Need to Know

  • Chevron down How soon do we need to make a reservation?
  • It’s best to make a reservation as soon as possible. Since we only offer exclusive small group experiences, we book up fast. Sometimes a year in advance!

  • Chevron down What is your cancellation policy?
  • Your tour is 100% refundable if you cancel at least 30 days before tour date. Refunds may be subject to a 3% administrative original fee if the payment was via credit card. If you cancel 15-29 days prior to your tour date, you receive a 50% refund. If you cancel within 14 days or do not show up for your tour, there is no refund. Refunds are generally processed immediately. To confirm a reservation, we require a 50% deposit at the time of booking if paying by credit card. If for some reason your ship aborts its call, will receive a 100% refund.

  • Chevron down When I make a reservation after April 1, why do I have to pay in full with no option for a deposit?
  • Since we are such a small operation — handling all of the reservations, payments, follow-ups, scheduling, and phone calls ourselves — once the season begins, we do not have time to re-invoice everyone who has a balance due.

  • Chevron down How close can we get to the whales?
  • We’re a member of WhaleSENSE and our yachts adhere to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rules. They state that vessels may not approach humpback whales closer than 100 yards, but considering the massive size of these 90,000-pound creatures, they appear much closer than one would think. Occasionally, though, they may surface closer on their own accord.

  • Chevron down Is it better to go whale watching in the morning or in the afternoon?
  • It really makes no difference. It’s more of a personal preference if you and/or your children are morning people or not. We see humpback whales on all of our trips regardless of the time of day. They’re not more/less active at any particular time of the day.

  • Chevron down Can you see whales any time of the day?
  • Yup. Humpback Whales are mammals and have to surface every 10-15 minutes to breathe. Since they only eat for 6 months of the year while in Alaska, its feeding time all day, every day!

  • Chevron down I read that it rains a lot in Southeast Alaska. How bad is it?
  • The average rainfall is 62 inches of rain annually. We receive over 200 days of rain a year, so most likely you should expect rain at some point on our trip. It’s always a good idea to pack your rain jacket. We’re located in the largest temperate rainforest on the planet. A good combination to wear is an outer layer that is wind/rainproof with a fleece coat underneath, this will keep you warm and dry. If you are from a warmer climate, you might want a hat and gloves. May and September can be windier and colder. The great news is you’ll be spending the day in comfort on the only whale watching yachts in Alaska. (They also have heat)

  • Chevron down If there is bad weather, is the tour still on?
  • We rarely cancel on our guests due to weather as the conditions on the Inside Passage are relatively calm. Don’t forget that you’re not on a little aluminum boat like other tour operators in Alaska; you’re on the largest and newest yacht in Alaska. We have a master captain at the helm with worldwide experience in all weather conditions. In the unlikely event that we do have to cancel the tour, you’ll receive a full refund.

  • Chevron down What should we bring with us for our adventure?
  • We’ve got most everything covered but bring your camera. Dress in layers to keep you warm and bring a rain jacket as well as shoes you don’t mind getting wet.

  • Chevron down Is there a restroom onboard?
  • Of course! It wouldn’t be luxury without your own private restroom. Our yachts have a nicer restroom than most homes. Oh ya, they even have a sauna if you feel the need!

  • Chevron down What other wildlife do we see on our adventure?
  • The humpback whales are the main event, but you’ll have the opportunity to see Harbor seals, Steller sea lions, American bald eagles, Dall’s porpoises, Black Bears, Brown Bears, and even Orca!

  • Chevron down How long is our trip and what happens during that time?
  • 4 hours is the total time from when we depart from your ship/hotel until the time we return you. Most of the time, we include a stop at the Brotherhood Bridge for a chance to photograph the world-famous Mendenhall Glacier (weather permitting). In some cases, private departures may be able to extend their adventures at a rate of $500 per hour.

  • Chevron down If a group of us is traveling together, can we each pay separately?
  • Yes, please contact us so we can facilitate this smoothly.

  • Chevron down Do you have a whale sighting guarantee?
  • We see humpbacks 100% of the time we are on an excursion. We promise to do the best we can to find you the most whales on every trip. Our region holds 5% of Southeast Alaska’s humpback whale population. The reason they’re here is the nutrient-rich waters, which are home to millions of herring, krill, and plankton.

    Roughly 150 humpback whales have been officially documented in and around Juneau/Icy Strait. The Inside Passage is a relatively narrow body of water, and that makes humpbacks relatively easy to spot. It’s estimated that the worldwide population is at least 80,000 today — roughly 18,000 – 20,000 in the North Pacific, about 12,000 in the North Atlantic, and over 50,000 in the Southern Hemisphere. The estimated population before whales were hunted was 125,000. In August 2016, our humpbacks were even taken off of the endangered species list!

  • Chevron down Is there a time of the year that whale sightings are better around Juneau/Hoonah?
  • Although Humpback whales are sighted from April to October, the peak months for sighting the most whales in Southeast Alaska are June, July, and August. The temperatures are a bit warmer and all the wildlife in Alaska are at their peak.

  • Chevron down What type of whales do we see on our tour in Alaska?
  • Humpback whales and orcas are the two most common sightings. Humpbacks are seen on 100% of our trips as there are hundreds in the area. Orca sightings are rarer as their territory is much larger. However, we are lucky enough to see them about 20% of the time.

  • Chevron down Where should we meet you for our adventure?
  • We’ll meet you dockside of your ship either in Juneau or Icy Strait Point. A representative from Alaska Luxury Tours wearing a black raincoat (and an umbrella for you) will be holding an Ipad with the last name of the booking party.

  • Chevron down What happens if my ship is delayed getting into port?
  • No need to worry; we know if your ship is delayed. We automatically adjust your trip time and contact you at the mobile number you provide us. If your ship aborts the call for any reason, we refund you in full without any fees or penalties.

  • Chevron down Cruise lines tend to discourage guests from booking with local companies saying that you might get left behind. Is it safe to book with local tour companies?
  • Yes, it’s totally safe and reliable.  Cruise lines encourage booking through them; however, booking through the cruise line is not a requirement. Many of the local companies are contracted by the cruise lines. In the highly unlikely scenario that something goes wrong, we collectively work together as an industry to ensure our tourists are taken care of. We guarantee we can get you back you back to your ship in plenty of time.