Sitka Wildlife Adventures
Sitka Wildlife Adventures
5
Boat ToursEco ToursPrivate ToursDolphin & Whale WatchingNature & Wildlife Tours

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

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5.0
202 reviews
Excellent
199
Very good
2
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
1

Sarah S
1 contribution
Nov 2023 • Solo
Captain Davey might just be the greatest spokesperson for the wild paradise that is Sitka.
Throughout our tour of the Sitka Sound on the Esther G II, Davey shared his extensive knowledge of the geography, biology, ecology and history of this wonderland.

Davey is also a thoughtful, kind and caring host, who has hot tea on board, so you can feel cozy in the inner cabin with a nice cup or pop out onto the deck and out in the ocean air for a closer look at the wildlife and the land + ocean scapes.

Seeing spouting whales was an incredible thrill and I was simply awestruck. The majestic beauty of the eagles holding court from high in their roosts was humbling. This was a truly transformative experience that I will carry with me always.

If you’re planning a trip to Sitka, do yourself a favor and book a trip on the Esther G II with Captain Davey!
Written December 1, 2023
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.

Richard L
Auckland Central, New Zealand60 contributions
Aug 2023 • Friends
6 of us from New Zealand joined Davey on a day we will never forget. Arriving at his home, we were welcomed aboard his comfortable boat and our adventure started almost immediately after when a whale surfaced nearby. Davey's superb knowledge of the wildlife took us to amazing places, mixing time of quiet relaxation with excitement as we explored his playground. Davey - one of the very best. We loved our day with you.
Richard
Written September 4, 2023
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.

Stevex19
Lecanto, FL25 contributions
Jul 2022
Really an excellent boat tour of Sitka sound. Relatively large boat with both enclosed and open areas. The Captain was obviously very experienced and knew all of the best spots to go to. The seasonal tour guide was excellent, knowledgable and very enthusiastic about her job. Saw quite a few whales (even a grey whale that is not common in these waters). Also got a close-up look at a Sea Otter colony. Well worth the time and probably one of the best things to do in Sitka.
Written July 21, 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.

ACinSF
6 contributions
Apr 2022
**Full disclosure: Captain Davey is a friend but I stand by my review. It would be the same if he were a stranger**

I have been to Sitka 3 times and it has always been an amazing experience. Each time I was lucky enough to have gone on a Sitka Wildlife Adventures tour. The Sitka Sound is a stunningly beautiful environment, filled with incredible wildlife. I can't imagine a better way to see it than with Captain Davey on his amazing boat, the Esther G II. Captain, Davey is an awesome, fun, funny and extremely knowledgable expert on the region and its wildlife and history. We saw whales, seals, sea lions, otters, eagles and more. This past trip Davey asked us if we wanted to be surrounded by whales. Of course we all said yes, not really expecting what was about to unfold. Shortly after, we began to see the spouts of many gray whales. Before long we were indeed surrounded by them, dozens of them. The were everywhere, near and far. Many whales breaking the surface to catch a breath, some so close it felt almost as if you could reach out and touch them (you couldn't, of course). We broke out our picnic lunch and ate while we drifted surrounded by these magnificent creatures.

I cannot recommend this experience highly enough! Each time, and especially this last time, offered experiences that I will never forget. Truly an experience of a lifetime! Don't forget your camera! If I could give it more that 5 stars, I certainly would.
Written April 19, 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.

Christine S
Seattle, WA17 contributions
Aug 2022 • Business
We had an amazing tour this evening, seeing otters, humpback whales bears, eagles, and so many salmon leaping out of the water. The captain is an excellent tour guide. I can't recommend this highly enough!!
Written August 16, 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.

