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SunNFunCruzer

Naturalist on Eurodam in Alaska?

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Is there a Naturalist on Board in Alaska on the Eurodam for the entire cruise? Or do we just pick up a Park Ranger for the day in Glacier Bay?

 

Also, are there any educational lectures about Alaska wildlife or culture during a 7 day cruise?  We're round tripping out of Seattle.  Thanks in advance!

 

PS: Since we LOVE whales... any tips about spotting whales?  We'll have a balcony... can we throw some shrimp off the balcony to attract them?!?????????????????.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................totally totally kidding with that last question.... just wanted to make sure y'all were paying attention, LOL .... we would never interfere with wildlife OR throw anything off a balcony or deck (except a life preserver in an emergency, of course! )  😜 

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Last year when we cruised Glacier Bay on the Eurodam the National Park Service Rangers climbed aboard and narrated most of the day.  They brought brochures, and a few items for sale.  They also were stamping National Park Passport Books.  

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No matter what ship we have on in Alaska, we have only had Park Rangers on the ship on the days we visited the glaciers.

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13 hours ago, SunNFunCruzer said:

Is there a Naturalist on Board in Alaska on the Eurodam for the entire cruise? Or do we just pick up a Park Ranger for the day in Glacier Bay?

 

Also, are there any educational lectures about Alaska wildlife or culture during a 7 day cruise?  We're round tripping out of Seattle.  Thanks in advance!

 

Last year on the Noordam we had a naturalist/photography expert.  He spoke about the wildlife (esp marine predators, IIRC) and held some hands-on photography events outdoors.  I can't guess whether or not the Eurodam will have someone similar this year.

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13 hours ago, SunNFunCruzer said:

Is there a Naturalist on Board in Alaska on the Eurodam for the entire cruise? Or do we just pick up a Park Ranger for the day in Glacier Bay?

 

Also, are there any educational lectures about Alaska wildlife or culture during a 7 day cruise?  We're round tripping out of Seattle.  Thanks in advance!

 

PS: Since we LOVE whales... any tips about spotting whales?  We'll have a balcony... can we throw some shrimp off the balcony to attract them?!?????????????????.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................totally totally kidding with that last question.... just wanted to make sure y'all were paying attention, LOL .... we would never interfere with wildlife OR throw anything off a balcony or deck (except a life preserver in an emergency, of course! )  😜 

 

OK, I'll admit it, you got me to gasp with the PS.

 

If you're serious about whales, look for a HAL tour called "Discover Alaska's Whales." It was sold as a "scientific" experience when we did it. You learn about ecology and whale research--it's more info than you get on a regular whale watch. It's on a small boat low to the water with huge windows that open, and groups are small enough that you don't have to compete for a good view. The scientific part that you can help with is identifying the whales. The flukes of the humpbacks are unique, like fingerprints, so we were encouraged to compare our pictures to the "mug shot" book of fluke photos and verified sightings were recorded as part of the study.  Gastineau Guiding is the company, but they're booked up with the cruises so you can't book directly with them. 

 

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Last summer on Eurodam 7-day Alaska cruise out of Seattle there was a Naturalist aboard. He was a PhD research student if memory serves, and he was frequently outside on the Promenade deck pointing out wildlife both in the sea and also on land. I recommend bringing your binoculars on the cruise. 

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We've also had Tlingit tribal representatives on board with educational talks.

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If you have a balcony, the whales are always on the other side of the ship.  This year we have an aft balcony so we can see both sides of the ship.  The best way to see whales up close is to book an excursion in Juneau.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/20/2019 at 6:01 AM, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

OK, I'll admit it, you got me to gasp with the PS.

 

If you're serious about whales, look for a HAL tour called "Discover Alaska's Whales." It was sold as a "scientific" experience when we did it. You learn about ecology and whale research--it's more info than you get on a regular whale watch. It's on a small boat low to the water with huge windows that open, and groups are small enough that you don't have to compete for a good view. The scientific part that you can help with is identifying the whales. The flukes of the humpbacks are unique, like fingerprints, so we were encouraged to compare our pictures to the "mug shot" book of fluke photos and verified sightings were recorded as part of the study.  Gastineau Guiding is the company, but they're booked up with the cruises so you can't book directly with them. 

 

 

LOL! That was the whole idea!  😅  I'll take a look at a small boat tour, but I'm not sure that'd be the right tour for us.  Fingers crossed we see some activity from the ship.  And I hope we get a young PhD student or Photographer... or tribal representative... they all sound great and really interesting!

 

Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences!

Edited by SunNFunCruzer

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I've seen whales between us and the shore at 5:30 in the morning sitting on my balcony with a cup of coffee. We might have been 100 yards from shore and we were moving pretty slow as we timed our arrival (not sure where we were - I have it written down somewhere).

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You probably won't see many out on the open ocean, except spouts from a distance. Last week on the Norwegian Joy I passed one close going out of Ketchikan, several from the boat and shore in Icy Straight Point, and others sailing around the Inside Passage. I've heard good sightings around Sitka, if you take a whale watching tour, and on the way home I usually spot whales entering the Straights of Juan de Fuca (you can also get a cell phone signal on the Washington side as you get close to Pt Angeles).

 

My best advice for spotting whales is to walk the promenade deck, which gives you the best viewing (I've seen whales right next to the ship), but you also get others spotting whales and pointing them out, which maximizes your chances. That said, I've had better whale watching on the Mexican cruises, particularly around Cabo, where they give birth in the winter and do more jumping and movement--plus you get porpoises chasing alongside the ship and jumping. 

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Last time I saw a Naturalist on board, it was at the pool on the bow of the ship.  Pool boy told her to put her top back on.

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