List of Pacific Whale Watch Association Members
All aboard Sailing
Friday Harbor, WA
The Peniel is a beautifully maintained pilot house sloop built in Seattle in 1956 of Yellow Cedar on Oak. Auxiliary power is an 85 HP Diesel giving us a cruising speed of 7.5 knots. Luxuries include barbecue supper. Owner/operator Captain David Howit has a lifetime history with whales and boats -- first sailing from Cornwall, England, running the engines of the whale conservation ships of the Sea Shepherd Society, and then many years with North Vancouver Island’s OrcaLab setting hydrophones and cameras recording and live streaming the Northern Resident orcas. David has been a Captain for Soundwatch Boater Education Program, as well as Relief Captain with Maya's Legacy Whale Watching, also on San Juan Island. Partner/Naturalist/Captain Barbara Bender really knows her whales with a background as staff with the Center for Whale Research.
Anacortes kayak Tours
Anacortes Kayak Tours offers several choices of sea kayaking adventures. With both families, and seasoned travelers in mind, we have created a variety of sea kayak tours to match your needs, budget, and available time. Whether you are looking for a kayaking day trip, a family kayak tour, or a longer multi day sea kayaking expedition, Anacortes is a great place to start. No kayaking experience necessary! Join us on a sea kayaking trip and enjoy an incredible day as we search for porpoise, seals, eagles, orcas, and much more! AKT has trips that depart from both sides of the San Juan Island ferry route. There are a variety of choices that depart from convenient Anacortes/Fidalgo Island, as well as Friday Harbor/San Juan Island, where all of our kayak tours depart from the San Juan County Park on the scenic west side of San Juan Island, summer home to our famous Southern Resident orcas. Although all of our tours enjoy whale encounters throughout the summer months, these trips have a statistical advantage over any other launch site (including any other place on San Juan Island).
BC Whale tours
Come enjoy a spectacular whale watching extravaganza from Captain Harold Benischek’s intimate 12-passenger vessel. Our luxury zodiac-style yacht is fast and long range, which guarantees orca sightings. Captain Harold is a certified marine naturalist and a seasoned mariner with over 30,000 hours accredited to him and a vast knowledge of the local waters, marine life, and coastal history. His animated spirit and passion towards the local marine wildlife, along with his many travel adventures, will ensure an enriched whale watching experience. BC Whale Tours has some of the most interesting skippers in the industry. You might go out with Captain Jim Zakreski, an internationally acclaimed marine biologist and expert in orca behavior and conservation who, when he’s not driving boats around the local waters of Vancouver Island, explores one of the most extreme places on Earth – Antarctica. In the wheelhouse may be Captain Mike Hann, a marine wildlife naturalist, eco-adventure guide and dive instructor who also “heads south” in the off-season, playing an integral role in research expeditions photographing and tagging whales in the waters of Antarctica. Also driving our boats is Victoria born and raised Captain Gordon Blunt, a commercial diver and expert sailor and sea cadet instructor, and Captain Rod King, a certified marine mammal naturalist, founding member of the West Coast Anti-Whaling Society and former Vice President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association. Our Sales and Operations Manager is Captain Tom Mitchell, an internationally qualified and experienced marine biologist who has worked throughout Australia and Vancouver Island with various research and environmental conservation groups. Most recently, Tom has been working on the Great Barrier Reef via Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, educating and inspiring visitors about the beauty and complexity of the reef systems. As a Dive Master, he has great first-hand experience and knowledge of marine ecosystems through his countless interactions with the marine wildlife in their natural environment. His passion for the conservation of the marine world is both engaging and contagious as he inspires all of those on board.
