Several whale species migrate off the majestic coast of Alaska between late March and September. Gray whales are first, followed by humpbacks, belugas, and orcas. Uploaded by eaglewingtours.com.
The Alaskan coast is an amazing place for viewing America’s most spectacular marine environment. You can see porpoises, sea lions, seals, walrus, and sea otters as you navigate past magnificent glaciers. But the greatest attraction is seeing the majestic whales that swim along the coast on their way to and from their feeding and mating grounds.
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Which whales you can see depends on the season you visit. Gray whales come up from Baja California in late March through May on their way to the Bering Sea. Humpback whales make their way along the southeast coast of Alaska between May and September. Orcas (killer whales) aren’t actually whales at all; they’re the largest member of the porpoise family. Even so, they’re thrilling to witness off Alaska’s coast in the summer months. It’s also possible to see humpback and beluga whales in Alaskan waters.
If you’re taking an Inside Passage tour (Great American Things, June 10, 2009), during these seasons, whale watching will definitely be a featured part of your itinerary. To make a visit just to see whales, head for the southeast Alaskan towns of Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, and Skagway. Or visit the south central region, including Homer, Seward, and Kodiak. It’s not hard to find a reputable tour operator who can be sure you see these spectacular animals up close. Just don’t forget your camera!
Posted in Travel
Tagged Alaska, Beluga whale, Gray Whale, Humpback whale, Juneau, Ketchikan, Killer Whale, Orca, Seward, Sitka, Whale
The Georgia Aquarium is, um, a whale of a facility. When its new dolphin exhibit is complete, it will have more than 9 million gallons of water and more than 100,000 fish and other sea creatures. Uploaded by wikipedia.org.
Ever been snorkeling or scuba diving? Seeing the wide variety of marine species up close and in their natural habitat is hypnotizing and habit-forming. But when you can’t get to a reef, get to Atlanta – the world’s largest aquarium lets you see some species you’d never see on your own. And you don’t have to change out of your street clothes.
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First, let’s look at the amazing facts. The Georgia Aquarium has more than eight million gallons of water… more than 100,000 fish and sea creatures … more than 60 exhibits… and some species viewable almost nowhere else. These include four whale sharks from Taiwan, great hammerhead sharks, beluga whales, and hammerhead sharks.
That the Georgia Aquarium exists at all is thanks to an amazing $250 million gift from Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot. His company grew up in Atlanta, and he wanted to “give something back” to the city for its support. He also wanted to help revitalize downtown Atlanta, which the Aquarium surely has. Since its opening in 2005, the Georgia Aquarium has attracted more than 11 million visitors. That number will continue to rise, especially with the completion of a new dolphin exhibit, featuring an additional 84,000 sq. ft. of space and adding another 1.3 million gallons of water…