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“Amazing!!!”
Review of Snorkel Alaska

Snorkel Alaska
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Snorkel Alaska operates the Mountain Point Snorkeling Adventure in Ketchikan, Alaska. The tour is an all inclusive Shore Excursion offered by all major cruise lines visiting Alaska. Everything need to snorkel safely and comfortably is provided from state of the equipment, transportation and PADI Professional Divemasters and SCUBA Instructors in the water with you. Opened in 2001 by a former Norwegian Cruise Line Dive In Instructor, rest assured you will be provided the highest level of customer service. Why sit on a bus when you can jump in the water in Alaska!
Useful Information: Baby buggy parking, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I thought we were crazy getting up at 6:30 to go snorkeling in Alaska, but it was worth everything. The guides were helpful, fun, and knowledgeable. We even had a humpback wale swim by not even 50 yards away from us!! It was fun, exciting, and warm!!!! I never got cold in the water, and the guides had hot water waiting for us on the beach. I highly recommend this experience.

Thank Bella S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fred D, Owner at Snorkel Alaska, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you Bella!

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"sea urchins"
in 55 reviews
"wet suits"
in 57 reviews
"weight belt"
in 22 reviews
"sea life"
in 66 reviews
"star fish"
in 32 reviews
"bragging rights"
in 17 reviews
"free dive"
in 15 reviews
"water temperature"
in 14 reviews
"dive shop"
in 9 reviews
"hot shower"
in 9 reviews
"underwater camera"
in 7 reviews
"prescription masks"
in 7 reviews
"hot chocolate"
in 29 reviews
"non stinging"
in 4 reviews
"hermit crabs"
in 5 reviews
"step by step"
in 4 reviews
"unique experience"
in 13 reviews
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14 - 18 of 360 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I was quite excited about this tour. I have been a certified diver for over 20 years and have over 750 dives under my belt all over the Caribbean and Atlantic. I was excited to snorkel the north pacific waters and see what it had to offer. Unfortunately, what I found was one of the most ecologically unfriendly tours I have ever been on! If this was a dive operation instead of a tourist destination they would be out of business long ago. People were encouraged to stand, sit or kneel all over the rocks with no regard to what soft bodied creatures they might be crushing. I would imagine quite a few since almost everything we saw were stars and cucumbers. This also stirred up the water and made the visibility nearly 0. I strayed from the group, but well within the boundaries that we were given, to find some clear water. However, this resulted in me getting fussed at by one of the guides, so I shuffled back into the mucked up water. Later, I saw one of the guides pass a rather large purple star off to another guide for a talk. This star quickly became stuck to the guides glove. The first guide returned and asked why she wasn't passing it around, and was told it was stuck. The initial guide then ripped the starfish off the glove to pass it around. She was so rough with the star that it left several of its feet on the glove it was ripped from. Now, I know these regenerate, but there was no need for this. I was honestly pretty disgusted that they used the name PADI, a very reputable dive organization, and the one that I hold several certifications from, on their paper work. This is not at all what PADI teaches or condones when it comes to ecologically responsible diving. You don't handle marine wildlife. You don't stand or sit on rock structure or even on a sandy bottom while diving. It's just not acceptable.

On a final note, just because everyone wants to know this, no I was not cold at any point, maybe because I was boiling inside form the scenes I described above.

1  Thank Matta2309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fred D, Owner at Snorkel Alaska, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Dear Matta2309,

Thanks for the review of one small part of my tour that you don't agree with or understand for that matter. Did we really deserve a "one star" rating? Was the equipment not top notch and plentiful? How many snorkel / dive operators spend the most for top of the line equipment? We even have prescriptions masks. All divers know that SCUBAPRO is the best gear on the market. Was the tour not conducted safely and efficiently? Were my staff not there to help dress each and every one of you and your family in the dressing rooms, on the beach and tending quickly to equipment issues in the water? All this while providing an informative and entertaining presentation of Pacific Northwest Marine Life. We've been at this for a very long with your review being the third "one star" review. We have received numerous awards from the cruise lines, the local visitor bureau and from Trip Advisor!