deer harbor charters
Deer Harbor, WA
Deer Harbor Charters celebrates its third decade of whale watching and marine wildlife tours in the San Juan Islands. We are exclusively the only whale and wildlife tour company leaving from Rosario and Deer Harbor Marina on Orcas Island. The U.S.C.G. certified Squito is the first whale watch boat in the San Juan Islands, with comfortable inside seating as well as outside viewing decks that make it a great all-weather boat. The Pelagic is a 36′ vessel that is licensed for 20 passengers. Pelagic was built in Maine in 2000 and is a lobster boat design, used by commercial operators for over 75 years! Stable, fast and roomy, Pelagic is equipped with a modern, cleaner burning diesel meeting the latest EPA standards. Bring the family and join us for a cruise through the San Juan Islands. Our skilled and experienced naturalists give lessons on marine wildlife and local history. Each trip has on board a trained professional naturalist who maintains an educational, informative dialogue regarding the natural history, distribution and habits of the whales and other wildlife. We’ll cruise through protected waters in search of orcas and minke whales, along the way also looking for bald eagles, seals and porpoises. Bird watchers will delight in the numerous types of seabirds we will encounter. Well-known local captain and naturalist Tom Averna established and operated Deer Harbor Charters in 1988, making it one of the longest operating whale watching businesses in the San Juan Islands. Tom has a background in marine science and has been a professional captain for 35 years. He also was the first elected President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.
Eagle Wing Tours
We are Wild 4 Whales! Not all tours are created equal, and this is not your average whale-watching company! Eagle Wing Tours is proud to be Canada's first whale-watching company to become carbon neutral and support 1% for the Planet, leading to multiple sustainability awards along the way. Certified Gold with Green Tourism Canada, they offer more comprehensive tours, longer tour times, custom boats and experienced crew. Their commitment to the environment is unsurpassed, and they continue to recreate what a sustainable whale-watching company should look like, driving change within the industry.
Explore the Salish Sea, at the centre of the world's highest concentration of orca, with guaranteed whales, and guaranteed adventure. Learn about the animals, including killer whales, grey whales, minke whales and humpback whales, as well as seals and sea lions, porpoise and sea birds, while listening to the professional hydrophones provided on all the vessels. As passionate stewards of this world-renowned marine environment, the Eagle Wing Tours team is deeply committed to sustainable eco-tourism at every step of the way, through community leadership, awareness and education.
For travellers demanding more, Eagle Wing Tours is Trip Advisor's top rated whale-watching experience in Victoria since 2007. As industry leaders, they go the extra mile (or 50!) to give their guests an amazing wildlife experience. Eagle Wing Tours inspires the conservation of the marine environment, with a thrill!
Five Star Whale Watching
In 1985, Five Star Charters Ltd. was one of the three founding companies of whale watching out of Victoria, B.C. Five Star Charters Ltd. played an integral part in making Victoria, BC a world-famous destination for travelers wishing to see killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the wild. We operate two high-speed Expedition Catamarans. These are purpose-built for whale watching and, therefore, are great viewing platforms. Up to 40 passengers on each vessel have seating available in the comfort of a covered cabin, while still having the option to enjoy the upper and outer viewing decks at any time. We call ourselves "Victoria's Catamaran Whale Watching Company" as many people are drawn to the open layout and stability of our vessels. Our high-speed Expedition Catamarans are fast enough to maximize range and the percentage chance of sightings and to offer an exhilarating ride; both have lots of outdoor seating and the option of "wind-in-your-face adventure." These vessels also provide (a) A viewing area on the bow so that passengers can look down into the water at porpoise and sea lions; (b) The ability for passengers to move around the vessel for more comfort, better visibility and optimum photography; (c) An "at the rail of the boat" viewing position is available for each and every passenger on board; (d) Upper decks for better viewing angles, especially as viewing regulations have changed; (e) Easily accessible washrooms; and (f) The option of Indoor Seating (still with great visibility through large picture windows). We love what we do and it shows. Our experienced and well-trained staff will ensure your voyage is fun, educational and comfortable. Plus, Five Star often features legendary orca tracker Ron Bates as an on-board naturalist. Join us for Salish Sea adventures and lifelong memories! We're also proud members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association and participants in the "1% for the Planet" carbon-neutral project, an alliance of businesses that believe in providing financial support to environmental initiatives. These measures deepen our commitment to supporting conservation of wild places. 1% of our annual gross revenue is donated to local environmental causes to help save the whales!
