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Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour

The Bering Sea crab fishermen's tour will have you set out into the calm protected waters of Ketchikan, Alaska on the Aleutian Ballad crab boat which was a part of season two of the Discovery Channel's award-winning TV series Deadliest Catch.

The Aleutian Ballad is the only genuine Bering Sea crab fishing vessel licensed to carry leisure passengers. It has been completely remodeled to provide the comfort and safety you expect in a top-notch excursion. The Bering Sea Crab fishermen's tour allows people from all walks of life to stand on the edge of the commercial fishing world.

It is a profession that has captured the interest and fascination of millions worldwide. Our heated amphitheater allows you to enjoy an experience unlike any other. You will watch the crew work through many different types of commercial fishing gear as you are educated and inspired by their way of life.

Be prepared with your camera to capture the King and snow crab, octopus, prawns, and sharks, just to name a few, that are placed in the live tank on deck before being released back into the wild. Alaska is home to eagles, whales, seals, and sea lions. These magnificent creatures form images and memories that will live with you forever. What we share with you is the extraordinary experience of life aboard a beautiful working boat. What you take home with you - is the heart of its crew.

An adventure so real - you can hold it in your hand!

Rain ponchos and raincoats provided as needed. There are 4 restrooms onboard the ship. King Crab is available for purchase aboard the ship as well as exclusive apparel at the onboard gift shop.

Please note: The minimum age is 5 years old. Child price is for 5 to 12-year-olds. 13 and older must buy an adult ticket.

*Important Booking Notes for guests docking at WARD COVE in 2023*
Norwegian, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas) & Additional Cruise Line guests
who will be arriving at the Ward Cove dock in 2023 are required to take a 50-minute bus ride from your ship's gangway to the tour starting location, provided by the tour operator. Please leave yourself at least 1 hour between your ship's arrival time and the tour start time, as well as the tour end time and your ship's all-aboard time. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers. Reach out to the Alaska Shore Excursions team with any questions.

Duration: 3 hours (Roundtrip from cruise ship terminal.)


  • Roundtrip transportation (for guests docking at Ward Cove, pick-up time is 1 hour prior to actual tour time)
  • Insulated coats and raincoats are provided if needed
  • 4 restrooms are available for use onboard


  • Minimum age: 5 years old

Duration: 3 hours.

  • 30 minutes - general information, crew introduction, and safety briefing
  • 30 minutes - sail to fishing grounds, stories from the crew and longline fishing
  • 30 minutes - eagle encounter
  • 60 minutes - crab fishing, octopus barrel, and stories from the crew
  • 30 minutes - return to port, final stories, and photos with the crew

Meeting Instructions:

  • This tour meets at your ship's gangway. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.  Please note, if your cruise ship is docking at WARD COVE, the tour operator will pick you up one hour BEFORE the tour time selected.

ADA Accessibility of Tour:

  • This tour is wheelchair and scooter accessible. Service dogs are welcome. Please leave a comment during checkout if accommodations for motorized equipment will be required on tour. If the operator is unaware beforehand of necessary accommodations, they may not be able to accommodate guests day of.

Will I get seasick?

It’s highly unlikely that you will need it, however, if you are extremely sensitive to motion you may want to take typical motion sickness medicine before coming. This tour is conducted in the very calm and protected waters of Southeast Alaska and the boat is built for premium stability. 

Was this boat on Deadliest Catch?

Yes, the F/V Aleutian Ballad was featured on Season 2 of the Discovery Channel’s number-one series Deadliest Catch. It was made famous when, purely by chance, a camera was mounted in the wheelhouse by the camera crew. Just moments later a massive rogue wave that almost capsized the boat was caught on film. It has become one of the most watched film clips in the series' history.

What is the best seat?

The boat was designed to ensure all seats would have premium visibility.

Are there any restrooms available?

Yes, there are 4 restrooms available to use onboard.

Will I see any wildlife or bears on this tour?

Wildlife is abundant in Southeast Alaska and sighting animals above and below the sea are part of the tour! Bears are spotted on occasion but are not guaranteed.

