A humpback whale ascends to the surface to say hello to whale watchers in Alaska.For any adventurer, it’s hard to beat candidly observing large, majestic animals as they revel in their natural environment. With an abundance of krill and herring, the Chatham Strait offers prime habitat for one of our favorite neighbors: the humpback whale. 

Nature enthusiasts from all over the world gather to witness these massive creatures create a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit of epic proportions. As temperatures begin to rise in the northern Pacific Ocean, whales will start migrating from Mexico, making the best times for whale watching in Alaska from May through September.  

The Chatham Strait

Finding the whales is crucial to whale watching in Alaska, and we have just the place. The Chatham Strait is nearly 240 miles long, pushes through the northern Alexander Archipelago, and is anywhere from 3 to 10 miles wide. This narrow passage is home to various marine mammals, including orcas, porpoises, and the world-famous humpback whale. 

For centuries, early explorers and trappers referred to the waterway with various designations, in 1794, it became officially known as the Chatham Strait when George Vancouver named it in honor of the first Earl of Chatham. Nowadays, it has become a prime destination for whale watching in Alaska, and we’ve got front row tickets. 

The Humpback Whale

These giant sea mammals are recognized for their unique eating technique, known as bubble net feeding, and are one of the main summer attractions in southeast Alaska. Feeding on krill and herring, the whales work together in groups of two to three whales—or pods—by communicating via echolocation. The humpback will take in a massive amount of water through its mouth, and then two blowholes push the water out, leaving behind their prey to be devoured immediately. Bubble net feeding is a learned behavior passed down from generation to generation. Unbeknownst to the whales, it creates an illustrious display for us to enjoy from afar. 

Book Your Alaska Whale Watching Tour Today

Watching these magnificent animals in their element is an unforgettable thrill that every nature enthusiast should explore. The staff at Favorite Bay Lodge pride themselves on their ability to provide an up-close encounter with highly coveted wildlife. Please visit us online or call 1-866-788-3344 for more information on how we can help you book your whale watching adventure!