Alaska Sea Adventures

Fall & Winter Whale Expeditions

Late fall fluke-ups in Seymour Canal. photo copyright Jim Nahmens

Join us for unique and remarkable Alaska Whales during the Fall and Winter for a photography adventure. An exceptional setting within the protected waters of a single bay on Alaska’s Admiralty Island National Monument, beautiful late season low angle sunlight, wintry mountain backdrops, and an amazing gathering of humpback whales all combine to create an opportunity to witness a rare wildlife spectacle!

Alaska is a place of many wonders year round. Each season brings new surprises. Just as spring marks the arrival of a new season with the return of migrating wildlife, fall, and early winter witness the departure of those species as they move to winter ranges around the globe.

One of the remarkable migrating animals that we enjoy observing for so much of the summer has a very interesting, little-understood ritual prior to their departure. The nutrient-rich channels of Southeast Alaska are the summer home of one of the largest concentrations of humpback whales found anywhere. The humpbacks arrive in Southeast Alaska in spring, with recent observations and studies finding that many make their final departure in December and January for their winter breeding and calving range among the Hawaiian Islands.

Frozen waterfall. Photo copyright R. Sandor

Our fall whale expeditions are to a beautiful, secluded bay on Admiralty Island National Monument. The destination is a pre-migratory staging area where 100 to 200 humpback whales gather in late fall prior to their departure to Hawaii.

The event presents the amazing phenomenon to witness over 100 whales at once.

Limited to only four to six participants, this adventure is a rare opportunity for nature photographers, whale enthusiasts, and anyone that appreciates the wonders of nature. As the season progresses to the winter solstice, the sun nears its lowest declination, casting a transcending illumination on a ‘forest of whale spouts.’ The magic shooting hour can last all day, as this remarkable concentration of whales passively feeds on an ultra-rich abundance of krill. Tall plumes of whale spouts rise high one after another to hang gloriously backlit in the cold still air. Then the namesake back arching roll as the group begins individually fluking up for the next deep dive into the rich layer of krill lying a hundred feet or more below the surface. It’s the season’s final feast for these giants to pile on blubber. When they leave Alaska, they will fast until returning in spring.

You don’t have to be a photographer to appreciate and enjoy this incredible adventure!


2023 Fall Whale Watching Trips
2024 Fall Whale-Watching Trips

photo copyright Jim Nahmens

“…being in a kayak with a 60 to humpback whale surfacing and blowing so close to me, was beyond words. These gentle giants blessed us with their presence. And when the junior whale of one pair began frolicking and breaching right in front of us, it made my millennium!!”
Susan & Dick R.
Kauai, HI

photo copyright Jim Nahmens

“Oh, my God! Trip # 9 with ASA and they just keep getting better and better. And the whales- I think that this week I saw more whales than I have in the past 14 years combined!”
Barbara H.
Miami, FL