One of our absolute favorite activities to recommend to guests is whale watching. It is an experience you won’t forget! Glacier Bay is nutrient-rich and a wonderful summer feeding destination for humpback whales. These magnificent creatures migrate from the waters of Hawaii or Mexico during the summer months in search of food, having fasted the entire winter. All summer, they feast and gorge on small fish that thrive in Glacier Bay.
Humpback whales can grow up to 50 feet, and can weigh up to 40 tons! They feed in the waters of Glacier Bay, and other surrounding waters in Alaska and Canada, almost 23 hours a day. Part of why we enjoy watching these graceful giants is because of their acrobatic abilities. Humpbacks are well known for podding up and are very active by breaching (fully emerging from the water), pectoral fin slapping, tail-lobbing, lunge-feeding, spy-hopping, and bubble net feeding.
The man responsible for such unique and entertaining tours is Tod Sebens, captain of the motor vessel TAZ. Tod began his marine career as a Marine Diesel Mechanic in the U.S. Army, and has lived in Alaska for over thirty years. Now residing in Haines, AK, he is equipped with the knowledge and skills to ensure a fun and informative tour, for both guests and the whales being watched.
Tod’s locally owned and operated business, the Cross Sound Express, offers a 3 1/2 hour tour, twice a day, full of wildlife viewing and great company. The boat features heated indoor and covered outdoor viewing, as well as a bathroom, and offers coffee, hot chocolate, snacks, educational books and field guides, and binoculars.
Visit Point Adolphis, the feeding grounds of humpback whales, and learn about their behaviors. Try to identify them by observing their flukes, or, listen to the incredible sounds that humpbacks make for communication using the underwater hydrophone. Other wildlife to search for include Stellar sea lions, otters, harbor porpoises, bald eagles and other sea birds, or even orcas or Minke whales.
- Tours offered are 8:30AM-12:00PM or 12:30PM-4:00PM
- The TAZ is designed for wildlife viewing and is 50ft, aluminum high-speed, equipped with proper safety equipment
- The boat holds up to 28 passengers
- Warm clothes (fleece, wool socks, long underwear)
- Gloves, hats, and sunglasses
- Camera equipment
- Other bookings include weddings, kayaking services, and group charters for private events
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We also offer private whale watching tours on smaller boats.
Learn more about humpback whales and why they are important to Glacier Bay here.