There is no better thrill ride in all of Alaska! Quench your need for speed in our coast guard approved ocean raft, as we conquer the waves of the deepest fjord in North America. Get up close and personal with towering waterfalls, and keep your eyes peeled for breaching whales, cruising porpoises, and other animals like sea lions and seals. Our shock-absorbing seats provide maximum comfort on the water, and you will be provided with your own fitted exposure suit to keep you warm and cozy in any weather.
We are capable of handling large groups, but please book well in advance. The minimum age is 10 years old. The maximum weight is 350 pounds. Pregnant women and persons with neck or back injuries are not allowed, due to the high activity level of this Skagway tour.
Tour Description: There are few things in life more exhilarating than feeling the breeze blowing through your hair as you zip around one of the largest fjords on the planet in a high-speed ocean raft. Your tour starts when you are picked up near your cruise ship by a smiling tour guide ready to make your experience truly marvelous. Your knowledgable tour guide will load you into the stylish Ocean Raft Company van and take you to their Survival Suit headquarters where you will be fitted with your own survival suit and provided with a brief safety lecture. Remember: safety always comes first. Once you're outfitted with your cool survival suit, you will load into your Ocean Raft, ready for adventure and excitement. Right from the start, you will go fast. The fun will almost overwhelm you but your survival suit will keep you warm and cozy. Your captain will stop occasionally because they want you to see some wildlife, waterfalls, and a few surprises. An onboard naturalist will explain what you are seeing, which is handy if you don't know much about local wildlife. Is that a seal or a sea lion? Your naturalist will tell you! Once your tour is over, you will head back to the Skagway small boat harbor, take off your survival suit, and begin cherishing memories of your trip. Undoubtedly, you will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Alaska's pristine wilderness, and you're probably going to enjoy a few laughs along the way.
Where does the Ocean Raft excursion go?
The obvious answer is that the Ocean Raft excursion goes in the ocean and while that statement is technically true, there is more to it than a simple obvious joke. The Ocean Raft excursion actually travels through the deepest and second-longest fjord in North America. While this fjord, mistakenly called the Upper Lynn Canal, is indeed part of the ocean, it is also its own body of water and part of the Inside Passage.
When you tour through the fjord on the Ocean Raft tour, you will see some amazing things and you might see some other amazing things. The things you are definitely going to see include a very high waterfall that makes for some interesting photos. The name of this waterfall is “High Falls” because that makes good sense.
There are many other geological features you are going to see on every single Ocean Raft shore excursion. This is because all of the mountains and glaciers and waterfalls within the fjord aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The things you may see on the Ocean Raft tour include wildlife, natural phenomena, and something one might call random surprises. Let’s break this down.
What kind of wildlife will I see on the Ocean Raft Tour?
People visiting Alaska want to see wildlife. There is no better place to see wildlife than in places where wildlife lives. There are many kinds of wild animals that live in the ocean, which is why the Ocean Raft shore tour is a good choice for anyone hoping to see wildlife.
We can break down wildlife into three subcategories - common, uncommon, and rare. Common varieties of wildlife are seen on just about every tour. Uncommon wildlife may be seen on some tours but not all, or seeing these animals may depend on the time of year. Rare species are seldom seen but you might just get lucky. Wouldn’t that be amazing!
Here is a breakdown of the animals you may see on the Ocean Raft excursion:
Common Wildlife - These are the animals you are likely going to see on just about every Ocean Raft tour, regardless of when you travel. Seagulls, crows, bald eagles, ducks, harbor seals, river otters, and humans. I stuck that last one in as a joke but humans do get a little wild sometimes!
On the Ocean Raft tour, harbor seals are frequently spotted entirely out of the water, laying on a rock or patch of seaweed. They are really cute and resemble marine sausage dogs. Sometimes there are multiple harbor seals hanging out together. Bald eagles are synonymous with America and they’re all over the place in Alaska. Some of the more common ducks you may see on the Ocean Raft include surf scoters, harlequin ducks, and mergansers. Keep your camera handy!
Uncommon Wildlife - These are animals you may see on the Ocean Raft tour. Some are more common than others at certain times of the year. Sea lions, humpback whales, Dall’s porpoises, orcas, and mountain goats. I bet you didn’t expect that last one. Mountain goats aren’t seen swimming around the ocean but during the spring months, they commonly come down to the shoreline to lick salt off the rocks. Mountain goats love salt. The ocean is full of salt. It’s a match made in heaven.
Sea lions are spotted more frequently than any of these other animals and can be spotted randomly throughout the year. Keep an eye out for a large brown animal with a pointy nose. Humpback whales are unpredictable in the fjord. Some years, they can be spotted just about every day. During other seasons, they may be rarely spotted. Visitors enjoy seeing them because they are very big animals yet very gentle.
The rest of the animals on this list are far less common but also not rare. Guests on the Ocean Raft tour often see these animals and it’s possible you will too.
Rare Wildlife - These are animals you are probably not going to see but you should never give up hope. Harbor porpoises, minke whales, basking sharks, black bears, brown bears, Bigfoots. While bears are common in Alaska, they aren’t seen very often on the Ocean Raft tour. There have been some lucky tour groups that have seen them over the years, which proves that anything is possible.
The other marine mammals on this list sometimes wander into the fjord to frolic or feed on whatever it is they eat. Many people claim Bigfoots aren’t real but one passenger swore he saw a Bigfoot back in 2015, so who’s to say for sure? If you see a Bigfoot, get a photo and you will be rich beyond your wildest dreams.
What kind of boat is an Ocean Raft?
You are going to ride in the same boat used by the US Coast Guard and Navy Seals when they perform search and rescue operations. Even though it’s called an ocean raft, it’s actually a deep ‘V’ aluminum hull boat with an inflatable raft collar that helps keep it stable in rough waters. Fun fact: the ocean raft is the safest vessel of its kind. If it’s good enough for Navy Seals, it’s good enough for everyone! Those folks are tough as nails.
The ocean raft is equipped with three, count them, THREE 250-horsepower outboard engines. Now you’re playing with real power. You are going to go fast and you’re going to be safe while you do it. Amazing!
Comfort is important which is why the ocean raft is outfitted with custom-made shock-absorbing seats. You can go fast and bounce around in the ocean having all sorts of fun without having to worry about your sensitive backside.
Is the Ocean Raft Shore Excursion safe?
Many people that ask this question have no problem driving an automobile during rush hour in their hometown but it’s important to feel safe, so let’s talk about that. It’s a lot easier to have a few laughs on your ocean raft excursion if you know you’re perfectly safe.
First of all, as mentioned above the vessel is the safest of its kind. You are in the boat used by search and rescue. If your cruise ship sank and you had to be rescued, you would end up getting a free tour on an ocean raft but it would not be enjoyable in any way.
When you ride on the ocean raft, you are provided with all of the gear you need to be safe, comfortable, and stylish. You get to wear a very expensive exposure suit, goggles, and other stuff that keeps you warm and safe in the unlikely event of an accident.
Philosophically speaking, nothing is safe, but you’re far more likely to injure yourself in your own bathroom than on the ocean raft, so it’s best not to worry about these things.
What if I get seasick?
If you’re prone to motion sickness, there are medications you can take that will allow you to enjoy a tour like the Ocean Raft. We recommend taking that medicine and following the directions carefully. If you aren’t able to take the medicine, maybe a land tour is a better option. Or you can check with the excursion specialist when you get into port and find out about weather conditions.