Do you cancel the tour if it is raining or bad weather?

Depending on the day-of conditions, seating is covered and heaters ensure guests stay nice and dry in even the wettest weather.

Does this tour go to the Bering Sea?

The tour is located in Ketchikan, Alaska which is 1,200 miles from the Bering Sea. You will not be in the Bering Sea.

Are the crew actual fishermen?

All crew are Bering Sea crab fishermen and had to have fished at least one season in the Bering Sea in order to work aboard our boat. 

Are there any age restrictions?

The minimum age to participate is 5 years old.

Can I bring a backpack?

Backpacks, small bags, and purses are allowed on this tour.

Can I bring my own food or drink?

Outside food and drink are not allowed.  King Crab and other snacks are available for purchase aboard the ship.  

Are there any physical requirements for this tour?

This tour is accessible to all.

What type of clothing should I wear?

Layered clothing and weather-appropriate outerwear. The seating area of the boat is covered and heated.

Not seeing answers to your questions?

Check out other frequently asked questions here!

Customer Reviews
Sep 2023 - Juli B.

This tour was excellent. Top notch. Professional. Polished. Not only did we get to see and learn a LOT - the owner and his crew were outstanding .

Sep 2023 - Lisa L.

Informative, hands-on and very funny in a beautiful location. What's not to like? The crew work hard to give you an insight into this very dangerous job but also make time to take in the most beautiful scenery and wildlife.

Sep 2023 - William W.

The best excursion I did on this cruise. And booking with Alaska Shore Excursions was great. I sent a couple emails with questions that were promptly answered. Also, I was with the same group of people who booked their excursion through Norwegian so it was the exact same experience, only a lot cheaper. Would definitely use them again.

Aug 2023 - Kevin W B.

This was the best excursion of our trip! Big D, Kevin and crew put on a fantastic show not only explaining in detail what their job(s) entailed but also how dangerous they were. If your going to do an excursion, DON'T miss this one.

Aug 2023 - Jennifer J.

By far one of our most favorite excursions! The crew was phenomenal! There were seven of us and they made sure we were seated together! Loved that they had jackets in case you got cold. We ranged in age from 83-55 and we all loved it! I have already told all our friends and family to do this excursion! Top notch!

Aug 2023 - Allen R.

My group of 11 very much enjoyed this excursion. The fishermen are all great story tellers which really helped on such a windy, rainy, cold day.

Aug 2023 - Jeff S.

Best excursion I've ever been on and this is my second Alaska cruise. The Bald Eagles alone are worth the trip!!

Jul 2023 - Dena F.

I cannot begin to say how amazing this excursion was!! Between learning about the various animals native to the area, as well as hearing the colorful sea stories as told by the crew, it was an awesome experience!! Getting to touch and hold sea creatures, see tons of bald eagles, experience the water from the fisherman's perspective....FANTASTIC! You will not be disappointed taking this tour!!

Jul 2023 - Dawn J.

Amazing!! Our kids especially enjoyed holding the crabs/starfish. The bald eagles were phenomenal!

Jul 2023 - Beth D.

We had an amazing day on this excursion! We loved hearing the stories by the captain and crew. It was informative and interesting to learn about the hard work that is done on a fishing boat. Seeing the Bald Eagles up close was just breathtaking. We appreciated the treats, the hands-on opportunity and the photo ops! It gave us a new appreciation for these hard-working fishermen! Highly recommend this excursion!

Jul 2023 - Jamie D.

Our group of 6 had a great time on this excursion. We learned so much about the history of the Aleutian Ballad and the vast experience of the crew. We all got to hold different types of live crabs and see how the traps work. There were many opportunities to photograph the bald eagles. The stories told by the captain and his colleagues were so interesting I bought their book to learn more. We purchased a pound of delicious king crab and enjoyed it with melted butter right there on the boat. I highly recommend this excursion.

Jul 2023 - Darin B.

Excellent excursion! Definitely one you don t want to miss!

Jul 2023 - Michael B.

