Whale Watching Adventure

Gray whale gives a tail slap while surfacing off Prince of Wales
One of the best features about Prince of Wales Island is how close it brings you to nature. With the exception of a few small towns, most of the land here is untouched, undeveloped, and preserved for future generations. This means that if you want to see everything from bears to birds in their natural habitat, this is the place to do it.

Of course, all that wild beauty isn’t just reserved to the land. With 990 miles of coastline around the island, we’re also known for our incredible marine life. In addition to the open ocean, this part of Southeast Alaska is dotted with bays, inlets, and hidden coves. These aren’t always easy for humans to find, but marine animals have been making use of them for centuries.

Whales to Watch

Gray whale breaching Southeast Alaska
If, like most of our visitors, you’ve come to Prince of Wales Island to fish, then you already know that the waters here are teeming with seafood. It should be no surprise that the same thing drawing you here also draws several species of whales. For example, humpbacks and gray whales spend the winter months in warmer waters to give birth and nurture their calves, but head back our way every spring. Orcas, on the other hand, stick around just to feed, and will usually follow the trail of their next big meal.

Of everything to see on your marine life adventure, the humpback whales are unquestionably the biggest draw. They’ll often breach the water right next to our boats, making it easy – and sometimes damp! – to get a close look at their activities. Orcas, gray whales, beluga, and minke whales can also be found traversing these waterways either in search of food or along their usual migratory paths. Depending on the time of year you visit, you might be able to add quite a few sightings to your bucket list.

Sea lions, harbor seals, dolphins, porpoises, and sea otters also make the waters around Prince of Wales Island their playground. And playground is exactly what it is – don’t be surprised to find these animals playing peek-a-boo and other games with you. Because both visitors and residents here tend to be very respectful of the wildlife, they’re rarely afraid to come close to say hello.

Killer whale surfaces for air off Prince of Wales Island coast

Your Maritime Excursion

Just as we take our fishing excursions seriously, so too do we pull out all the stops for your marine life adventure. Climb aboard one of our comfortable, 28-foot cabin cruisers for your maritime adventure, with comfortable seating for four. Our U.S. Coast Guard certified skippers have been living and breathing this area for years. Not only do they know just where to look to find the best concentrations of whales, seals, and sea lions, but they’re knowledgeable about all the geography and bird life that will set the background for your tour.

Although you’re welcome to sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean on your adventure, we strongly recommend that you bring a camera. Even first-time photographers are able to capture breathtaking photos during a tour of this kind. With 360-degree views and wildlife breaking through the waters at every turn, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take a picture worth way more than a thousand words.

Lone seal suns itself on buoy

Planning Your Whale Watching Adventure

The best time of the year for whale watching is April through September, so time your trip accordingly. Porpoises and dolphins tend to move through a little later in the year, starting around June, but can also be sighted a little early (provided you know where to look).

And even if you don’t encounter a whale while you’re out on the water, there will still be plenty of scenery for you to take in. Travel in comfort, relax knowing you’re in good hands, and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Alaska at its best.

Book your stay at Alaska’s Boardwalk Lodge now, and consider enjoying a Marine Life Adventure. With Boardwalk’s own fleet of boats, most of these tours can be easily arranged. But please alert your reservationist that you’d like to take this excursion, so we can prepare accordingly.

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