Orcas & Humpbacks

If you want to see humpback whales, Southeast Alaska is the place to come during the summer months. Thousands of humpbacks swim from Hawaii (where they mate and give birth) to Alaska each spring to feed. During the winters when they don't eat, they lose about one-third of their body weight, so in Alaska's herring and krill-rich waters, these giants feed 23 hours a day. Humpbacks are mammals that give birth to live young; the young weigh in about 3,000 pounds, and are born with NO blubber. In order to survive in Alaska's frigid waters they gain 5 to 7 pounds per hour from the mother's 55% fat milk. Humpbacks do NOT swim in pods; males impregnate females and then leave them. A mother will stay with her baby up to two years and then simply swim away. The only time they come together is for a feeding frenzy called "bubble net" or "lunge" feeding. If you have ever experience this phenomena, you will absolutely never forget it. It is possible to see humpbacks from the cruise ship, but the best way to see them up close is to schedule a whale watching excursion in Juneau. You will not be disappointed!

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