On our cruise, booked a private tour. Captain Duane was fantastic. We had a party of four, private boat for us. Spotted at least 4 whales. Much better than the large boat used for cruise excursion. People on that boat were all crammed together with little to no protection from the never ending rain. If in doubt, book with Captain Duanne. They pick you up and drop,you off. Their instructions are fantastic. Would absolutely book with them again.
Captain Duane took us to a cove where there were so many whales!!! Everywhere you looked there were whale tales and whales spouting!!! Booked this independently from our cruise. The cruise ship tour ran into fog and only saw one whale. Our tour was excellent and the morning filled with whale sightings!!!
My husband and I recently visited Icy Straight and before we left, I used TripAdvisor to research wale watching excursions. We had no idea just how lucky we were to stumble upon Captain Duane and his crew. We followed a pod of Orcas for quite a while and then he went in search of humpbacks and we were not disappointed! The new boat is very comfortable with a max. of 20 guests and Travis kept us amused with his hunting and fishing stories. We wouldn’t hesitate to book again. Thanks for the amazing memories.
We arrived in Icy Straight Point, got off the cruise ship early, and was met by captain Duane and Travis at our appointed meeting place right outside the docking area. As soon as everyone was accounted for, we set out. I believe there were 22 passengers, not cramped at all in a nice new boat that had great visibility for everyone. Nice smooth ride out to an area where the Humpbacks are usually seen. It didn’t take long before we were seeing spouts. Captain was continually watching for the best opportunities for seeing the whales up close. Got lots of nice shots of the whales and some video of the pod. And, I agree with other reviewers, don’t book on the cruise ship you pay more and you get stuck on a boat with 150 people for a shorter cruise time. We learned much about the local area, too, since Duane has had family in this area since 1912. Very enjoyable.
The other reviews echoed the experiences we had with this private tour. Easy to book, very detailed directions received by email as to where to meet the van. Originally eight persons were booked for this tour, and expecting more they put out the larger boat which could hold 25. Only six of us took the tour, but rather than delay us and switch us to the smaller boat he took us out. Had lots of room to move around on the boat, no fighting for a spot to take pictures. Plenty of whales and sea lions, very enjoyable trip. Made our cruise.
Guaranteed whale watching is right. We saw a lot of whales without waiting a long time (and a bear for free…). The boat is a new one, very proper. A big thing is the size: only 20 persons on a trip and you will have enough space to go from left to right, from the front to the back. So you will have always a good view on the whales. The reservation is easy, you can’t fail. The meeting point is easy to find. The shuttle service is just on time. It was a good choice not booking a tour on the cruise ship. We could recommend Captain Colleen and Captain Duane – with no limits.
Everything about the whale watching trip — from the instructions to the boat and crew were exceptional. I broke my leg a week before our cruise to Alaska, and they were extremely helpful in getting me to and on the boat (driving right down the ramp to the boat with their van). Their new specially built boat for whale watching was the ideal size and configuration to allow everyone on board to have a perfect, unobstructed view of the whales. If you stop at Icy Strait Point, I highly recommend this excursion!
Saw a lot of humpbacks, some sea lions, sea otters and birds. Good narration. Would recommend this for everyone. Would recommend you take your own binoculars. The ones they provide for free are about worthless.
Captain Duane and his assistant Tyler gave us four hours on the ocean we will never forget. To start with, the boat they had us on is brand new and made for whale watching. Very comfortable seats with windows that lift up so you can get an unobstructed view while staying dry. However, if you want to stand on the front or back of the boat, that is available too.
Duane clearly knows where the whales are and understands how they behave. We took a tour a little early in the season, so we “only” saw humpbacks. More humpbacks and orcas show up later in the summer. We encountered at least 10 different whales including a mother and its calf, who lounged on the surface for a good 10 minutes while we watched and took photos.
Duane also showed us a couple of eagles’ nests and pointed out a group of eight bald eagles fishing in one cove. Although their were reports of a brown bear on one of the shores, by the time we arrived, he had left. We were also taken by a point with many sea otters and sea lions. Wildlife doesn’t follow a schedule, but Duane did his best to show us everything that was available for viewing.
We chose do a whale watching excursion independent from our ship. The BEST decision!!! Captain Duane and his nephew Tyler were awesome! There were only 12 spectators on the boat and we all had great views of the whales. We were lucky enough to see Orcas and hump back whales. Matter of fact,we saw two whales breach out of the water. AWESOME to see! I highly recommend Icy Strait Whale Adventures!!! Thank you guys for one of the highlights of our Alaskan cruise!