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Gastineau Guiding Company - Juneau's Premier Guiding Company
Ranked #2 of 85 Tours in Juneau
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Gastineau Guiding has been offering small-group fully-guided wilderness experiences to Juneau travelers for over 20 years. Step into Alaska with a passionate and professional Certified Interpretive Guide. Our guiding mission is to provide each guest with a sense of wonder about this special place we call home. Our modern fleet of custom built safari vessels provides the best vantage for viewing and photographing marine wildlife - whale sightings are guaranteed. Join us on a specialty trip by land & sea tailored to your interests: Juneau's original - Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari; Tour of the Year - Alaska's Whales, Glaciers & Rainforest Trails; The science behind the scenery - Discover Alaska's Whales (Science Adventure). Guided rainforest hikes with glacier views and alpine treks for active visitors are also available. Custom Group Tours and Charters are also available for those traveling to Juneau independent of a cruise line.
Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best guides ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2012

My in-laws took us on an Alaskan cruise, departing Seattle on July 27. Our first port of call was Juneau, and I was signed up for Gastineau's Photo Safari trip, which included a short nature walk to Mendenhall Glacier and whale sight-seeing. Our guide, Annie Macie, was amazing. Not only is she a whale biologist, but she's also a professional wildlife photographer, so she helped everyone on the excursion learn how to optimize their cameras to get the best photos possible. We learned techniques to make the blue in the glacier ice really pop, and helpful shutter speed and f-stop advice for shooting the glaciers and the whales.

When it came time for the whale watching portion of our excursion, being in such a small group with a biologist and a fantastic captain (Captain Jen) really paid off! Annie explained to us exactly what to look for in order to catch the perfect fluke shot, and explained a lot of the behaviors of the whales that were fascinating and helpful in photographing them. Captain Jen explained to us the 30-minute rule of whale watching, so when we passed by some rare humpback bubble feeding behavior surrounded by boats, we knew it was so we wouldn't waste time on the periphery waiting our turn to get close. Instead, we found a second pod, watched them for 30 minutes, then headed back and got some close up shots of the bubble feeding. Looking out at the giant whale-watching excursion boats that lumbered out on the water, I was really pleased with having chosen Gastineau!

My brother-in-law's family also did a Gastineau Guiding trip, Whales and Trails. They didn't get the photography advice, but they also had a biologist as their guide who they loved. We actually fought over who had the better guide, which is a pretty good sign that this is an all around high-quality guiding company. None of our other family members were nearly as pleased with their Juneau excursions as we were!

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Denver, Colorado, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2012

This was by far the highlight of our cruise to Alaska. We had a young guide named Stacy. She not only was a photography expert, but she taught us many interesting facts about the wildlife we saw. This company guarantees that if you don't see whales, you get $100 cash refund. NO REFUND NECESSARY! We found a pod of 13 humpback whales that were bubble net feeding. Our captain, Nat, was able to get us within about 100 yards, and allowed us not only to get some incredible photos, but put a speaker in the water so we could hear the whales singing! Absolutely awesome! We also got within about 20 yards of a trio of humpbacks feeding in another area. We also got good views of the glacier, and learned alot of interesting facts about that, as well. This excursion was so much fun, and Stacy was one of the best guides I've ever had.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Patty J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Big Sky Country
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2012

(Booked our tour through Holland America prior to our cruise on the Volendam) We are still raving about our tour led by Hugh, a fellow Montanan, on July 20th, 2012. Wonderful small group, knowledgable guide, and accomodating whales as well as some of the best weather Juneau has ever seen made this a fabulous day. 1500 photos later I am still purging them, but this one of the whales and the sea lions I liked on the first pass. Hugh gave some excellent photo tips and as I compare my photos cruising into Juneau and the ones for the rest of the cruise, I can see that I am using them! My sister in law "practiced" for the next week and is just as thrilled as she was on the excursion. We had a great time and have recommended this trip to everyone.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Kahili-Okole16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Avondale, Arizona, United States
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing excursion!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2012

My husband & I took our 1st Alaskan cruise for our 20th anniversary & out of all the whale watching excursions we could have taken, I'm so glad we chose this one! Audrey & Lee were so informative as we hiked the Alaskan Rainforest to Mendenhall Glacier while allowing us enough time to really enjoy ourselves & get some amazing pictures! The Whale Watching portion of the excursion was breath taking. We not only saw whales, but we were the 1st ship in the area able to experience their bubble feeding behaviors up close before the other tour boats caught wind of the excitement! Unfortunately, in the middle of all this excitement my camera battery died, but Audrey saved the day by forwarding me her own pictures from our excursion after we got home. Now everyone will have to believe how magnificent it truely was!!!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Yvette S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edison, New Jersey
1 review
“Great trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2012

Just wanted to say what a great tour we took to whale watching and hike to mendenhall glacier. Our guide was Grayson Carlile. He was a mature young knowledgable guide. We were promised to see whales and the they sure kept their promise. We were lucky enough to see the whales up close bubble netting. Our boat driver made sure he got close enough for all of us to experience the thrill of seeing the whales. It sure was a highlight on our Alaska trip. Very worth while tour.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank k s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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