The numerous fjords and small islands surrounding Alaska’s southeastern “panhandle” teem with sea life, including sea lions, otters, and harbor seals; porpoises, humpback, and gray whales; and orcas (known in these parts by their noms de guerre, killer whales). Since orca pods can travel more than 50 sea miles in a single day to hunt for food, seeing them isn’t always easy. But every month, at least a few boat passengers and kayakers are lucky enough to glimpse them surfacing—with their unmistakable bold coloring and dorsal fins up to five feet high.
A reputable expedition team can greatly increase your chances of encountering rare wildlife species. Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic’s Alaska itineraries bring you as close as possible to the state’s myriad wild creatures.