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
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
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
"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
"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 www.kenaifjords.com.