Juneau Whale Watch’s family
A special bunch
What sets us strongly apart from other whale watching companies comes down to one distinguishing factor. Our people, some of the best boating staff in Southeast Alaska.
Local knowledge is king
A great deal of our crew is Alaskan born and bred. Many are homegrown and grew up in Juneau. They’re familiar with the whales and the whales’ environment, and are equipped with the local knowledge about the capital to pass onto our guests. Ask any, and our boating staff will regale you with a different story every time. Whether that’s being chased by a bear, going on local hunting trips, camping out on a deserted island. The adventurous tales are endless.
We share and care
Above all, our staff genuinely care about every guest’s experience in Juneau. Equally, everyone is impassioned about the whales and together, we strive to offer the best whale watching encounter out there.
Not only are our captains and crew experienced in the nautical world, the vast majority have been around boats all their lives. Ensuring your comfort and safety on the water is paramount. The captains possess a wealth of experience around the whales. Some even follow the same ones we have here feeding in Juneau, all year round. Namely in our winter months, travelling to watch the whales in Hawaii. Or the Caribbean to witness the whales breed and give birth.
Cohesiveness is everything
There’s not much the captains don’t know about the whales’ migratory patterns, breeding and feeding behaviors, and methods of communication. Foremost, because their interactions with the whales are so plentiful, the respect and understanding on correct conduct around the mammals is second to none. All are in radio contact too, which means that when a whale is sighted, the information is shared and no one misses out.
Texas born, it’s no surprise to learn that Captain Jason began his journey by securing a rodeo scholarship. Yehaa! He went onto educate himself with two degrees in Math and Business, as well as a Master’s Degree in Economics. Driving both small and big boats over 6 to 7 years in the Caribbean, Captain Jason is now into his third season with us. Wearing multiple hats, he is also our Operations Manager, as well as lead captain! On any day of the week, Captain Jason asserts: “I want to give people the best whale watching trip they can have.”
Juneau born, Captain Dirk is one of our splendid captains and our longest serving employee. Packed to the gunwales with local knowledge of the Inside Passage, he has a fantastic network among the local fishermen. Having spent years as a fisherman himself, when it comes to nautical geography and whales, he’s fathoms ahead than most. Keep up the great work, Captain Dirk!
Having worked in the Caribbean tourist industry driving boats for several years, Captain Steve spent an extensive portion of time whale watching in Hawaii on top. Comfortable handling up to 129-passenger boats previously, 2017 is his third season with us. Captain Steve is also renowned for his stand-up comedy and sick rap rhymes too. He’s hilarious and a natural!
A substantial amount of time spent whale watching in Hawaii, Captain Ben is in his second year with Juneau Whale Watch. Captain Ben possesses intimate knowledge of whale behavior. His laid back demeanor means that he’s one calm cat intent on the big catch: spotting whales. Captain Ben has also a range of experience in driving boats from 6 to 149 passengers.
Previously one of our successful sales representatives and then a naturalist, Captain Jordon joined Juneau Whale Watch while the company was in its infancy. The wealth of his experience was ascertained in Maine, working on whale watching boats. Now a trusty captain with 2 years under his belt on Alaskan waters.
One of two new captains on board with us this year, Captain Brenden is a homegrown Alaskan. He has been around boats since as long as he can remember. With youth on his side, Captain Brenden is also one of our most skilled trainers on top.
Our only lady captain, we are extremely proud to introduce Captain Emily onto the team. Relatively new to the role of captain, she’s had four seasons with Juneau Whale Watch around the other captains in our family. When not undertaking her responsibilities as a Captain, Emily is studying and working her way through college. Captain Emily is a force not to be reckoned with!
Naturalists / Deck Hands
At the heart of our enterprise, our naturalists and guides on board are pulsating with excitement about the whales. Matched by an impressive level of expertise on Southeast Alaskan marine life too. All attend whale symposiums and the majority are college students who are studying marine biology, marine technology or fisheries. Telling you that they’re thirsty for expanding their knowledge and then sharing it with you, is an understatement. Indeed, that’s why they’re in our employ.
What’s more, we’re strong advocates that local knowledge is king. Born and bred in Juneau if not elsewhere in the State, our locally sourced employees are able to go the extra nautical mile in giving you a truly authentic Alaskan experience. To personally engage you in an Alaskan’s Alaska!
