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glacier/wildlife viewing

Indiana
4 posts
1 review
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glacier/wildlife viewing

I'll be in Alaska at the end of May. Flying into Anch. Driving down to Homer for a couple of days, Then I want to do a glacie/wildlife tour. Cannot decide between Seward or Whittier tour. After this, heading to Denali. Would probably just be in Seward for the cruise, but I am kind of getting the idea that the Whittier tour is better. Am I better off blowing off Seward, and spending this day doing something else?

Chugiak, Alaska
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2,104 posts
12 reviews
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1. Re: glacier/wildlife viewing

Depends on what you want to see whether which one is 'better' for you. You see more glaciers in Whittier on one of the tours- one stays longer at one glacier for more of a chance to see it calve. But I prefer seeing wildlife and Seward's the better choice for that. I took the Seward tour about the time you're talking about a few years ago and saw humpback whales- not much chance to see those out of Whittier. Also, Seward has a few more things going on than Whittier- Exit Glacier, the Sea LIfe Center and Seavey's Ididaride just to name a few. Not much else in Whittier other than the glacier cruise.

Indiana
4 posts
1 review
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2. Re: glacier/wildlife viewing

Thanks, appreciate the info.

Estero, Florida
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1,254 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: glacier/wildlife viewing

Much more wildlife on Seward cruises. Are you aware of the Denali limitations in May? Lof of stuff doesn't open and longer bus tours don't happen until June.

Indiana
4 posts
1 review
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4. Re: glacier/wildlife viewing

I absolutely want to see lots of wildlife, including whales. Have been told that eco sound adventures with capt. Gerry is an excellent tour, with trip to Blackstone Bay for Whales. Have read that it is much better than large boats with hundreds of people. Have I been misinformed? Will only be in Seward for day and a half, so don't know how much time I'll have for other stuff. Same for Whittier, just the tour. Do you guys recommend the bigger boats, or smaller ones. For wildlife viewing, it would seem that being closer to the water would be better. As far as Denali goes, doing a flightseeing flight, and possible raft trip. Did not know about the bus tour limitations, although I did not plan on going all the way to the end of line. Appreciate any more info. Thanks alot

Manitoba, Canada
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6,894 posts
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5. Re: glacier/wildlife viewing

"Gerry is an excellent tour, with trip to Blackstone Bay for Whales."

That's not where he goes. Very unlikely to see whales in Blackstone Bay--that's where the Majormarine tour goes to see glaciers, and you might see sea otters or an eagle or two, possibly seals.

Gerry takes you much further into Prince William Sound. His long-day whalewatch is your best chance to see humpbacks in the Kenai Peninsula region. He doesn't always find them, but nearly always.

"Do you guys recommend the bigger boats, or smaller ones."

Depends if you get seasick easily. In Prince William Sound it usually doesn't matter, since the waters there are protected and seldom rough. But with Kenai Fjords tours out of Seward, you do spend time in open ocean while rounding Aialik Cape. Usually pretty choppy there, Not uncommon for people to get seasick even in the larger boats....

If your stomach can take it, lol, try Saltwater Lodge's small-boat all day wildlife cruise. You'll have a bit of say in where the captain goes, unlike the larger boats which have a predetermined route.

At the end of May in Denali, the shuttles go to Toklat (6 hrs). On June 1st they start going to Eielson (8 hrs), which has a great view of McKinley if it's "out". More info at www.reservedenali.com .

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8,152 posts
45 reviews
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6. Re: glacier/wildlife viewing

We really enjoyed our day with Capt Gerry back in June 2006. We did his whale watching tour with icy bay add-on, which was great. We did see humpbacks in a couple of different spots. I would recommend him.

Indiana
4 posts
1 review
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7. Re: glacier/wildlife viewing

Thanks to all for all the info. Seems like in the end you get as many plus opinions as minus opinions. I guess in the end it's a crap shoot, you just pick and take your chances.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8. Re: glacier/wildlife viewing

Well not really a crap shoot. People are different and have varying interests and thresholds/tolerances.

Without naming names, there is a very popular and well regarded member of this forum who loathes a particular attraction in the F-banks area. We did it in Sept and enjoyed it. It's all a matter of personal opinion . . . and yes, ask 100 people and you'll get a variety of opinions and attitudes.

That is why it is next to impossible for ANYone to really respond to the general and broad question . . . "What should we do?" . . . or . . . "What is a can't miss?"

Hopefully with research and some input from folks here, you (and others too) can make the best decision for you and your travel companions.

West Palm Beach...
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798 posts
43 reviews
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9. Re: glacier/wildlife viewing

We went on both, Major Marine out of Seward and with Sound Eco (Gerry) the next day out of Whittier. I wanted to see both places and try a large and small tour. Timing had to be that way due to our itinerary.

I liked them both and saw lots of the wildlife on both, many of the same things but in different ways and places. It did not seem repetitive because of the experience of being right there on the small boat. That was neat to do.

We saw whales both large and small on the large boat. It was a sunny day and that was nice.

We were able to get closer to the wildlife, sea lions, glaciers, and shore lines on the small tour. Saw black bears on this one and got Gerry's personal commentary, which was great. I did not book a whale watching tour with Gerry so I was not expecting to see them. We did a half glacier and half wildlife tour.

10. Re: glacier/wildlife viewing

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