Guaranteed Whale Watching Tours in Icy Straits

Trip Highlights

  • $100 whale sighting GUARANTEE

  • Humpback whale feeding and migration location

  • Comfortable boats with heated cabin and viewing decks forward and aft

Description

Join us for the best show in town, a 3-hour whale watching excursion (includes transportation time and approx 2.5 hours on the water) which begins when you board the bus that departs from the Icy Strait Point Excursion Hub, just a short 5-minute walk from your cruise ship. Travel just 1.5 miles through the picturesque landscape of Hoonah, Alaska. On arrival at the Hoonah Harbor, it's “All aboard!” and you’re off for the waters of Icy Straits and the ultimate whale watching experience. The area near Icy Strait Point, with its proximity to Point Adolphus and Glacier Bay, is home to one of the largest summer populations of humpback whales found in Alaska and the whale watching is second to none.

Tour info

Duration
3 hours
Group Size
Up to 30
Price starts at
160 USD
Languages
English
Meeting Point

108 Cannery Rd, Hoonah, AK

Dropoff location

108 Cannery Rd, Hoonah, AK

Why take this tour?

Huge numbers of humpback whales come to the area near Hoonah every summer to feed in the nutrient-rich waters of Glacier Bay and Icy Strait. The whale population begins to arrive in Hoonah in May and stays through September. Humpback whales are large baleen whales that can reach over 50 feet in length and weigh as much as 30-50 tons. They are most famous for their whale songs, thought to be used by males as a mating call. Humpbacks are amazingly active and typical whale sightings include diving, blows, and flukes (tails). Lucky whale watchers may get to see breaching or bubble-net feeding, a cooperative feeding method where a pod forms a circle and dives under the water. They then blow air to create a wall of bubbles that force krill and plankton to the surface where the whales can eat them. Observing humpbacks practice bubble-net feeding is a real treat and a truly thrilling experience. We are so confident in the abilities of our Captains & Crew that we have a $100 whale sighting guarantee! Our boats are built for speed and comfort, and perfectly suited for travel along Alaska’s waterways. With our experienced local Captains and Icy Strait Point being the best port for whale watching in Alaska, this tour will be an unforgettable experience. We return to the harbor where you can explore downtown Hoonah and catch one of our regularly scheduled shuttles back to Icy Strait Point.

Included

  • Round Trip Transfers from Icy Strait Point

  • Heated Cabins & Clean Restrooms

  • $100 whale sighting guarantee

  • Fully Vaccinated Crew

  • Return to ship "Anytime Shuttle Pass" on regular shuttles from Hoonah to Icy Strait Point

Frequently asked questions

The National Marine Fisheries Service whale watching guidelines require us to maintain a 100 yard spacing from the whales when we are approaching the whales or maneuvering in the whale watching areas. Once we have stopped moving and begin to drift and enjoy the whales they frequently approach the boat at a much closer distance. It is likely that during the trip you will find yourself very close to one or more humpback whales and will get some excellent photos.
Humpback whales in Icy Strait have one primary focus for their time spent here – eating. There really is no period during the day during which you can predict when the whales will be more active. We really have not noticed a difference in behavior during different times of the day. Most of the time we are out on the water we observe them feeding and enjoying some exercise between meals. They feed as often as they are able and rest and play a bit between meals. We tell guests to pick the times that work best with their schedule.
Yes, all of our boats have a clean marine head on board.
Absolutely. Whether whale watching is a priority of yours or not, our vessels are available for private hire. Should a private charter be of interest, Tail Chaser with up to 30 passengers, and Hoonah Bound with up 18 passengers are both available. Both are perfect for once-in-a-lifetime events with family and friends. Even getting married on the water. Contact us and we will put something custom together for you!
Hoonah Bound can accommodate up to 18 people and our larger vessel, Tail Chaser, can cater to up to 30 people. Our boats have a front and back decks. Also, all of our boats have an enclosed heated cabins with wide-viewing windows. If you have a group of 18 or more – call or email us about our group or private charter rates.
Aside from humpback whales that come to feed on Icy Strait nutrient-rich waters, you might also get to feast your eyes on harbor seals, sea lions, porpoises and sea otters. Bald eagles and a myriad of birdlife soaring overhead also populate our skies so don’t forget to look up. Sometimes, brown bears can be seen on the shoreline. It’s a wildlife utopia, it really is!
We get this question a lot. Becoming seasick is always an extremely remote possibility. The waters are generally calm during the summer months and on the days when the wind and tide do make the water choppy, the motion of the boat is not of the kind that induces motion sickness. If you are prone to seasickness we recommend Dramamine or a wristband. In the last 10 years of operation we have 3 guest out of thousands get seasick.

Things to know

COVID - Heath & Safety

Your health is our top priority! All of our boat crews, drivers and guides are fully vaccinated.

Stringent Cleaning – We’ve increased the frequency of disinfecting surfaces and high traffic areas during those tours that allow and between all tours. Aside from the increased cleaning abo...

Your health is our top priority! All of our boat crews, drivers and guides are fully vaccinated.

Stringent Cleaning – We’ve increased the frequency of disinfecting surfaces and high traffic areas during those tours that allow and between all tours. Aside from the increased cleaning above, our boats and vehicles are now deep cleaned at the end of each day.

Wellness Checks – Employees receive daily wellness checks, to include temperature to ensure they are healthy and symptom-free. If you or anyone in your group is experiencing symptoms, we will work directly with you to cancel or reschedule your tour.

Cancellation Policy

To receive a full refund guests may cancel up to 24hrs before the experience. If for some reason your cruise ship does not make it to port, or we have to cancel due to weather, this would also be a 100% refund. No refund for cancelations less than 24hrs. This policy does not apply to Private Char...

To receive a full refund guests may cancel up to 24hrs before the experience. If for some reason your cruise ship does not make it to port, or we have to cancel due to weather, this would also be a 100% refund. No refund for cancelations less than 24hrs. This policy does not apply to Private Charters, please email for details.

What to wear

The weather in Hoonah is often wet (we live in a rainforest.) Bring layered clothing, a waterproof jacket, a camera and/or video camera, and comfortable shoes. Keep food and flavored drinks packed tightly away. Water is permitted.

The weather in Hoonah is often wet (we live in a rainforest.) Bring layered clothing, a waterproof jacket, a camera and/or video camera, and comfortable shoes. Keep food and flavored drinks packed tightly away. Water is permitted.

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