Step aboard a 48-passenger jet boat, custom-built for whale watching, which takes you to prime wildlife viewing locations in Auke Bay, located about 12 miles (19 km) north of Juneau. Stand on the exterior observation deck or stay inside the cabin with extra-large windows — no matter where you are, you’ll take in great views. Feel free to use the provided binoculars. En route, learn about the region’s history, culture and outdoor lifestyle, including Juneau’s gold rush history.
Auke Bay, with its pristine marine habitat and mountain and glacier views, provides an ideal spot for a wildlife cruise. On clear days, you can snap a photo of the Mendenhall Glacier. These nutrient-rich waters are so popular with whales, that whale sightings are guaranteed! In fact, if a whale is not spotted you’ll receive a $100 refund ($50 for children).
In addition to the whales, your naturalist-guide points out any bear or blacktail deer sightings along the shore. In the water, keep watch for Steller sea lions, Dall’s porpoises, bald eagles, and a variety of seabirds.
After the cruise, head to the Pier 49 Seafood Station, Juneau’s premier seafood outdoor eatery located along the waterfront. Feast on a pound of Bering Sea Red King Crab legs, dipped in drawn butter, of course. Scrumptious side dishes include Pier 49’s famous seafood chowder, house-baked bread knot, coleslaw, and soda, beer or wine.