Icy Strait Whale Adventures

Icy Strait Whale Adventures

Icy Strait Whale Adventures
5
Boat ToursDolphin & Whale WatchingNature & Wildlife Tours
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Icy Strait Whale adventures is located near Icy Strait Point in the town of Hoonah. We offer guaranteed whale watching on our 41' North River custom built boat. Our spacious boat is very comfortable with heated cabin, restroom and large windows for viewing whales and wildlife. Our Captains will delight in sharing the majestic beauty that is Alaska on taking you along the coastline to either Point Adolphus, Icy Strait or Neka Bay.
Hoonah, Alaska
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles385 reviews
Excellent
358
Very good
18
Average
3
Poor
3
Terrible
3

nealm2804
Henderson, NV6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
Please be advised that all of this area of Alaska has very high tides so getting off any floating object- ship dock etc. might require negotiating a steep ramp. There is a Jitney to take you around the Hoonah tourist area to the shops and the tour assembly sites. To get to the town itself there are taxis for a buck or two to do the mile or so walk. Not much in the town itself and mainly tourist type souvenirs in the area at the port area.


The crew on our trip was helpful, but we just got real lucky. There was the pod of Orcas a distance from our relatively small boat that decided that it would be fun to swim under our boat s close as possible to the hull without actually hitting it,. They splashed us as we watched in amazement since we could see them throught the clear water. After that they just hung out in the area-Orca play time? as they slapped their tails on the surface many times. We also saw some sea otters lounging about and some other whales off in the distance, .
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Samantha B
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
This was a great tour! We saw humpbacks, orcas, sea lions, sea otters, and our captain spotted a porpoise! The captain was extremely helpful and could spot wildlife very quickly! Would definitely take this tour again in a heart beat! PS - I booked straight through their website (NOT WITH THE CRUISE LINE)! :)
Written June 9, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

familytraveler044
new jersey40 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Family
You can book an excursion from the cruise ship or you can book directly w/ Icy Strait Whale Adventures . There is no comparison - we had a beautiful new boat w/ 12 people on it, walls of glass that opened in every direction, and open viewing areas both in the front and back and the freedom to move there. Captain Duane also provided snacks, hot & cold drinks, picked us up
right outside the docking area and drove us back to the ship if you wanted. If not you could stay near his dock , explore the area a little bit ( have a great lunch at Chipper Fish) and then take the
Free Shuttle back to the boat. It was a 1.5 mile walk so many people also walked back.
Captain Duane also had the freedom to move around to different areas, follow the whales, try different sights to see more wildlife. Many times we had no other boats around us while we watched the whales - it was a great excursion! There is also so much time in Icy Strait you do not have to worry about missing the ship and the "threats" the cruise ship uses to get you to use their excursions - everyone is very aware of the cruise ship timing and gets you back on time.
Written May 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Baz
South Pole1,402 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Family
My mother and I went on an Alaskan cruise during the first week of June. We visited Icy Straight Point. I contacted Colleen regarding a whale watching tour – she was very prompt, informative and friendly. The boat carried 6 passengers which I appreciate (more private). We saw a TON of whales, including a mother and baby whale. Colleen was great in the sense that she is actively looking out for the whales. When the whales went in for a deep dive, she moves on. She’s very quick to spot whales. My mother and I took some great movies of whales.
Written September 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carolyn M
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
VERY VERY DISREPUTABLE COMPANY! May 25/22 we had 4 spots for whale watching.
our ship announcement stated we would arrive late which meant we would not make the departure time....... we called, left message, text message as well..... explaining the issue and asking for alternatives........NO REPLY!!!!!
When we arrived home..... we phoned again..... no answer and decided to contact expedia for a refund. When expedia finally reached the vendor on the 16th day of calling. this company LIED and said we had checked in for the excursion! unbelievable !!!!!!! DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY
Written June 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Irish Karen
Boston, MA101 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Couples
Hello fellow cruisers! I imagine anyone reading this was just like me, trying to make the most of my Alaska cruise and wondering which whale watch tour to pick. You might think you can't go wrong, since they all guarantee sightings, but there are some huge differences between your options. I had a feeling about this company after reading other reviews, and after my experience (July 3, 2017), I will tell you to stop reading and book a tour with Captain Duane right now. Need some reasons why? OK, here's a Top 10:

1. Booking was a piece of cake online and I received an email confirmation immediately with instructions on where to go after leaving the ship; (everyone leaves from the same point anyway, there's no mystery or advantage here). Cost was also similar to everywhere else, and possibly less than through the cruise line;

2. Duane was very friendly from our hello and handshake and continued that throughout the day, including his son Andrew who was first mate and lookout;

3. His shuttle van which took us from the ship to his boat was immaculate;

4. The boat was immaculate as well, and included a head. So have no fear of picking this smaller boat over the big ones, it has a toidy. They were also nice enough to offer hot and cold drinks as well as chips for snacks at no charge;

