Kenai Fjords Tours goes whale watching

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Kenai Fjords Tours here is embarking on its seventh annual series of trips to witness the springtime migration of California gray whales through Resurrection Bay.

As many as 24,000 of the majestic mammals are expected to make the more than 5,000-mile journey from their wintering grounds in Mexico's Baja California coast to Alaska's Bering and Chukchi seas. En route, they are expected to pass within three miles of Cape Resurrection.

Daily five-hour cruises will depart from Seward at 11:30 a.m., March 27 to May 15, on a 60-mile roundtrip voyage to the prime viewing area off Cape Resurrection, just east of Kenai Fjords National Park.

The trips will be aboard the 150-passenger, high-speed Kenai Fjords Coastal Explorer.

The cruise will take passengers through an area known for its glaciers and abundant wildlife, including otters, sea lions, seals and marine birds.

"It's a steady parade of gray whales because they don't travel in pods like other whales," said Tom Tougas, president of Kenai Fjords Tours.

"Gray whales travel independently, not in family groups, so there are always some of these magnificent mammals passing through our region," Tougas said.

"The chances of seeing them on a daily basis during their migration is outstanding."

Beginning in mid-March, unaccompanied male gray whales start moving through the area.

They are followed by unaccompanied females and remaining males in early April, then by cows and their calves from mid-April to early June.

"This is our seventh season for whale-watching tours, and our captains have been with us longer than that," Tougas said.

"They know where the whales are and how to find them."

The narrated tours cost $69 for adults and $34 for children under age 12. Lunch is included.

For details and reservations, call (800) 478-8068 or visit the company's Web site at

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