Frequently Asked Questions
How many guests do you take out?
Though our vessel is designed to carry 26 passengers, we will typically only take reservations for up to 24 to ensure our guests have an uncrowded experience and can move freely throughout the vessel. Whether we take out 4 or 24 guests, everywhere on the boat feels like you have a front row/window seat. The design is such that the windows open up completely inward and out of the way allowing each person to have that nose to nose feeling with the whales when they come up alongside. The seat back cushions fold outward over the window sill providing an arm rest to stabilize cameras to get off some great shots of those whales.
How big is your boat?
Our boat is approximately 43 feet long and 12 feet wide, with a low to the water profile design; it has extra-large windows allowing unrestricted viewing while getting up close to wildlife. We do consider ourselves one of the smaller boats – not like the 150 passenger boat offered by the cruise line. Our custom built whale watching boat has the capacity for 26 passengers plus a Captain and crew but we cap it off at 24 to ensure plenty of elbow room. We have much more square footage per passenger then any of the other small boat experiences out there.
Is there a bathroom onboard?
Yes, our vessel maintains a private bathroom to accommodate our guests.
Is it heated, protected from rain, is there an inside to the boat?
Yes, the boat is heated and fully enclosed so that guests can escape the elements if so desired. However, Alaska weather is unpredictable so we advise all of our guests to bring warm clothing – jackets, mittens and hats.
What type of whales and wildlife will be seen?
Southeast Alaska has an abundance of wildlife to experience, and our Captain does his best to provide our guests the opportunity to see not only the majestic humpback whale, but orcas, Stellar sea lions, Dall’s porpoise, sea otters, eagles, and the occasional Alaska brown bear.
How long is the trip?
The trip is 3 hours from pick-up at Icy Strait Point, with all but the first 15 minutes spent on the water experiencing the beauty of southeast Alaska.
Is your boat wheel chair accessible?
Though we cannot accommodate a wheel chair onboard for safety reasons, we have accommodated guests on crutches and those with casts or broken legs. We can drive our van right down to the dock but guests must be able to physically walk into the boat on their own power.
What happens if the ship gets in late? Or cancels the port?
We understand that you have no control over when the ship arrives and departs. Should your ship get in late, we will do our best to accommodate any of our scheduled guests either via a shortened and discounted tour, or a refund. If your ship decides to stay later due to getting in late then all tours just get pushed back a bit and we can still offer the full tour. If your ships cancels that port call, we will provide a 100% refund.
Is the morning or the afternoon better for whale watching?
The beauty of having one of Alaska’s largest resident whale populations feeding in the waters of Icy Strait is that they are typically on display all day, morning and afternoon.
What is your cancellation policy?
Severe weather or small craft advisories may require us to alter our itinerary to keep you comfortable and, more importantly, safe in our Alaskan waters; but that won’t keep us from having fun and ensuring a memorable experience. In return, we ask for a two (2) week notice on any cancellations so that we may open these spots to others. A 50% cancellation fee will be charged for cancellations made later than two (2) weeks. No refunds will be given for “no-shows” or last minute cancellations of 48 hours or later. If your ship cannot make it due to mechanical problems, a 100% refund will be provided.
Will I get seasick? How rough does it get?
We usually don’t encounter heavy swells or the type of seas that tend to cause seasickness. With our newer, sturdier boat you often don’t feel the waves. The wind can pick up on occasion even on the inside passage and the water can get choppy. So, if you are prone to motion sickness then we highly recommend taking seasickness meds 30 minutes before the tour. No need to worry about drowsiness, the excitement of the whales will keep you awake!
Where do we go to meet up?
Icy Strait Point has invested in a new departure center, which makes locating us much easier! After exiting the ship, proceed ashore to the Icy Strait Point Adventure Center. Once inside the Adventure Center, walk through the building and exit through door Number 2, which is clearly marked. Follow the signs to the Excursions Hub where you will meet our Captain with a sign that says Icy Strait Whale Adventures. We ask that all guests arrive 30 minutes prior to departure time.
What is the price? Any discounts?
The price per person is $159 + taxes. Discounts are provided for group booking depending on the size of your group. Please call our operations manager, Colleen, at 907.321.7585 to inquire about group bookings.
How do we book a tour through you?
The best way to book and to see up to the minute availability is to log onto Icystraitwhaleadventures.com. Scroll down the list until you see the ship that you are coming in on. Click on the “Book Now” button. You will then be given available dates from which you can choose. The rest is pretty easy from there but if you prefer to book over the phone just call Colleen at 907-321-7585 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.