highliner charters and r&R Charters
We are proud to offer private 3 1/2 hour whale watching trips for groups of six or less (for larger parties we can split the group and place them in two separate boats). We will head out in search of Orca, Minke, Humpback, whales. Along the way, we will watch for other wildlife such as porpoise, seals, sea lions, and various types of birds which inhabit our islands.
Island adventures whale watchinG
Anacortes, Everett, La Conner, Port ANgeles
There's nothing quite like being aboard the Island Explorer 3. At 101 feet long with an upper viewing deck and the largest bow pulpit in the industry, the Island Explorer 3 has more than enough space for everyone to have a front row spot at the rail. Both the upper and lower deck are fully walkaround, which allows effortless movement around the boat and great viewing. Because of our very high success rate, Island Adventures was one of the first and only companies to guarantee whale sightings on every tour - but it’s our team of highly qualified crew that will make your trip unforgettable! We boast over 100 years of combined experience in the islands, over 6,000 wildlife tours conducted, and have led excursions for over 220,000 satisfied customers. The San Juan Islands provide one of the best whale watching opportunities anywhere in the world, offering calm waters and a huge variety of wildlife which includes our three pods of resident orcas. Go gray whale watching out of Everett, WA! Island Adventures also runs a popular gray whale watch every spring from the Everett Marina, just a half-hour north of Seattle, with a nearly 100% success rate finding whales.
Island Adventures also operates now out of Port Angeles! It's the best place on the U.S. side to catch up with humpback whales. As an active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association since 1996, Island Adventures is also a leader in responsible wildlife viewing, helping to create guidelines still used today to protect our local orcas. The company was founded and is locally owned and operated by Shane Aggergaard, who has served three terms as PWWA's President and two terms as its Vice President. Island Adventures Whale Watching is longtime supporters of The Center for Whale Research, donating a portion of all ticket sales to salmon enhancement and whale research.
Maya's Legacy Whale Watching
Friday harbor, WA
Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching provides personalized eco-adventures from the best location to experience orca whales in the wild. Recreational, engaging and informative, we offer memorable experiences with a passionate crew, the most innovative boats, departing from the heart of it all, San Juan Island.
Seeing orcas in their natural environment is a peak experience that we passionately share with our passengers. As part of your whale watching tour, our captains and marine naturalists provide information about the orcas lives, habitat, history, culture, biology and the challenges faced by this endangered southern resident orca population. Providing education is a fundamental component of our conservation efforts with the hope that we inspire others to engage in and support habitat recovery for the whales and other wildlife.
In addition, we support a variety of research and conservation organizations. Our support includes donations from our company, donations made by individuals within our company, as well as involvement and service working with the organizations on a variety of projects.
Our whale watching boats are the newest and fastest vessels departing from San Juan Island. We offer tours from two excellent departure locations, aboard two different types of vessels.
