Alaska Whale Watching
There are various species of whales in Alaskan waters each year. Humpbacks and Orcas are the most popular. But, there are also Gray, Blue, and Beluga whales as well. Knowledge of their migration patterns is essential for an Alaskan whale watching trip, so be sure to plan accordingly.
The most sought after whales are Humpbacks. They reside in Alaska during Spring, Summer, and Fall. Most commonly seen in Glacier Bay, the Bering Sea, and the Prince William Sound. They prefer to spend their time in the colder waters, until it’s time for mating and calving. During the winter they migrate to more tropical areas such as Hawaii, Mexico, and Japan.
Blue and Gray whales both spend their winters in Mexico. Gray Whales spend their Springtime in Alaska in the Bering Sea. Your best bet of seeing them is during April and May. Whereas, Blue whales are seldomly found close to shore. They are easier found in the north and east ends of the Gulf of Alaska in August.
The Belugas and Orcas differ from the others a bit as they can be found in Alaska year-round. Belugas are most commonly found in the Shelikof Strait and Cook Inlet. Orcas, or Killer whales, are actually not whales at all, but dolphins. They can be seen between May and June in Resurrection Bay, as well as throughout southeast Alaska.
The best and most successful way to look for whales is from a boat. Whale watching tours are common everywhere the whales frequent and most are just day cruise away. Some boats are even equipped with hydrophone systems so that you can not only watch these magnificent animals, but listen to them as well. Don’t forget your camera because your Alaska whale watching trip is one you’ll want to remember forever.