for beachcombing!

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Sitka View All

Visit independently, or look for Sitka on your cruise itinerary.

Season: June 15 – Oct 15 $175+ per person 2-4hrs

Join Sit­ka Expe­di­tions for 2- or 4‑hour inti­mate wildlife cruis­es. Spot whales, sea otters, and bears while explor­ing stun­ning Alaskan scenery and active fish­eries. Per­fect for cruise pas­sen­gers and families.

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Whittier View All

Look for whales while cruising in Prince William Sound. 1.5 hour drive, or 2 hour train from Anchorage.

Season: Year Round $200+ 3.5 to 8 hrs

Lazy Otter offers clas­sic tours, but this is a water taxi, so they’ll also take you any­where you want to go with­in Price William Sound — or just cus­tomize a tour to what­ev­er you want to see. Maybe that’s glac­i­ers, or whales, — or maybe it’s qui­et time on a seclud­ed beach. Lazy Otter can also help facil­i­tate tak­ing you and your fam­i­ly on a camp­ing trip. You’re not held to any strict sched­ule, either: if, on a day tour, you can spend more time in one  ...more

Season: May 4 - September 30 $173.95+ 3.75 - 5.75 hrs

Phillips 26 Glac­i­er Cruise, out of Whit­ti­er, will take you to 26 dif­fer­ent glac­i­ers in just 5.5 hours. Enjoy cozy com­forts on the high-speed cata­ma­ran and wan­der its out­door decks as you come with­in 300 feet of mas­sive tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers. In addi­tion to glac­i­ers, the cap­tain will be on the look­out for wildlife like otters, whales, har­bor seals, and marine birds. The trip takes place in the after­noon, and a hot lunch is includ­ed in your tour.   ...more

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Seward & Kenai Fjords View All

Resurrection Bay & Kenai Fjords National Park. 2.5 hour drive, or 4 hour train from Anchorage.

Season: Year Round $179+ 3.5 - 8 hrs

Hop on board the all-sea­son Miss­ing Lynx and Lost Lynx, the ves­sels bound for what­ev­er Seward Ocean Excur­sion suits your fan­cy. Want to whale watch, see glac­i­ers, go bird watch­ing or just check out hid­den coves? Cap­tains Bixler and Krystin McClure will help your small group plan an out­ing catered to your pref­er­ences. No mat­ter the sea­son, you can always catch some excite­ment in Res­ur­rec­tion Bay!

Season: Mar 14 to Sep 29 4 to 8.5 hrs

This vet­er­an tour oper­a­tor runs a a fleet of fast, mod­ern boats in Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park. You’ll vis­it tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers as you watch for puffins, sea otters, Dall’s por­pois­es, sea lions, and more. Some tours are designed to please bird­ers or shut­ter­bugs, while oth­ers are per­fect for families. 

Season: March 8 - Oct 13 $109+ 3.5 hrs - Full Day

Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Kenai Fjords are great places to see wildlife and glac­i­ers. And Major Marine’s ves­sels, which have cozy heat­ed cab­ins and an out­door view­ing area, can take you out to see both. This fam­i­ly-owned tour oper­a­tor has gone above and beyond to give guests an amaz­ing day on the water since 1990

Season: Mid-May through mid-Sept $289 6.5-7 hrs

Inti­mate cata­ma­ran cruis­es into Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park from Seward for just 22 pas­sen­gers, or up to 30 on pri­vate char­ters. Cruise through Res­ur­rec­tion Bay, keep­ing an eye out for hump­back whales, orca whales (killer whales), puffins, Steller sea lions, Dall’s por­poise, har­bor seals, and a large vari­ety of bird species. Then make your way into the nation­al park, and stop at the face of a tide­wa­ter glac­i­er. You’ll enjoy a deli­cious lunch  ...more

Season: May 1 - 3rd week of September $449+ 8-10 hrs

Get up close to the Alaskan glac­i­ers and wildlife you came to expe­ri­ence by tak­ing a cruise into Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park on a cus­tom-built cata­ma­ran out of Seward. The dif­fer­ence from oth­er cruis­es, is that you’ll then get off the boat and into a kayak, pad­dle around ice­bergs, and watch for wildlife from your own vessel.

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Juneau View All

One of the best viewing spots in Alaska. Humpbacks return each year to feed on the nutrient-rich waters around Juneau

Season: April 22 - Oct 8 $169+ 3.5+ hrs

Juneau’s glac­i­ers pro­duce nutri­ent-dense waters mak­ing the waters a prime feed­ing ground for hump­back whales. Alas­ka Tales’ boats are inti­mate (49 pas­sen­gers max), and they’re super-fast, so you’ll get out to see the whales in no time. You also have the option of adding a stop at the Menden­hall Glac­i­er Vis­i­tor Cen­ter pri­or to your whale watch­ing tour.

$419+ per person 6 hrs

Take a scenic cruise and kayak through gor­geous sur­round­ings as mag­nif­i­cent whales pierce the sur­face of the water on this six-hour expe­di­tion from Juneau. Your des­ti­na­tion is the Chan­nel Islands, the whales’ annu­al feed­ing ground — and your guides will assess where the most whale activ­i­ty has been happening.

Season: May - September $189 3.75 hrs

Plen­ty of whale tours let you watch the orcas and hump­backs as they breach and spout from the water — but not many also let you eaves­drop on the big mam­mals’ con­ver­sa­tions. This 3.5‑hour tour out of Juneau is equipped with an ampli­fied hydrophone sys­tem; lis­ten to the whales under­wa­ter while enjoy­ing the lush rain­for­est views. Onboard the North Star — a 48-pas­sen­ger jet boat with large win­dows, an out­side view­ing deck, and a com­fort­able inside  ...more

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Valdez View All

Look for whales while cruising in Prince William Sound

Season: May 17 - Sept 15 $162+ 6 or 7.5 hrs

This fam­i­ly-run com­pa­ny oper­at­ing out of Valdez will show you the best glac­i­ers, with great cus­tomer ser­vice along the way. On any giv­en day trip you’ll like­ly see huge rafts of sea otters, horned and tuft­ed puffins, cor­morants, hump­back whales, or even bald eagles. Stan Stephens offers two dai­ly tours, one of which fea­tures Colum­bia Glac­i­er, the largest tide­wa­ter glac­i­er in South­cen­tral Alaska.

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