We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Had a great time”
Review of Juneau Whale Watch

Juneau Whale Watch
Book In Advance
More Info
$135.00*
and up
Whale Watch and Mendenhall Glacier Combo Tour
More Info
$99.00*
and up
Juneau Whale Watching Tour
More Info
$99.00*
and up
Juneau Shore Excursion: City and Mendenhall Glacier Tour with Seafood Lunch or...
Ranked #1 of 81 Tours in Juneau
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Get the most out of your shore excursion in Juneau with our central port pick-up, flexible schedule at the Mendenhall Glacier Park and deluxe whale watching boats!
Reviewed November 15, 2013

We travelled to Juneau by Cruise ship in May 2013. I love whales and was hoping we could see some on our trip. The fabulous girls who took us out on the boat made sure of that. Not only did we get to see a humpback almost immediately upon departing shore but they excitedly sped us over to where they were told there were some Orca's. It was amazing! There were about three different pods from 3-5 in numbers and I was really impressed that the girls did not fight the other boats in following the whales frighteningly close. We stayed back as is the rule where I am from and had an amazing show and were awarded when a pod came up right by our boat for us to enjoy before the other boats noticed them. It was fantastic. Everyone was great from the bus driver to the boat driver and I would highly recommend this group.

Thank gulumpuss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (2,689)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

2,459 - 2,463 of 2,689 reviews

Reviewed November 15, 2013

If you are going to Alaska and want to see whales - this is TOUR to take. I have used them in the past and this past summer my 21 y/o cousin and 18 y/o step-daughter went out with them (August 2013). They saw more whales then they could count. The service was excellent and the staff on board was very knowledgable. We would NOT hesitiate to book with this company again.

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
1  Thank Robert M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2013

Went out on an unusually warm day in May 2013. The waters were extremely rough and while most whale watching tours were cancelled that day ours went out. Since the boat was pretty full we were "lucky" to sit up top with the captain. Can't remember his name, I think because I tried to block the trip out, but he was a new captain and from Philadelphia. He was really charming but obviously did understand about the safety of the passengers. We were out in at least 6-7 foot swells. At one point we his a wave so awkwardly because he insisted on hitting them head on, that the captain fell of his chair to the ground and my husband went flying across the cabin. The only reason I didn't fall is because I was holding on for dear life. The other captain came up from below because someone was hurt. In addition, she told him to change the way he was maneuvering the boat but he insisted that was the way to do it. We only saw the tail of a whale (which most didn't see) and on whale spouting up a bit. Oh, and we saw a seal that we almost hit. They were so determined to show us something because they didn't want to give the money back that, I believe, they put the passengers in danger. Sure, I would have been disappointed not to go out but I still have nightmares about the crashing down of the boat and really thinking we were about to die. I do not recommend.

2  Thank pms1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2013

My wife and I had been to Juneau two years ago on a cruise. The one thing we didn't get to do in Juneau was hike to the Nugget Falls, so that was the one thing I was most looking forward to. When we booked the Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Watching combo tour this time (four months before our July cruise), I saw that the we'd have "5 1/2 Hours" and two of those hours were for whale watching. I figured we'd have between 1.5-2 hours of glacier exploring time. FYI: you need to meet in town where the gondola/skycar loads to go up the mountain when you check in.

We checked in and were told a white school bus would be arriving soon. When it started to pull in, a huge mob of people ran over to the bus in front of us. The bus driver started yelling because the crowd was trying to get on the bus and apparently some had been waiting 45 minutes to get on their tour. Most of these people had just bought tickets for the tour in town since they had carbon copy receipts that they were handing to the bus driver. She yelled to keep control of the crowd as a group of 21 pushed their way onto the bus, then another large group, then another. All seats and the aisle were filled with standing people (for what would end up being a 30 minute drive, by the way). There around 10 of us that didn't get onto the bus, including my family and I that had booked in advance.

The reservation time that we booked meant nothing. The company oversold their tours. We went back to the guy that checked us in and started asking what the heck was going on. He said that "that happens sometimes." The main issue that we had was that the pickup time from the Mendenhall Glacier to take us to the docks for whale watching wasn't permitted to shift and we were now eating heavily into our glacier exploring time.

About 20 minutes later, a smaller shuttle arrived before the next bus came. Those that couldn't get on the first bus were put on the shuttle and all of us had seats. By the time we got to the glacier, it was 3:20pm. Our reservation was at 2:30pm, and our pickup to whale watch was at 3:45pm. I realized that from the get-go we were being screwed since there was no way to get my estimated glacier time with a half hour bus ride. We would have had 45 minutes at best. Instead, we got 25 minutes, which was enough to walk to the lookout, take some pictures, soak in the view (which was amazing), and return back to the bus area to wait for transport to whale watching. By then I was very disappointed and sad.

We had to actively find out if drivers were part of our company and would be taking people to the docks. A blue van arrived, we showed them our pickup ticket and said he was with our company. We boarded and took a 10 minute ride down to the docks where we met our deck hand. She was a very nice young girl that kept us all company while more people arrive. Once full, we were led to the whale watching boat.

Both she and the captain were great. We got to see one humpback and some sea lions on a buoy. We were headed to see another humpback and a baby when we turned around to help another tour boat that had lost power and was stuck next to some rocks in the middle of the harbor. After many passes we connected our two boats with a rope and attempted to pull them out, but to no avail. We spent a good half hour trying to help, and it effectively terminated the rest of our trip to see more whales. The whole excursion ended up finishing at 6:30pm, 1.5 hours before the confirmation had said. That extra time we could have easily had to explore the glacier properly. While every staff member was very nice, nobody tried to help give us the experience we had paid for. As a result, we are actively seeking for a full refund and I must provide a negative review based on our tour. Be warned.

Update: Following attempts to get a refund, 50% of our cost was given back. That's why this is a score of 2 and not a 1.

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
2  Thank Jason K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2013

The guide did everything possible to find whales. My husband is legally blind and special effort was made to ensure that he saw the many whales . The vessel was clean, sturdy and was piloted safely. I highly recommend this tour!

1  Thank much_appreciative
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Juneau Whale Watch? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing