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LG Cruiser 03-09-2008 05:12 AM

We are going to be in Juneau in August and I was wondering if anyone has taken the trip by floatplane to the Taku Glacier Lodge and if so if they recommend it. I would like to do this but my DH would like to go whale watching. Any thoughts?

waterart 03-09-2008 06:18 AM

Go whale watching. Book a private trip with "Harv and Marv's". They are fantastic, and you'll have a great time.

jdgoldsberry 03-09-2008 08:47 AM

LG....we have done was wonderful, small plane, great pilot, lots of info on glaciers we flew over, and the area. Coming into the area was beautiful, lots and lots of eagles (saw mating ritual); bears; great, great meal; waterfalls, wild blueberries all over, nice trail thru the temperate rain forest....Well worth the $$$.

That said, you have to do the whale watching too. We do it every time (4th trip coming up in May!)....we have done it in Seward, Juneau (twice)...used Allen Marine tours every time, always saw lots of wildlife and whales...the best ones however are in Seward (if you are going there)...because we saw lots of my favorites there, ie. sea otters and puffins!

Have a great trip!

LG Cruiser 03-09-2008 05:13 PM

Thanks for the tips. What month were you at the Lodge? If we go to the lodge than we won't have time for the whale watching in Juneau. Maybe Sitka, our next stop would be viable for that. Anyone done it in Sitka and any operators they would recommend? I did check out the Marv and Harv's website and it lookd great. Now I have to try to decide what I really want.

Lil' Lori 03-11-2008 04:49 PM

We did Alaska in July 05. We had the Taku Glacier floatplane excursion planned. When we got off the ship, we were notified that the excursion was cancelled due to fog. They gave us a refund, and we booked the helicopter flight out to the glacier, and walked around. I really wanted to do the floatplane, oh well. The glacier was a great time. Good luck. Lil' Lori

CanCanCase 03-15-2008 11:30 PM

Sitka is hit or miss for whale watching. (As mentioned recently in another thread, Sitka doesn't have any glaciers either!)

The Taku Glacier Lodge is a great tour. I go about every 2 years now that it's owned and operated by Wings of Alaska - used to be a family business, now it's not.

There are many great whale watching tours in Juneau. If you don't have time, Icy Strait Point (Hoonah) is the other port best known for humpback viewing.

The other option would be to take a tour to Tracy Arm or Taku Harbor... there are several good charters in Juneau that will prepare a wonderful lunch, find whales, show you the icebergs and glaciers... basically everything BUT the flight.


LG Cruiser 03-24-2008 08:11 PM

Thanks to everyone's suggestions. We booked the lodge independently and got the time we wanted. Won't have time for both the lodge AND whale watching in Juneau, at least this go around. What is the best suggestion for Sitka?
Should we do an early a.m. wildlife boat trip? I was thinking of booking with Esther G or Davy Lubin. LG Cruiser

CanCanCase 03-24-2008 09:10 PM

You said you were thinking of booking the Esther G "OR" Davey Lubin... they're one in the same. Davey Lubin's boat is named the Esther G II. Those are great tours. Any time you can get out with a local on a small boat, as opposed to a maybe-local on a huge boat with 100's of your closest friends, it's a good thing... then again, that's my business, so of course I think it's a good thing! ;-)


LG Cruiser 03-25-2008 05:18 AM

My mistake! Considering Sitka's Secrets. Know anything about them? Thay also go out St. Lazaria. We will be there just before Labor Day this year. LG

CanCanCase 03-25-2008 08:19 AM

I'm not familiar with Sitka Secret personally, but a fairly good indicator of the quality is whether or not they appear on the current list of 5-Star Safety Rated vessels at

All of these smaller boats (mine included) are not subject to any required inspection by the Coast Guard. Some boats "go the extra mile" to do a VOLUNTARY inspection each year (that says a lot right there) and then they are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 in terms of how much optional (but great to have if you needed it) equipment they carry.

I know many locals that would never even consider chartering a boat unless it had earned all 5 stars in that program, but I realize that some businesses are small and can't afford or choose not to carry all of the equipment necessary.

All other things being equal, I think I'd resort to "the list" and pick the highest rated boat I could find.

Happy Alaska Travels!

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