Thought this would be a cheesy kids show but it was outstanding. Two actual crab fishermen recount their trials and near tragedies fishing the Bering Sea. All aspects of crab fishing was explored, and the stop to feed bald eagles pieces of herring was most memorable. Highly recommended.

Jun 2023 - Beverly C.

We had a wonderful time aboard the crabbing boat. The highlight was the eagles and the crew was both knowledgeable and entertaining. I highly recommend this excursion.

Jun 2023 - Richard G.

Very enjoyable, especially if you are a fan of Deadliest Catch.

Sep 2022 - Michele M.

The team on the Aleutian Ballard are top notch. We loved hearing the stories and how this tour came about. We learned so much about fishing in Alaska and held some sea life we don't see in our home state. We did this tour because of the amazing reviews and how much we enjoyed the Deadliest Catch. We were not disappointed.

Sep 2022 - Mark K.

What a fabulous tour and experience. The crew was awesome, loved there stories and adventures they all shared with us during the tour. The crab was absolutely delicious that they offer for purchase. This was such a different and fun experience for all ages. We highly recommend this awesome tour.

Sep 2022 - Gary D.

Great excursion! Worth every penny. One of the best we've ever been on. Great stories from the Captain and crew.

Aug 2022 - John C.

Enjoyed it very much. The guys were very knowledgeable and presented everything great. All the crew was great.

Aug 2022 - Anne W.

This was the highlight of my cruise to Alaska. Worth every penny. I wish the trip could have lasted all day. Thank you for a great day!

Jul 2022 - Samantha R.

Wow, what a great experience! I enjoyed every second of this excursion.

Jul 2022 - Larry D.

Excellent excursion. Loved by the entire family. The crew was very helpful and friendly. Recommend highly.

Jun 2022 - Marybeth C.

Top Notch Alaskan Ambassadors kind of tour. I highly recommend for an incredible and lasting experience. We loved this, it was a highlight of our cruise through this most beautiful part of our United States. Thank you Alaska and thank you Captain Dave and well chosen crew! Whales, Bald Eagles, Seals, All the incredible sea creatures, beauty and more! You will not be disappointed!!

Jun 2022 - Patricia V.

Our family of 12 spent a incredible morning on the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour. We listened and learned about multiple sea catches from a talented crew as we toured the ocean. We handled crabs, lobsters, and other sea animals and watched eagles dive for food. We highly recommend others go on this tour!

Jun 2022 - Scott S.

What an amazing tour that had a little bit of everything: great stories from lifelong crab fisherman, beautiful scenery, hands on experiences with all of the crabbing equipment and everything that we caught on the trip, as well an encounter with a group of eagles that was a real bonus! Note: for those of you that can't walk far. We sailed with Serenade of the Seas and the Aleutian Ballad was not even 200 feet from our gangway! Thank you to Dave, Big D, Ron, and the crew for a 5-star tour!!

Jun 2022 - Lara W.

Great excursion! (We were able to see eagles as a bonus!) Front row seat for crab fishing and other fishing too. We were so glad we did this excursion.

Jun 2022 - Denise S.

By far the best excursion experience we've ever had!

May 2022 - Jason G.

This was a surprise favorite, in the top one or two of all five excursions for our whole party, even though being among the more reasonably priced. Captain David (owner) and two other Bering Sea crab boat captains and three college age "galley girls" did a fantastic job welcoming us about as guests and family. Their stories were alternately heart-rending and laugh-out-loud funny. Their love of this place and lifestyle is obvious. They demonstrated a lot of fishing techniques. We saw dozens and dozens of bald eagles, some feet from the boat, tanner crab, box crab, and king crab, a big octopus, prawns, starfish and more, with the chance to be hands on with most of them. The boat was very comfortable even though this was our one "seasonable" (i.e torrential rain and low 40s) day of our trip - open air but roofed and heated with big overcoats available to don or use as blankets upon request. The gift shop was great and reasonably priced... all four of us left with a t-shirt or fleece, the latter both very nicely embroidered, not for warmth but just because we loved them and this trip so much! We'd watched about half the Deadliest Catch seasons years ago, and have restarted watching them with our kids since we got home! But this trip will be awesome for those who've never heard of the show as well as for diehard fans who've never missed an episode.

