There are many kinds of migratory creatures in the world. For whales, they begin their migration from Mexico’s warm waters in February and arrive in the cooler Alaska waters in April. The best part about the migration for whale watchers is that the natural move is not fixed to one particular species of whale.
Various species can be spotted throughout Alaska from the month of May through the month of September—you’ll have an especially great view on a cruise ship because the whales tend to come right up alongside the ships. However, you will have a better chance of seeing all sorts of whales while on a guided whale watching tour, because smaller boats can get you closer to the whales. Also, your guide is liable to share fun facts about local whale pods and whales in general.
Do you want to see a specific species of whale during your trip to Alaska? Let’s take a look at the best times of the year for whale watching boat tours in Skagway, AK:
- Humpback whales: If you want to see humpback whales with your own eyes, plan your trip to Alaska during the summer months, particularly June and July. An ideal place to spot them in summer would be in the Barren Islands, between Homer and Kodiak. It’s estimated that over 500 humpback whales make Alaska’s Southeast Inside Passage their summer home.
- Beluga whales: Heading south along Cook Inlet from Anchorage—also known as Turnagain Arm—in the spring through fall months, you are bound to see beluga whales. They can also be seen year round in the southern Alaskan waters of the Shelikof Strait.
- Gray whales: You are likely to see gray whales in April and May, and there are many areas in Alaska that are great spots for viewing gray whales. But the best places to see them would be Kodiak, Seward, Sitka and Ketchikan. You can start your tour out from other Alaskan cities—just make sure the boat tour you choose will indeed take you toward where the gray whales hang out.
- Killer whales: Killer whales, also called orca whales, are often spotted throughout the months of June through September. However, Alaska’s resident orca whale pods are best viewed from early May through early June. To see these whales, schedule a boat tour that takes you near Seward, Alaska, in the waters of Resurrection Bay.
- Blue whales: Giant and majestic, blue whales prefer the open waters of Alaska and are rarely seen near the shoreline. The most ideal time of year to see blue whales in the wild is in July and August, mostly in the northern and eastern portion of the Gulf of Alaska.
Whale watching in Alaska is one activity to definitely include in your trip itinerary. If you are interested in learning more about whale watching or other wildlife boat tours in Skagway, AK, contact the friendly and knowledgeable guides at Klondike Tours, Inc. We cannot wait to show you around our beautiful and naturally rich state!