Mystic sea charters
anacortes and langley, WA
Join us for a whale of an adventure! Mysterious in mist or sparkling in sunshine, the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands are always changing and always beautiful. Come aboard the classic 100-foot Mystic Sea for our guaranteed whale watch and wildlife cruise and enjoy a fun and relaxing day on the water. Learn about the history, lore, and hidden nooks of this unique area from our friendly and knowledgeable crew, and make memories for a lifetime! We explore 80-100 miles on our cruises and have a spectacular array of wildlife that migrate into these calm waters at various times and stages throughout the year; everything from bald eagles and puffins, to Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall's porpoise and Stellar sea lions. We have several different types of whales in addition to the 82 Southern Resident orcas, including minkes, humpbacks, gray whales, and transient orcas... the true "killer whale"! Choose your destination... whether it's winding your way up the Guemes Channel or through the pristine beauty and serenity of the San Juan Island paradise or cruising to the awesome splendor of Deception Pass with its rock-hewn cliffs and rushing, swirling, eddies. We'll depart from historic Anacortes, Washington with its quaint shops, delightful lodging, and unique ambiance. A cruise you'll remember for a lifetime... whale watching, lighthouse cruises, birdwatching, and more. As we value quality over quantity, we limit the number of people on our daily cruises to 60 instead of filling the boat to maximum capacity (77 people); this allows for more space so everyone can be comfortable while cruising through the San Juan Islands. The resident orcas of J-, K- and L-Pods can move up to 100 miles in a day, so some days they are only 20 minutes away from Anacortes, and other days they can be three hours away - near Victoria or Point Roberts. If we need to go the extra mile or take the extra hour to get you whales, we will. We don’t make claims to be number one – we just find you whales and make sure you have fun doing it!
cowichan bay, bc
Are you ready for awe-inspiring whale watching memories from Vancouver Island? Ocean EcoVentures' quality whale watching excursions depart daily from the seaside village of Cowichan Bay. Our whale watching tours focus on the Southern Resident orcas, transient orcas, humpback whales, gray whales and minke whales. You will also encounter sea lions, bald eagles, harbor seals, Dall's and harbor porpoises as well as a myriad of marine birds on your whale watching eco tour. A small, owner-operated family business, Ocean EcoVentures is committed to providing you with an intimate and informative whale watching tour. Small tour groups ensure personalized service, while your Transport Canada-certified captain provides a safe and knowledgeable tour of the scenic Canadian Gulf Islands and U.S. San Juan Islands. Whales are our passion! We love sharing Vancouver Island's marine ecosystem and all that inhabits it. We are dedicated to responsible and ethical whale watching and wildlife viewing. We consider our vessel a floating classroom. Our captains/naturalists have a vast amount of knowledge of Vancouver Island's and the Gulf Islands' local natural history. As well as the most up-to-date science regarding our local orcas, humpback whales, gray whales and the rest of marine ecosystem. The more we learn about our local ecosystem, the harder we’ll work to protect it.
orca spirit adVENTURES group
Orca Spirit offers you Victoria’s original and authentic whale watching experience. You’ll tour the waters around Vancouver Island - which boast some of the most spectacular marine wildlife on the planet - with a certified marine naturalist. You can have the opportunity to view orcas, humpbacks, gray and minke whales, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and bald eagles in their natural environment, and perhaps even listen to whale vocalizations as many of our boats are outfitted with hydrophones. We’ll also introduce you to our region’s extraordinary species of birds, including cormorants, rhinoceros auklets, common murre, pigeon guillemot, tufted puffins, great blue herons, and black oyster catchers. We at Orca Spirit Adventures Ltd. know just how lucky we are, and we take the responsibility that goes with our chosen careers very seriously: To provide responsible and ethical wildlife viewing; to promote and support conservation and stewardship of the marine environment; to educate as well as entertain. Everyday we are grateful to be living in such a wonderful city, near so many amazing marine mammals and with incredible ocean vistas, mountains, islands and forests. You won’t find a group of people who appreciate and respect Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife more than the crew at Orca Sprit Adventures, which is why we are a proud proponent of the Pacific Whale Watch Association guidelines for responsible whale watching. And a portion of all whale watching adventure proceeds goes to support local marine research initiatives. We’re also a Climate-Friendly company, proud to provide carbon neutral whale watching trips and harbour cruises! We thrive not only on maintaining but improving the environmental standards on which we operate, by being a leader in the eco-tourism industry. We as an organization, now have a unique opportunity to protect this valuable resource- that is the nutrient-rich Pacific Ocean- by investing in a conservation economy through the purchase of carbon offsets. We have selected to support the Great Bear Rainforest initiative, which is focusing on protecting an area that is so crucial to the purity of our inland waterways, that filter into our coastal marine environment.