Oct 2019 - Brett E.

Well done tour Very engaging crew

Oct 2019 - Bill L.

Very informative and fun. If you are a fan of the Deadliest Catch this is a must do.

Sep 2019 - ROBERT L.

What an excursion. Crew was fantastic. Great hands on time with crab, octopus and shrimp. Great story time. A must for everyone, guarantee you won't be dissatisfied. Would go do it again

Sep 2019 - Patricia L.

What a fun tour we had. The gentlemen giving the tour were both informative and funny; we learned all about crab fishing, different species of crab and the methods of fishing. One big highlight was watching the eagles feed off the side of the boat, up close and being told to put down our phones/cameras to experience it. A second big highlight was being able to hold the crabs, starfish and prawn. On our way out, we sailed under the bough of our NCL Joy ship; so beautiful. We highly recommend this tour for all ages; especially if you are a Deadliest Catch Fan. Thank you for this wonderful experience!

Sep 2019 - Robert S.

Absolutely delightful -- better than advertised.

Sep 2019 - TABATHA T.

Loved; the guys and gals were great on the boat.

Aug 2019 - Kathy C.

Great. Everyone was very knowledgeable and did a great job telling about their experiences. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot.

Aug 2019 - Isabel W.

We had a great time during this excursion.

Aug 2019 - Cecilia A T.

Totally enjoyed this shore excursion. Very informative and totally enjoying.

Aug 2019 - Dawn M.

Everyone in our family had a wonderful time. It was a great experience and we learned so much about fishing of all kinds in Alaska. As fans of the show, there was enough to satisfy our love of the show in addition to all the other offerings. There is also delicious king crab on board to eat. A fantastic day!

Aug 2019 - Shelly S.

Our favorite tour of the trip. Easy access from cruise ships to the tour which leaves from same pier. Engaging crew. A must for Deadliest Catch fans! You get to touch and hold several sea creatures: king crab, snow crab, stone crab, prawn. And if you love eagles, you won't want to miss it!

Aug 2019 - Daniel G.

Good stories, interesting techniques. More wildlife information would be good.

Jul 2019 - Rebecca M.

Fun trip

Jul 2019 - Karen T.

OK some of it was fake but the crew was great and everyone got to handle crabs and prawns. The takes were harrowing. We really felt we knew everyone on the crew.

Jul 2019 - Ali M.

This excursion is top rated for a reason! My entire family enjoyed this outing and had a lot of fun gaining insight into a tough job, how it works on a highliner and appreciated the opportunity to touch, feel and have first hand experiences. We were thankful for the opportunity to give back with a donation. Highly recommend this top-notch group of guys. This is appropriate for all ages/physical conditions. There is plenty of on boat seating. They do provide coffee/tea/hot choc and sell a few chip-like snacks, sweatshirts, hats, etc. I will caution that even on a very warm day, the air is chilled out on the water - bring a sweatshirt and wear pants.

Jun 2019 - Stacy T.

Great family experience! Well organized and staff were funny and friendly. The stories that the staff told were fascinating. The kids enjoyed getting to see and hold the sea creatures. We saw several balk eagle. Would recommend to families with children.

Jun 2019 - Christy C.

Excellent! Staff was knowledgeable and very entertaining. Time passed quickly. The icing on the cake was the eagles. Fantastic excursion!

Jun 2019 - Fred T.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Aleutian Ballad, listening to the crew tell their amazing stories, watching them pull up crab pots full of crabs, showcasing Red King Crab, and more! The hands-on experience with the snow crab, brown box crab, and spot prawns was fun for both us and our 6-year-old. Booking the excursion through Alaska Shore Excursions allowed us to get to the boat before the cruise-booked excursions, so we had a much better selection of seats, which allowed us to get up-close, front and center! We've recommended this excursion to others we know who are going to be cruising Alaska and if we were to visit Ketchikan again, we would likely take this excursion again!

