Frequently Asked Questions & Health Considerations
How many guests do you take out?
Due to the need for responsible physical distancing we may limit the number of guests we typically carry. We will monitor the CDC guidelines on suggested reduction of capacities and make changes accordingly.
How big is your boat?
Our boat is 41 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 boats have the capacity for 18-26 passengers. They are very spacious and allows us to implement physical distancing as needed. We have much more square footage per passenger than any of the other small boat experiences out there.
Is there a bathroom onboard?
Yes, our vessel maintains a private bathroom which is a typical marine “head”, meaning small in size as would be expected on a boat. We are implementing stronger measures on cleaning and disinfecting to ensure your health and safety. Hand sanitizer will be provided for all 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. Once the captain stops the boat to observe whales, guests may go outside on the bow or the stern.
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 approximately 3 hours from pick-up at Icy Strait Point to drop off. Our transfer times are very short with most of the time spent on the water experiencing the beauty of southeast Alaska.
Is your boat wheelchair accessible?
Though we cannot accommodate a wheelchair on board for safety reasons, we have accommodated many guests with mobility issues. We can stow a foldable wheelchair on the back deck so it is available immediately after the tour. Or it can be stowed on the dock waiting for you when you get back. Guests must be able to physically walk into the boat on their own power but with Captain assist and be able to sit up in their seat unassisted.
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 tour, or a refund. If your ship decides to stay later due to getting in late then all tours get pushed back a bit and we can still offer the full tour. If your ship cancels its 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?
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 within two (2) weeks of tour departure date. No refunds will be given for “no-shows” or last minute cancellations within 48 hours of tour departure date. If your ship cannot make it due to mechanical problems or any other reason, 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 sturdier boats you often don’t feel the waves. However, 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 1 hour 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 two arrival docks. Depending on what ship you are on you may either arrive at the Adventure Landing or at the Wilderness Landing.
If arriving at the Adventure Landing, proceed up the dock to the Adventure Center. Once inside the Adventure Center, walk through the building and exit door number 2, which is clearly marked. Follow the signs to the Excursions Hub where you will meet our crew with a sign that says Icy Strait Whale Adventures.
If arriving at the Wilderness Landing, take the Green Transporter which is FREE! Once you get off, turn left, look for the Excursion Hub sign with an arrow and follow the signs and arrows to the Excursion Hub.
We ask that all guests arrive 20 minutes prior to departure time.
What is the price? Any discounts?
The price per adult is $169.99 + taxes. Discounts are provided for groups larger than 6. We also offer child rates. Please call Rosemary at operations, at 907-500-2998 to inquire about group bookings. We also welcome and award group discounts to individuals who have created groups of six or more on Cruise Critic (you don’t all have to book at the same time).
How do we book a tour through you?
The best way to book and to see real-time availability is to log onto Icystraitwhaleadventures.com. Click on the green “Explore My Adventure” button then click on the red “Book Now” button. You will then be shown the 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 907-500-2998 or email email@example.com.
What extra precautions are you taking due to Corona Virus?
Our staff will be health screened daily and trained in physical health protocols to ensure your health and safety. Vessels will undergo constant sanitization of touchpoints throughout the tour and thorough cleaning & sanitization of the entire vessel between each tour. Guests will be provided access to hand sanitizer and may be required to wear face coverings if the situation still warrants it. It is recommended that food and beverages are not provided as these can increase the risk of spreading any virus.