Professional Photographer Guide

Photograph the Majestic Gray Whale

Hear the Whales via Hydrophone

Witness Gray Whales on Their Annual Migration

This 4-hour Sitka photography tour is an opportunity to photograph and watch the gray whales as they make their annual migration from Baja California to Alaska. Sitka is a feeding stop for these magnificent creatures and here as many as 50 gray whales can congregate in a square mile area, grazing in water as shallow as 10 feet deep. Join us to witness this spectacular event!

Trip Details

Trip Details


$269 per person

Departure time

  • 8:30 AM
  • 1:30 PM

Meeting point

Non-cruise Ship Guests:
Our vessel “ Catdaddy” is in Thomsen harbor 617 Katlian. It’s the same parking lot as the Harbormaster. It’s across the street from the Petro One gas station. Go down the ramp and we are on the second finger. The boat is toward the end of that finger. Thank You. Please arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled departure.

Cruise Ship Guests:
All cruise ship passengers are transported to Harrigan Hall either by liter or shuttle bus. We have a table set up in front of the building.. Please check in with one of our bright yellow jacket wearing team members. Our vessel is located just down the gangway in the harbor next to Harrigan Hall.


April 15th – May 5th


4 hours

Group size

Maximum 6 people


  • Personal mentoring and instruction from our photography experts.
  • Detailed booklets for the wildlife we often see on this tour.
  • Access to Coast-Guard recommended marine binoculars for all guests while onboard.
  • Beverages and snacks including coffee, hot chocolate, tea, water.

Not included

  • Flights to and from Sitka
  • Lodging
  • Transport to and from the meeting point
  • Meals
  • City and Borough of Sitka sales tax
  • Staff gratuities

Participation requirements

Suitable for ages 15 years and over.

What to bring

  • Camera or cell phone with well-charged batteries – we have a limited number of USB outlets.
  • Plenty of memory cards.
  • Patience – these are wild animals that abide by no man’s schedule.
  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe, rubber-sole, flat shoes. Boat (or non-marking) shoes are not necessary.
  • To reduce the number of items in the waste stream, personal water bottles are recommended.
  • Rain gear – just in case as Sitka is surrounded by temperate rainforest.
  • Temperatures on the water are cooler, come prepared and dress in layers.

About your guide

  • 1 US Coast Guard 25GT masters licensed captain
  • 1 certified naturalist/photography expert


See up to 50 gray whales congregating to feed in the Sitka Sound.

Learn about the annual migration - the longest of any mammal - from an expert naturalist guide.

Spot other wildlife such as sea otters, bald eagles, Steller sea lions, and marine birds.

Watch other whales such as humpbacks and orcas.

Explore the volcanic and rainforest landscapes of Sitka Sound and learn about the flora and fauna.

Gain a better understanding of photo composition, hands-on camera work, and equipment care in a marine environment.

What You'll See & Do

Join us for this fantastic season as we search for these magnificent creatures on their incredible annual migration. Every year, these whales migrate over 10,000 miles from the Sea of Cortez to the Bering and Chukchi Seas – the longest migration route of any mammal. Sitka is a feeding stop for the gray whale and a place where as many as 50 congregate in a single square-mile area, grazing in water as shallow as 10 feet deep.

These whales begin migrating north in late February and arrive in Sitka in the spring, spending the summer feeding in shallow Arctic waters before migrating south in mid-October. They deliver their calves in the warm, protected lagoons off the coast of Baja California in the winter.

Our gray whale watching and photography tour takes you into Sitka Sound to the edge of the Gulf of Alaska, searching for our returning visitors. During this wonder-filled expedition, in addition to gray whales, we often also see Steller sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, bald eagles, many species of colorful marine birds, and other whales, including humpbacks and orcas.

Good to Know

All our expeditions are subject to the realities of the natural world. A Whale’s Song Expeditions makes no guarantees of seeing any specific species. Although we will do everything in our power to find the species that are of interest to customers and stay on the itinerary, circumstances such as species location, weather, and ocean conditions may necessitate alteration of an itinerary. Payments are not refundable for any itinerary change.

Unfortunately, our vessel is not wheelchair accessible.

Features of our vessel:

  • A spacious heated cabin
  • Deluxe comfortable seats for all guests
  • Restroom equipped
  • Large wrap-around windows for unobstructed viewing
  • Expansive deck space for multiple perspectives
  • Great stability to ensure safety and comfort

Smoking and the consumption of alcohol or any illegal drug while aboard is prohibited.

If the captain determines that you may be under the influence or may pose a hazard to yourself, the vessel, the crew, or other guests you will not be permitted to board, and no refund will be given.

If you are motion sickness prone, take your remedies at least 1 hour in advance.

Please arrive at the vessel 15 minutes before departure.

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