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Old 06-24-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
topsy
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Alaska - Harv & Marv's Whale Watching

Hi,

For anyone who has been on a Harv & Marv excursion - can you tell me which departure time you chose and why?

We're booked on the later 9.50am departure but I am keen to spend time at Mendednhall Glacier and perhaps see a bit of the town so am thinking of moving to the 6.50am departure.

However, I am unsure as to whether the later one may be better for seeing whales?

Can anyone help?!
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:21 PM   #2
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Just back from Alaska and went with Rum Runner Charters - basicaly the same private tour as H&M. Rum Runner is excellent and we have also done H&M. I now prefer Rum Runner over H&M and will use them again! One advantage being that you can sit on the top of his boat for a 360 degree unobstructed view. H&M is also a great operation and you won't be disappointed.

No one was off the ship until 7:00 and we were in his van by 7:15. Our tour was complete around 11:30. He had his driver drop us off at Mendenahll Glacier. We spent close to 2 hours there because it was 75 and sunny and walked the trail to the waterfall. We took a taxi back to the port and did some window shopping and then back to the ship.

It was tough to get up that early on vacation but were glad we did as we did not feel rushed at any time. I would do the early trip again if given the chance.

I am not sure that the time of day matters for whale sightings. We have been the first ones out and then at noon and saw bubblenet feeding and whales breaching both times.

Last edited by jxd; 06-24-2013 at 12:23 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply - very useful to hear from someone who has already experienced it!
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:31 PM   #4
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We did Harv and Marv's on June 7th. We had the 9:50 AM tour. We love the company. Very small and personal we saw tons of whales, bald eagles and sea lions. The group before us saw lots of whales as well so I don't think the time matters. I chose the latter time because my family doesn't tend to be early risers. However, if I had it to do over again I would pick the earlier time. It takes about 20 -30 minutes just to drive out the the harbor. By the time we stopped at the glacier and got back to downtown Juneau we barely had time to eat lunch and then we had a very short time to shop and had to be back on the ship (I think all aboard was 4:00 PM). We wished we had more time in Juneau. We all wanted to take a ride on the tram but we just didn't have time. We ended up eating lunch at around 2:45 PM and since we had early dining we weren't that hungry for dinner.

Either time you chose you will love Harv and Marv's. That tour and the helicoper/dog sledding in Skagway with Temsco were the highlights of the trip for us.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:57 PM   #5
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A different perspective....
We also have the 9:50 tour booked this upcoming August.

What we plan to do is go to the glacier first ( bus or cab there) . We plan to leave the ship at 7:30/ 8:00 am. That extra hour in the morning will be so nice! The Visitor Center opens at 8.
Then, we have arranged H&M to pick us up at the glacier instead of the ship.
They gave us a pick up time of 10:20.
That will give us a few hours before the tour to see the glacier, and when the tour is over, another 15 min stop in case we missed anything. They will drop us off back in town.
Then we will have a few hours to shop in town.
That is the plan. I think the glacier/ vistitor center might be a little less busy in the morning as some of the other cruise ships don't arrive until noonish.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:55 PM   #6
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We have the early tour booked because I have small kids who need to nap around noon.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:43 AM   #7
topsy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by son3disfan View Post
A different perspective....
We also have the 9:50 tour booked this upcoming August.

What we plan to do is go to the glacier first ( bus or cab there) . We plan to leave the ship at 7:30/ 8:00 am. That extra hour in the morning will be so nice! The Visitor Center opens at 8.
Then, we have arranged H&M to pick us up at the glacier instead of the ship.
They gave us a pick up time of 10:20.
That will give us a few hours before the tour to see the glacier, and when the tour is over, another 15 min stop in case we missed anything. They will drop us off back in town.
Then we will have a few hours to shop in town.
That is the plan. I think the glacier/ vistitor center might be a little less busy in the morning as some of the other cruise ships don't arrive until noonish.
Brilliant - that sounds like an even better plan! I had thought about doing this too but thought we'd be too rushed trying to get back to the ship for 9.50am for our pick-up time. I'm going to contact H&M now and see if we can arrange something similar to what you have planned. Thanks for the idea - hope you don't mind me copying it!
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