Dom P
United States125 contributions
Jul 2015 • Family
We first contacted Davey Lubin many months before taking our trip to Alaska. We discussed rates and exchanged information back and forth. When it got close to the time of departure, we approached other operators of boat tours just to make sure we were taking a good boat. We requested several times both in writing and verbally the typical tour around the Sitka Sound and made it very clear both in writing and verbally that we were not taking a "private excursion". We were shocked to hear that he wanted us to pay the "private excursion" rate of $1,050.00 for 4 people, minus $50.00 discount, even though, as we say, we made it very clear we wanted to extra time or extra places on the tour than the typical rate he publishes on his website for 2015. We thought we were encouraging him to charge the regular rate by offering him to allow others to go on our tour, so he could receive the higher rate. He told us that 6 persons could comfortably fit on his boat, and we were a party of 4. A 2015 regular tour rate was confirmed by Davey around the sound is $150.00 per person, meaning $600.00 for 3 hours for a family of 4, and $175.00 per person, meaning $700.00 for 4 hours . That means paying $300.00 more dollars in our case. HUGE OVER CHARGE RATE. Again, I must say that we stated clearly, we did not want a private excursion, which entails hiking or other feature other than the typical boat tour around the sound to see the marine life. After questioning 3 times in writing the charges and talking on the phone, we were shocked that the response turned out to not be good, and we thought we almost missed out on what turns out to be A BEAUTIFUL TRIP TO ST. LAZARIA ISLAND AND AROUND THE SOUND!!!! SO, OUR ADVISE IS IF YOU WANT TO TAKE A TRIP ON SITKA SOUND, IT IS A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE, ESPECIALLY WHEN WE SAW ST. LAZARIA ISLAND, AND you should not hesitate to take a tour, we just thought was wise to beware of the different pricing from Esther G tours was not fair to us. St. Lazaria Island is a nesting bird colony located about 20 miles from Sitka, AK. There is a beautiful small cove that smaller boats can fit into, and we saw beautiful colors of star fish attached to cove. Kanasx'ee is the name of the island in the Tlingit language tribe that located in Sitka many years ago. The island has some of the most beautiful natural formations that we have ever seen!!!! Stika is a quaint Alaskan town, and one of the highlights of our trip was seeing the sound from the water!!!!!!!!! The poor rating comes from our experience of the hassle over the rates, and the fact that we almost missed out on this wonderful experience!!!!!!
Written July 14, 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.
This individual has a lot to say for someone who never set foot on my boat...... I mostly offer only private experiences, for specific rates; my rates are clearly indicated both on my website and through direct communication, with prospective passengers. I am glad that she enjoyed Sitka, the most beautiful place in Alaska!
Written July 18, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Paul S
Ellicott City, MD21 contributions
Jul 2019
We’d heard about Sitka Wildlife Adventures from some fellow travelers, and so we splurged and booked a 4-hour tour with Davey Lupin about a month before heading to Sitka. We met up with Davey on an overcast day in July, and spent the next 4 hours with him on his custom-designed “Ester G 2”. This proved to be a super-comfortable and exceptionally well-designed water craft for the purpose of his guiding sightseeing customers around. It is fast and safe and completely fine regardless of whether it is raining or shining. We spent the next 4 hours watching humpback whales, orcas, and all manner of seabirds (Merls, Puffins, Gulls, Cormorants, etc.) nesting, frolicking, etc. We watched Falcons chasing after Bald Eagles and even a Falcon devouring a catch (another unlucky bird). And through it all we enjoyed learning so much from Davey about the history of this place and (when I asked) the Latin names of plants and even animals. Davey’s knowledge is simply encyclopedic and his manner super-friendly and enthusiastic. This is a journey for both young and old. Bring your camera, but no need for binoculars as Davey provides these. And invest in the 4 hour experience; 3 hours might not be quite enough.

Simply a fantastic experience.
Written August 7, 2019
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.

GrandmaSanAntonio--VV Gee
San Antonio,TX55 contributions
Sep 2017 • Friends
6 of us from San Antonio spent a marvelous day with Capn.Davey. He is very knowledgeable and obviously loves his job.We saw otters, sea lions, and sat in a pod of humpback whales.What a thrill! I cannot say enough good things about this. tour. we loved every minute of it. I expect he will be receiving tamales from us soon. Luv ya, Dave from grandma San Antonio.
Written September 23, 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.

ecs403
Gardner, CO15 contributions
Aug 2016 • Couples
Capt. Davey went out of his way to accomodate us when we found out another tour we were going to take had sold out. So glad we were referred to him. My only regret is that we didn't have more time because of our cruise ship schedule. He was able to drop us right at the dock literally steps from our ship so that we could maximize the time we did have. We saw tons of whales and otters. Great personality and shared lots of interesting information with us. Will definitely book another trip with him in the future!! Our day on the Esther G made us fall in love with Sitka :)
Written September 16, 2016
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.

AuntMimi02
PA19 contributions
Planning an Alaska vacation is a big deal, especially when traveling from far-away Philadelphia, PA. We did a lot of research to ensure that we would have no regrets.

Ten years earlier I visited Sitka, Alaska and found it to be one of the most beautiful spots on earth. Not only is the scenery breathtaking, but the people are kind and unpretentious. Russian and Native American culture permeate the town.

So Sitka was on the itinerary for this trip, not by accident. After reading reviews on cruise and travel websites, we reserved a 3 hour Marine Wildlife Tour with Captain Davey Lubin on his boat, the Ester G. His website is www.puffinsandwhales.com.

Captain Davey met us, and 2 other couples, at the boat dock just steps from where the cruise ship tender docks. The Ester G is quite comfortable. Its size allowed us to maneuver close to wildlife-laden beach and rock formations that would be impossible with a larger boat. When we passed the huge cruise ship excursion boat, jammed with fellow travelers, we were so happy that we were on the Ester G.

Captain Davey is a family man who is active in the Sitka community. Sitka, the waterways and wildlife are part of his life. He is not a “tour operator”, but a naturalist who shares his passion for Alaska’s natural resources and wildlife. We experienced Alaska through his eyes. It was a wonderful!

We were able to observe puffins and other seabirds, starfish, otters, gray whales and humpback whales all at close range. He took us to a secluded beach that bears frequent. Although we did not see any bears, the cove was beautiful and we took some great photos.

This long-overdue review was inspired while reminiscing over our photos. Take a look at the photos we have posted from our trip on the Ester G. (Unfortunately, my camera is not good enough for wildlife photography.)

Do not hesitate to reserve a Marine Wildlife Tour with Captain Davey Lubin and the Ester G. It may be the highlight of your trip, as it was ours.
Written February 27, 2010
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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