Experience Southeast Alaska's abundant flora and wildlife via land and sea during this exclusive whale-watching and rainforest eco-tour.
This tour has been recommended by Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society based on its philosophy that guided experiences in nature should inspire people, young and old, to act responsibly for the protection of our planet's vital ecosystems.
Depart the pier for the narrated drive to the Mendenhall Glacier. Upon arrival, you will take a guided hike along a lush rainforest trail. Along the way, your guide will help you track the glacier's recession over the past 100 years, and teach you about how the Tongass National Forest is used for shelter, food and medicine. Various stops will be made for interpretation, photo opportunities and a chance to rest.
After your scenic hike, you will be served a snack and beverage during the drive to the sheltered harbor at Auke Bay. Upon arrival, you will embark an exploration vessel equipped with large windows that open fully to offer you an unrestricted viewing experience. This stable covered watercraft is also equipped with a hydrophone to hear the solemn sound of the whales (conditions permitting).
During your cruise in these protected waters, your naturalist guide will help you pinpoint an abundance of wildlife that includes humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, porpoise, seals, sea birds, and more. You will want to keep a camera handy as you travel quickly from place to place or drift quietly while you observe Alaska's most notable marine denizens. Your tour will include a free color publication, The Alaskan Rainforest. At the conclusion of this unique water and wilderness adventure, you will be transferred back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves approximately 1 mile of hiking on an improved trail. The operators of this excursion guarantee that you will be able to view at least one whale, or receive $100 cash as you disembark the vessel (do not anticipate a refund, as whales have been sighted on every tour conducted in the past 11 years). The group size will be limited to 20 participants to ensure a comfortable and interactive atmosphere. Guests are advised to dress warmly in layers, and wear sturdy, yet comfortable closed-toe walking shoes. Rain ponchos and jackets, binoculars, bottled water and a snack will be provided. This tour operates in all weather conditions. The minimum age to participate on this tour is six years old; children must be able to walk without assistance, and be accompanied by a parent.