Jun 2019 - Wilma Joyce P.

This has to be a favorite tour of ours. Such a great experience to be able to see and hear what it would be like to be a crab fisherman! Well, I guess we were that day!

Jun 2019 - Shelly C.

It was so awesome ! The crew members were knowledgeable, friendly and funny! Highly recommend this to anyone!!!

May 2019 - Bryan S.

Was more than my husband and I expected loved every minute of it.

May 2019 - Madeline Sharon P.

Seeing the sea life and the flock(?) of eagles was amazing; doing so in a comfortable environment and listening to the fishermen's stories completed a most memorable experience.

Oct 2018 - H Scott A.

I figured that I would enjoy this excursion. But I did not expect it to be one of the highlights of our entire cruise! First, I can't say enough about the crew They were amazing. The stories were fun and captivating and the humor they interjecting into the tour was very entertaining. All of the stops on the tour where very exciting and quite informative. Oh, and the American Bald Eagles... WOW! Highly recommend this excursion.

Sep 2018 - Gloria A.

Excellent excursion, informative and entertaining. We liked the hands-on experience with sea life, and the feeding of the eagles, but most of all - the authentic stories and demonstrations by real fishermen. Highly recommended.

Sep 2018 - Susan S.

Brilliant! The crew were great with their information and stories, really loved the tour!

Sep 2018 - Margaret F.

We had a cold rainy day for our excursion but this only added to the atmosphere. It was very entertaining and we enjoyed hearing the stories of the captains and engineer Andy. The only disappointment was not tasting any crab - just a little on a cracker biscuit would have been lovely!

Aug 2018 - Janette B.

A great day, good stories to be told

Aug 2018 - Penny R.

Very well run- the guys were so informative and shared stories from their lives the whole trip. Loved that the boat was right at the dock so no bussing involved. Boat was very comfortable and warm with lots of shelter if it does rain. Gift shop also on board to buy hoodies etc with bearing sea crab logos. Highly recommend.

Aug 2018 - Heather V.

Many aspects we loved like the comfort of the boat and energy and stories of the crew. The blonde cashier was a bit unfriendly though. Didn't get to hold the Alaskan king crab although all the pictures in advertising shows this. We really thought our boys would have more hands on with baiting or throwing fish. Very expensive tour for what we felt we got. Flet like it was more of a show than an experience. Loved the stop with the eagles the best actually. Most everything else was too rehearsed.

Aug 2018 - Timothy D.

We had the best time on this excursion. It was our favorite excursion we took. We really enjoyed hearing the stories and seeing how the fishermen did their jobs.

Aug 2018 - Dana M.

Awesome excursion!!!

Jul 2018 - Andrew P.

The crew is amazing and the crabs, bald eagles and seals just take this experience over the top. I would highly recommend this. The tour should promote the wild life aspect more.

Jul 2018 - Vanessa A.

The crew was extremely knowledgeable and shared some great stories. This excursion was also very interactive which was a bonus. We were expecting to catch king crab but for various reasons could not. Just want to make people aware of that. Still.recommend.

Jul 2018 - BEVERLY B.

This was an amazing experience and the eagles just took my breath away.

Jul 2018 - Mary R.

This tour exceeded my expectations. The tour guides were entertaining, their show and tell was informative. When we stopped to feed the eagles was phenomenal. I couldn't get it enough photographs. Wonderful!!!

Jul 2018 - BINAL P.

The trip was excellent

Jun 2018 - Christina R.

Captain Gabe and Regina were awesome! They were very informative and engaging. They explained a lot about the area. The boat we were on was comfortable and included snacks and drinks kept the crankiness away, lol. We saw several humpback whales, 4-5 pods of orcas, and sea lions. Would go again in a heart beat!

Jun 2018 - Ashley W.

