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Best time of day for whale watching /taxi from Auke Bay to Mendenhall?

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Trying to plan a whale watching tour and visit to Mendenhall Glacier for our May cruise. We don’t dock until noon so it limits our options time wise. We would like to have enough time at Mendenhall to hike to Nugget Falls and maybe a few of the other trails. I’m wondering if we book the earliest whale watching tour possible, would be easy to get a taxi from Auke Bay to the Mendenhall Glacier afterwards on our own?


I know there are combination tours that include both, and Juneau Whalewatch have said if we request more time at Mendenhall they can drop us there first then do the whale watching tour afterwards but I’m wondering if the time of day affect the chances of seeing more whales/bubble feeding etc?


Thanks for any insight/advice.

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Whales are so easily found from Juneau that even the first trip of the day doesn't need to sail around for hours - and if you dock at noon, the earliest possible trip will have the benefit of at least one full set of boats having been out from ~9am-ish, contacting others by radio, so every boat in the afternoon will know exactly where to go.


If there's any link between time of day, temperature, cloudy vs sunny or any other 'given a choice, which time should I take a tour' decision range that impacts the chance of whales doing something exciting rather than just the typical 'backs & blows' which should be your baseline expectation, I've yet to hear about it! As long as you don't wait until it's too dark for you to see well, you'll be good and it will be totally random whether you have the chance to see breaches, bubble-netting etc.


Of course, the more attention you pay, the more you scan the area around you whenever you are not already looking at a particular whale you can see already, the better chance of you catching something happening - even the best naturalists can't have eyes everywhere, so keep your own peeled!

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