5. The boat offered outdoor viewing spaces in the front and back. Once we got close to a whale, the side windows opened so *everyone* could see and take pictures without having a glare off the glass of the windows. This was hugely important to me being a photography junkie;

6. Being in a smaller boat, we were not crammed in like sardines like we saw with the bigger catamaran boats that partner with the cruise ships. Imagine jockeying for limited rail space on a big boat when there is a sighting? No thanks, I had plenty of room where I was, and could easily maneuver to take plenty of pictures;

7. Being in a smaller boat, we were much more agile to adjust our position when someone saw something. We saw 5 separate single whales throughout our tour, and could quickly move from place to place in a smaller boat;

8. Captain Duane radioed with some fellow captains and extended our tour by a little bit to get one last sighting. The other catamaran boats were long gone and we were still out there getting our last pictures;

9. Captain Duane spotted a mama bear and cubs in the brush near shore, even though we were headed back to port at full speed. He slowed the boat and got closer so everyone could take pictures;

10. Finally, he offered suggestions on where to eat in Hoonah for those wishing to stay in town, and drove the rest back to the ship.

There is not much to do in Icy Strait, and the Town of Hoonah is very small. Given this is one of the largest areas for whale watching, this is THE excursion to do, and this is THE company to take you out for an adventure. Thank you Captain Duane and Andrew for a great afternoon!

P.S. Remember that this is not Sea World - there are no trainers and whales don't do tricks on command. Some groups that day saw a pod of orcas, and some just saw single lone whales that didn't do much other than take a breath and submerge, often for minutes at a time. That's how it goes. I'm sharing my best pix from the day, and considering we saw whales, eagles and bears, that was a winning Alaskan trifecta.
Written July 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Van R
Louisville, CO5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Family
Captain Duane and his assistant Tyler gave us four hours on the ocean we will never forget. To start with, the boat they had us on is brand new and made for whale watching. Very comfortable seats with windows that lift up so you can get an unobstructed view while staying dry. However, if you want to stand on the front or back of the boat, that is available too.
Duane clearly knows where the whales are and understands how they behave. We took a tour a little early in the season, so we "only" saw humpbacks. More humpbacks and orcas show up later in the summer. We encountered at least 10 different whales including a mother and its calf, who lounged on the surface for a good 10 minutes while we watched and took photos.
Duane also showed us a couple of eagles' nests and pointed out a group of eight bald eagles fishing in one cove. Although their were reports of a brown bear on one of the shores, by the time we arrived, he had left. We were also taken by a point with many sea otters and sea lions. Wildlife doesn't follow a schedule, but Duane did his best to show us everything that was available for viewing.
Written June 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dalen M
Southwest Harbor, ME104 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Couples
Profound!!! And I don't use the word profound very lightly. Seeing 19 Humpback whales for a couple of hours frolicking and eating and just BEING whales! Oh my. My wife and I keep saying "Oh Wow" even two months later! Our cruise was an amazing trip topped off by seeing the whales! If you have never seen whales this is well worth it. Our Native American guide was wonderful and answered all questions. he was insightful and well armed with a sense of humor and an absolute reverence for what he saw and shared with us all.
Written September 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bryant T
San Mateo, CA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013 • Couples
I randomly found this tour while looking for whale watching excursions online and am so glad I did. I haven't tried booking a shore excursion with cruise company because I've seen them from the opposite end. Big boats with hundreds of people clamoring for a spot to see and take pictures. This one is small & intimate with a max capacity of 6 passengers. This was my 2nd whale watching trip in Alaska and the other one I took in 2007 only carried 12 passengers. This really is the way to do it. Colleen was our captain for the day and she went out of her way to find us a good spot. We ended up about an hour and a half farther than the typical spot but ended up surrounded by humpbacks. This is something a big tour wouldn't have done for multiple reasons. For one, time and fuel. Second is that it was raining in our spot and a big tour wouldn't have wanted to get their precious passengers wet (yawn). If you find yourself in Hoonah, AK and want a more personal experience, do yourself a favor and let Colleen show you what real whale watching is about.
Written July 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

J M
Seoul, South Korea56 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Friends
Highly recommend taking a whale-watching tour in Icy Strait Point with Icy Strait Whale Adventures http://icystraitwhaleadventures.com/.
Yes, you can see whales from the shore in Icy Strait Point, but a whale watching tour offers a much closer look at these amazing animals. We literally saw dozens of humpback whales on our tour in May 2012 - and it was just two of us on a brand new boat with Captain Colleen. The service was outstanding - she extended the tour because we were watching a pair of whales lunge feeding in tandem. Simply stunning.
Don't book the huge boat available through the cruise lines - you'll end up rushing from one side of the deck to the other as whales are spotted, and you might not see much with a big crowd of people in front of you. We saw this happening from the comfort of our boat's heated cabin, where we had unobstructed views of tons of whales.
There's not much else to do in Icy Strait, and I agree with others who have said it's the best spot for whale watching in Alaska!
Again, highly recommend.
Written June 1, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Icy Strait Whale Adventures - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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