The chief objective of our guides and naturalists is to give you the best experience possible with the whales. Which of course includes touching upon the: migratory patterns, habitats and behaviors. On top, an insight into the whales’ anatomy, reproduction cycles, predators and favorite food. During your voyage, they will also be constantly surveying their surroundings to point out the next sighting. Often times, they’ll be doing both at the same time!
Further, both the captains and crew members are all skilled entertainers on top. They have local stories galore and genuinely want to give you the best on-the-water encounter there is. Their job is to passionately guide and educate while raising awareness about local marine life, and ultimately, give you the best whale watching experience possible. Proud of our crew, we give them the big thumbs up for their kick-butt work ethic—before, during and after every whale watching trip!
Primarily, the guides and naturalists are there to guide and educate, inform and enlighten. As well as to help steer your eyes, cameras and binoculars towards these remarkable gentle giants. Although the multitasking extends beyond the whales. The guides and naturalists love to point out to our guests anything that inhabits within, on or above Juneau’s protected and pristine waters. It’s what they do.
When the season in Juneau ends, the guides and naturalists focus their energies back on their studies. Some undertake in-depth research on the whales and other wildlife too. Altogether, their increased learning gives them much and more to bring back each year. Namely evolving the length and breadth of knowledge about Juneau’s incredible marine life, and yours.
Full of enthusiasm for enlightening you on all the wonderful ways in which to optimize your time in Juneau, our sales representatives are your first port of call. As the lifeblood of our organization, they strive to furnish you with a synopsis of the splendor on offer. Not restricted to simply what lies in store on our whale watching tours, they are well informed to give you the full spectrum of excursions we have available.
For sure, our sales personnel are impassioned about all the tours and trips offered by Juneau Tours and Whale Watch. No problem if it’s just the whales that float your boat, you’re in the right place because Juneau is where they’re at every summer! But as well, you might be glutton for glaciers—ask our sales people about the aquamarine crystal awaiting you at Mendenhall Glacier.
Or, you might just fancy engaging in the local culture of our state capital, courtesy of our city tours. It’s worth emphasizing that you can combine the tours in numerous combinations too, maximizing your money and recreational window. And if you’re blessed with a little more time, our sales force is always on hand downtown and by the dock to help you book onto an adventure into Yukon or Skagway.
Once summertime reaches an end, the sales team often take off for some worldwide travel. Broadening their horizons around the globe and taking timeout to rest and relax, sees our staff return each year refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.
Tour Guides / Bus Drivers
Gregarious as much as hilarious, our lively bunch of bus drivers are highly trained in safely delivering you at your required stop. They go the extra mile to unload their passengers in plenty of time. During a comfortable ride on our buses, shuttles or trolley, our drivers are well versed in giving you a guided tour of what you’re seeing. As a fount of local knowledge, they will furnish you with fascinating information, while escorting you around Juneau’s myriad points of interest.
Over a clear communication system during transportation, you will be privy to
Juneau’s incredible backstory. Intertwined with the city’s mining roots. Enjoy an insight into the historical importance of our state capital that we relish sharing with our guests. You’ll also hear about life in Juneau come the wintertime. And during your ride, watch out for the wealth of Southeast Alaskan Native culture on our doorstep.
At the same time, being surrounded in our backyard of glaciated mountains, glowing blue in endless supplies of ruggedness. You can’t miss the mist-shrouded spruce forests engulfing our coastal city either. Or the gushing waterfalls and flowing creeks, which during certain times are akin to a smorgasbord of salmon. So sit back and relax. Lap it up and absorb as much as you can.
Once the season reaches completion, our drivers will revert to their other day job: the local school bus drivers. Keeping the kids on schedule for school in the wintertime, and promptly depositing our passengers to their next destination in the summertime.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the entire team but special recognition goes to our boat and bus mechanics. Without road compliant buses or seaworthy vessels, our guest wouldn’t see what Juneau and its pristine waters really has on offer. Great job, guys. Keep up the great work!
Meet our friendly and approachable team based in the downtown office of Juneau. Seasoned experts on all the tours available, the office staff is on hand to help with any questions you might have. Equipped with years of local knowledge and in direct contact with all of our drivers, helps to ensure your trip goes like clockwork and without a hitch.
Feel free to walk in anytime: we’re open, 7 days a week. No appointments required, we welcome you with an open door policy. In fact, all of our staff like nothing more than to please our passengers; it fills their day full of fun, as well as yours.