Amazing excursion! Would highly recommend! One of our favorite excursions we did. The crew on board is outstanding and go above and beyond to make this excursion a memorable experience! We learned so much about the various types of crab, saw the crew in action, catching various types of crab, shrimp, and other ocean life. We even saw an octopus! And they released everything back in the ocean after they showed everyone onboard! We were even able to hold/touch the sea life if we wanted to do so. Also some of the crew members were from the cast of Deadliest Catch. This is the boat that was used on season 2 of deadliest catch!

Jun 2018 - Angela W.

The speakers on the boat were excellent. Had a great time plus the heaters on the boat were great to keep us a little warm

Jun 2018 - Graeme C.

The whole experience and story telling by the operator was worth the trip plus the opportunity to the crab and other sea creatures up close.

May 2018 - STEVE H.

Great personalities of the crew--very informative and interesting. We also saw a large group of bald eagles along the way.

May 2018 - MARIE T.

Great !!!

May 2018 - MATTHEW R.

one of the best and great to see such passion and enthusiasm in everything they do. Highly recommend this excursion

May 2018 - Lorie S.

Best excursion I have ever been on. I would highly recommend to everyone. Crew were excellent!!

Oct 2017 - James E.

Very well run operation. The boat including the wash rooms are super clean. The crew are not paid tour guides but rather former Bearing Sea fisherman who have a knack for interacting with guests and do a great job. Very informative and fun operation.

Sep 2017 - Jodi A.

Awesome tour organised by an awesome company! Would do it again in a heartbeat!

Sep 2017 - George S.

Outstanding! The three men crew told their real life stories as they demonstrated crabbing/fishing techniques.

Sep 2017 - Ron E.

I went on 3 excursions during the week. This one was by far the best by a wide margin. I really didn't know what to expect, but it was just fantastic. To see how crabbing/fishing is done first hand, with being so close to the action, and then the experience/knowledge of the crew just made for a truly great experience. If I ever make it back to Alaska, I would do this excursion again, and try to drag as many of my friends/family with me. The 3 hours flew by. The crew was so friendly and approachable. I'm hoping you know I really, really like this trip

Aug 2017 - Kimberly C.

Fun and educational.

Jul 2017 - Melinda G.

Fantastic experience. Informative, funny and hands on. We loved every minute of it!

Jul 2017 - Holly S.

FANTASTIC!!! We loved everything about it! Heaters on the boat were great, because it was chilly! Hot chocolate and coffee too! Most of all the staff and guides made us feel like family! it was a heartwarming and unforgettable experience! Loved seeing the eagles too!

Jul 2017 - Jeffrey R.

This excursion was awesome! The Deadliest Catch fisherman made the tour very informational and funny at the same time. A++++

Jun 2017 - Janice A.

Fabulous everything worked out well and they kept to the time. As well as seeing the crab fishing saw some great Bald Eagles.

Jun 2017 - Dale G.

Once you got off the cruise, there was a person with a sign that you went to and they give you instructions where to go. This tour was great and the staff was very informative and very hands on letting you hold a crab in your hands for your picture taking! A+

Sep 2016 - Jeffrey G.

I love the "Deadliest Catch" show & this tour picks up where the show ends. The crew of the boat really know their stuff and keep you entertained the entire time. Water was perfectly calm & we caught some crab, just wish we could have cooked them.

Sep 2016 - GERALDINE D.

Great tour! Humor, facts & fun! Perfect for families. We really enjoyed it!

Aug 2016 - Lori L.

A fun-filled and informative adventure!! Highly recommended!

Aug 2016 - Ward A. R.

Best excursion of our cruise. Went with two of my sons and my grandson. We loved it!! Ward A. Reynolds, N.Y.

Jun 2016 - Donna K J.

Our family of ten really enjoyed the Ketchikan Fishermen's tour. Very informative and loved the eagles, octopus and crabs. Thanks for making it so interesting.

May 2016 - Susan S.

Wonderful tour! We learned so much.

May 2016 - Joe P.

Great time. About .00 per person cheaper than booking from the ship.

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Duration: 3 hours

Number of Passengers *

Ages: 13+

Adult: $209.00

Child (Ages 5-12): $129.00

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