This is the Pacific Northwest and not the Caribbean, Hawaii or other tropical location that has sensitive coral reefs. I wish every guest was a comfortable "diver" with so much experience as you. We have many elderly guests, overweight guests and out of shape guests that are not really up to the rigors of snorkeling in Alaska even though the tour is rated as "most strenuous". We allow and encourage these guest to stand on the bottom at certain select locations that are void of the sensitive marine life. We have found that if we don't let them stand up and rest they tend to become overexerted, out of breath and in need of rescue with the first 10 minutes of the tour! We do this for safety reasons and also to allow our staff to present a small number of durable creatures that can safely be handled without harming them. If everyone was super fit, took a weight belt and did some free diving we'd gladly you point you to the water and turn you loose. However, there are some real hazards out there to be aware of like fishing boats and currents so we like the group to stay together for the most part. One experienced snorkeler straying a little ways from the group as fine until it's becomes a safety issue.

Yes, maybe our guide was in error with the one sea star you mention. I wasn't in that water that day so it's your word against there's. But I can assure you and all of our past and future guests that my staff are trained to handle the marine life delicately and to always replace them back where found or in the same depth and habitat. All of my staff have way more diving and in water leadership experience then you and we know what are the acceptable practices in Pacific Northwest waters. I have employed numerous Marine Biologists over the years as well who know and understand what are safe and acceptable practices when handling our marine life.

I led the very first tour snorkeling tour at Mountain Point in 1994 and have seen no issues with the marine life. In fact, it is thriving out there. We use one small site on the side of the road to conduct our tour. Alaska's marine eco system is one of the most vast in the world so we are not making any impact whatsover. If we were harming our creatures, your right, we would have been out of business years ago.

Our tides fluctuate up to 20 feet in 6 hours. At high tide the rocks we stand on are only covered with seaweed or are bare. At low tide we do our best to discourage standing up unless on sandy areas or on the bare rocks. There is more marine life in Alaska's intertidal zone then anywhere in the world and if you saw were stars and sea cucumbers then clearly you didn't take a weight belt and do some free diving.

Lastly, I have been a PADI Instructor for 30 years with thousands of logged dives, have certified hundreds of divers and taken many more thousands of snorkelers into the water. You say above that divers don't kneel on a sandy bottom? How else are training dives conducted when learning skills like regulator recovery, mask clearing etc? How many new students or new divers crash into the reef while learning buoyancy control? How many underwater photographers have I seen laying on the coral to get that perfect shot.

It has been my life's work taking people into the water and I love my job and my business. We are impacting the ocean in some way when we go snorkeling or SCUBA diving. It's our job to minimize the impact and still turn new people on to the underwater world. Consider the way you travelled to Alaska on a cruise ship. With 40 plus ships visiting Southeast Alaska how much pollutants are distributed into the air and water? You might consider your mode of travel and the impact it had on our ecosystem before you try to damage my reputation with your review.

Sincerely,

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We had a great time even though we were a little apprehensive about getting into cold water. (We are tropical divers!). The gear was top quality and we were very comfortable. We saw very different marine life to home on Saba. It was a great tour. Thanks guys!

Thank PISaba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fred D, Owner at Snorkel Alaska, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hello Saba divers! Hopefully you met Kurt??? He used to teach diving on Saba. I got to dive there once when I worked for NCL stopping in St. Maarten. Fabulous diving there!

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Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

Such a fun time!! How many people can say they snorkeled in ALASKA?!? We did! Surprisingly, with the 7mm wet suits, it was not even cold! We were able to see thousands of jelly fish, Star fish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, hermit crab, and a crab. Our guides (Nena, Grayson, and Curt) were awesome! I loved Nena’s detailed information and cheerful spirit! Thank you!

Thank Scarlkj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fred D, Owner at Snorkel Alaska, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thanks for the review!

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Reviewed 11 June 2018 via mobile

Ok, so we did this as an excursion because how many people can say they have snorkeled...in Alaska?!? The wet suits kept us comfortable, the staff was knowledgeable, safe and patient. It was a really cool experience. My 8yo was a bit scared, so maybe not the best idea for non-adventurous types under 10. But overall it was a good time and we now have another fun memory.

Thank Saramgc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fred D, Owner at Snorkel Alaska, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago
Google Translation

:)

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