WHALE WATCHING WITH MAJOR MARINE TOURS
Our cruises into Kenai Fjords National Park offer some of the best whale watching opportunities in Alaska. Cruising among some of the world’s largest mammals and observing their behavior is an experience like no other.
Like all mammals, whales breathe air into their lungs, making it easy to spot them on the surface of the water as they come up for air. This behavior is called spouting, and is the most commonly-seen whale behavior on our cruises. In addition to spouting, you may see behaviors such as breaching or lunging. Breaching is when a whale leaps more than half-way out of the water, and lunging is when a whale leaps less than half way out of the water. Why do whales breach? Some experts believe that breaching and lunging are part of the feeding habits of whales, while others believe that this behavior is simple playfulness.
You may also witness spyhopping, when a whale sticks its head out of the water to examine its surroundings. Finally, you may see tail lobbing or tail slapping. Tail lobbing is when a whale lifts its tail fluke out of the water and slaps it down on the water’s surface, often repeating the movement several times. Tail slapping is when a whale uses its fins or flippers to slap the surface of the water.
WHALE SENSE: RESPONSIBLE WHALE WATCHING
Major Marine Tours is committed to protecting the health and safety of the whales that inhabit our area. We are a proud member of Whale SENSE, a program sponsored by NOAA Fisheries and Whale & Dolphin Conservation that recognizes companies that are committed to responsible whale watching practices. We abide by all NOAA marine mammal viewing guidelines and promote ocean stewardship through our partnerships with the National Park Service and Alaska SeaLife Center.
BEST CRUISE OPTIONS FOR WHALE WATCHING
Though whales can be seen on all of our cruises throughout the season, these are the best cruises and times to view whales:
Cruise: Gray Whale Watching Cruise
Best viewing: April – May
Cruise: Orca Quest Cruise
Best viewing: May – June