Few experiences compare to the feeling of seeing whales in Alaska for the first time. Maybe it’s because you grew up watching National Geographic. Or perhaps it’s because Alaskan whales are bigger than the average school bus. Regardless, whale watching in Alaska isn’t an encounter that’s available every day. Whether you’re whale watching from the comfort of a boat or just off the shore, whale watching in Alaska is always an exciting adventure. To see these friendly giants for yourself, add whale watching trips to your list of things to do in Sitka, Alaska.

Alaska Whale Watching Season

While there are several things to do in Sitka, Alaska, whale watching is one of the most popular activities to do during the spring and summer months. Alaska’s whale watching season kicks off in April— after whales migrate from Mexico’s warm waters. The active Sitka whale watching season stretches through early September. Although whale sightings differ from year to year, depending on countless variables.

Types of Whales in Alaska

There are several types of whales in Alaska that you may see during your vacation, such as gray whales, beluga whales, humpback whales, blue whales, and killer whales. How well do you know these Alaskan whales?

Killer whales, also known as orcas in Alaska, are very social whales and typically travel in family-sized groups. Killer whales are known to be very caring for their offspring, which causes mothers to be protective of their young. 

Gray whales were once considered to be an endangered species. However, they’re now increasing in population due to NOAA’s conservation efforts. Gray whales aren’t seen as frequently as other Alaskan whales because they stick to the ocean’s sandy floor that’s filled with snacks like krill and plankton.

Beluga whales are considered to be one of the most distinctive whales in Alaska. Their milky white appearance is similar to their distant family member, the narwhal. You’ll likely notice their lack of a dorsal fin, which is barely noticeable to the naked eye. Their reduced dorsal fin is used for effortless navigation through the ice. Beluga whales are similar in size to dolphins. 

Humpback whales are one of the largest whales in Alaska and are the only whale that vocalizes with others to communicate. They’re also considered to be one of the strongest swimming whales because of their large tail fin. Their impressive physical capabilities are evident through their tail slapping, breaching, and lobtailing. 

Blue whales are not only the largest whales in the sea but also the largest animals on earth. One blue whale can group up to 100 feet long and weigh up to 150 tons. They’re nearly the size of a Boeing jet!  

Top Whale Watching Tours

To see whales in Alaska this year, schedule a tour with the seasoned company, A Whale’s Song Expeditions. Board their 43-foot catamaran equipped with a heated cabin, cozy seating, and restroom, and prepare for an unforgettable whale watching in Alaska. These seasoned guides offer both three and four-hour trips, where you’ll learn all about Sitka’s culture and the Alaskan whales’ behavior. One of your trips may cross a whale playing on the surface while your next journey could catch whales slapping their tails and shooting water into the sky. You never know what you may see when whale watching in Alaska! 

Alaska’s Big Salmon Lodge

If you’re unable to schedule a whale watching tour during this vacation, don’t panic! There are several hiking trails in Sitka that have excellent whale-watching spots. Recently, locals have spotted whales from the O’Connell Bridge, which connects Japonski Island to Sitka. However, since Sitka’s road system follows closely to the shore, you have a fair shot at seeing whales from any scenic overlook. Now that you’re educated on the local whales, we’re sure you’ll have a memorable experience of whale watching in Alaska. For more information on how to book whale watching tours during your vacation, talk to Alaska’s Big Salmon Lodge’s friendly staff today! Just call us at 907-290-7030.