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orca whale watching and Coastal helicopter glacier tour

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salt lake city
posts: 125
reviews: 14
orca whale watching and Coastal helicopter glacier tour

Has anyone done the whale watching trip with Orca? And the helicopter glacier tour (landing on glacier) with Coastal?

Cadiz, Kentucky
posts: 1,474
reviews: 122
1. Re: orca whale watching and Coastal helicopter glacier tour

No, but I will be doing both in August. From all the research I've done, I've yet to see anything negative about either of them from a reliable source.

Tasmanian
posts: 186
reviews: 69
2. Re: orca whale watching and Coastal helicopter glacier tour

HI

Has anyone done a tour with the "Frontier Queen" out of Juneau?

Planning to visit Alaska about September, what's the weather like then?

North Bend, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Juneau, Coos Bay, North Bend
posts: 639
3. Re: orca whale watching and Coastal helicopter glacier tour

Orca is THE top choice if you're after what I call a "medium boat" tour. They've got the most accessible boat if you've got mobility limitations, and if you want a tour that gives a solid and factual biological lesson about humpback whales, it's about as good as you can get.

There ARE plenty of other tours available in Juneau as well. Some are less expensive, some cost more. If you need the perceived "security" that comes with a ship-booked tour, Allen Marine is probably the best choice.

Many of my guests lately have really enjoyed some of the small boat tours (no more than 6 guests at a time) led by folks that were born and raised here and live an "Alaskan" life year-round.

The bottom line is that there are many different tours, and I recommend all of them highly. There are NO bad operators in Juneau. Enjoy your experience, whatever you choose!

-Case

Orlando, Florida
posts: 2,288
reviews: 87
4. Re: orca whale watching and Coastal helicopter glacier tour

tbrash, I did the tour (afternoon) tour with Orca, and found it to be a wonderful experience. We saw both Orcas and humpbacks. The crew were persistent in locating these mammals. Capn Larry was a unique person and I just adored the purple theme.

Manitoba, Canada
posts: 6,895
5. Re: orca whale watching and Coastal helicopter glacier tour

I did the Orca Ent. tour last year. Captain Larry is indeed a character, though you won't always get him, as Orca Ent. has several boats. I was lucky enough to get the seat right behind him and we got to chat a bit. We saw maybe a dozen humpbacks during the trip, no orcas. Larry's boat is apparently faster than most, so he can cover more area looking for wildlife. On our way out, he stopped the boat so we could watch a couple of bald eagles on the shore who were fighting over a fish. It was really quite comical (although I doubt the eagles saw the humour in it)! But of course, any boat will stop if there is something interesting to look at.

North Bend, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Juneau, Coos Bay, North Bend
posts: 639
6. Re: orca whale watching and Coastal helicopter glacier tour

As a point of clarification, ALL of the tours in Juneau cover the same basic area. Orca's boats are among the fastest, but so are the boats for Allen Marine, Alaskan Marine Adventures, and Alaska Whale Watching/Trophy Fishing. Any whale watch you're on will cruise between 20 and 30 knots. Actually, if you check the maritime trade related CFRs (Federal Regulations) you'll find that no vessel without a special "High speed conveyance permit" is allowed to go more than 30 knots... that's a speed that most tour boats are capable of in calm weather. (Heck, my boat does close to 40 if we're really pushing things!)

I also agree with the previous poster who mentioned several boats and being sure you get Capt. Larry. With 4 purple Orca Enterprise boats floating at the marina this season, be sure to double check who your captain will be when you make the reservation. Most days, Larry does run all of the tours, but when his boat (Orca Odysea) is full, count on being scheduled on one of the other 3 boats.

-Case

7. Re: orca whale watching and Coastal helicopter glacier tour

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