Sunday, January 25, 2015

Planning For Whale Watching Tours In Alaska

By Janine Hughes

Anyone who has traveled or even looked at pictures of the world knows that there are numerous places to see that with take one's breath away. There are very few places, however, they can compare to the beauty of whale watching tours in Alaska. The northern state is dotted with majestic mountains that are surrounded by pristine waters to leave no one disappointed.

Aside from the beautiful landscapes are the majestic mammals. The large creatures with their gentle eyes can often be seen from up close, making it a trip that won't soon be forgotten. In fact, as they have become accustomed to being on display, they are not fearful of coming close to the boats, and often swimming beneath them. For anyone who can be a part of this, it's an experience of a lifetime.

In some cases, it's possible to see upwards of 100 whales in certain areas, depending on which months. Observe orcas or humpbacks, sometimes in the same area. In fact, there are all kinds of wildlife to enjoy on such a trip, including bears, sea lions, a variety of schools of fish, and more. Simultaneously, while anticipating watching these gentle giants, don't forget about the beautiful glaciers. There is a lot of information that will be provided by the charter crew, but it's always good to do a little research and learn what can actually be anticipated on such a trip. Becoming familiar with the appearance of the different sea creatures will have the tourist ahead of the game.

For example, with some research, a tourist will know that the whale that jumps out of the water with long pectoral fins is a humpback. Further research will indicate that this mammal must eat about half a ton of food each day. Another type is known as the Minke, which is extremely fast, and kind of hard to spot.

Killer whales, whose bodies are black and patched with white are also a common site. These are also known as orcas. They typically swim close to the surface, with their tail fins above the surface, making them easier to spot. This species lives in groups known as pods, working together to hunt for their food, which also includes lovable penguins, seals, and dolphins.

Taking an Alaskan tour to view these beautiful creatures out in the open, in their natural habitat, will be a memorable experience to anyone of any age. Plan ahead of time, well in advance, as these trips can book quite quickly. For a successful trip, pay attention to charter companies reviews.

Planning ahead for a trip means proper packing. One needs to stay warm in the open seems that bring on a cold breeze, even if the sun is shining. If one isn't dressed properly, they may have to stay inside, instead of where they should be, on the deck. Most would advise to dress in layers, removing layers one by one if it's warmer than expected. Also, it's essential to bring along a hooded raincoat, in case of rain.

Sunglasses would also serve anyone really well. The bright sun can be quite blinding, interfering with glimpses one might have on such a trip. It's definitely tempting to snap photos of what may be, but be careful not to experience the entire trip behind the lens, as so much can be missed. Keep in mind that these glimpses last only a couple of seconds.

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