ORCAs island ecliPse Charters
orcas island, wa
rcas Island Eclipse Charters is one of the longest-serving and most beloved whale watch businesses in the region. It’s also one of the most convenient in the San Juans – leave the car behind, walk onto the Washington State ferry and get off at Orcas Island. It's then just a few hundred feet down the pier to the beautiful 56' Orcas Express, with a spacious, bright and airy interior and 46 comfortable contour Norwegian-made seats with an additional four jump seats for a total of 50. Inside our heated cabin, there are seats at tables for 36. The other 14 seats are open. The outside has 60 feet of open deck to walk around. With ever-changing cycles of nature, each tour is unique. You will discover the excitement of meeting whales, eagles and more in their natural habitat. An unpredictable wilderness, full of surprises, is waiting just for you. You will never forget it! And no one conducts a wildlife viewing tour quite like Capt. Dan Wilk. A USCG-licensed Master Captain, Dan was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and shares a fascinating running narrative about the unique history of the islands and all-things-wild, turning every trip into an experience of a lifetime. Dan and his wife Denise Wilk have run whale watching tours since 1991 and are founding members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association and still some of its most active, completely dedicated to providing spectacular viewing opportunities for passengers while protecting sensitive wildlife, particularly our Endangered resident orcas. Dan and Denise also have a great passion for lighthouse preservation, and run tours of these historic beacons of San Juan Islands. If you're a lighthouse aficionado, this is your boat!
Outer island Excursions
Orcas Island, AnAcortes, Lopez Island, Bellingham, WA
Outer Island Excursions offers high quality, unforgettable marine experiences in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. We offer tours starting from Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and Bellingham. Our focus is on a personal experience. Aboard our boats you’ll be able to converse with the captain, have a say in the itinerary and your interaction with wildlife viewing will be up close and personal. Outer Island Excursions private charters are able to incorporate many activities into one trip – whale watching, wildlife viewing, charter fishing, crabbing, kayaking, lighthouse tours, island tours and gourmet meals served in an island park. We’ll put together a day for you that you’ll never forget. Outer Island Excursions is based on the North Shore of Orcas Island, in Brandt’s Landing Marina, near Smuggler’s Villa Resort, however we can pick up you from a variety of locations throughout San Juan Islands region; including Lopez Island, Shaw Island, San Juan Island, Blakely Island, Lummi Island, Anacortes, Bellingham and most anywhere else you might be in the San Juan Islands.
PRINCE OF WHALES WHALE WATCHING
VIctoria and vancouver, bc
Victoria -- Get ready for the Adventure of a Lifetime! Whether you are a first time whale watcher or a seasoned veteran, we guarantee that you will have a blast! Our fleet of open-air, purpose built, zodiac-style vessels is Victoria’s largest. Equipped with bright yellow inflatable collars, this stable design cushions your ride and guarantees maximum buoyancy even if the sea conditions are rough. With aerodynamic aluminum hulls and reliable twin two-hundred horsepower Mercury engines, our vessels are able to cover over one hundred miles in one trip. This maximizes the distance you can travel on your tour and the amount of time you are ultimately able to spend viewing whales and other marine wildlife. Your tour will last a minimum of three hours and will include various stops at different points of interest within the protected waters of Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. While on scene with whales and other marine wildlife, the vessel will be positioned parallel to the animals allowing for excellent photo opportunities. All the while, you will be fully entertained and educated by the industry’s best and brightest marine adventure guides.
Vancouver -- No visit to the city of Vancouver is complete without getting out on the water and seeing the spectacular wildlife we have here. Come to the Prince of Whales office in the lobby of the Westin Bayshore Hotel (adjacent to Starbuck’s) and choose from five different wildlife viewing adventures. One of the most popular is "The Ultimate Day Tour." Escape the big city of Vancouver for a day or two and visit British Columbia’s charming capital city of Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Our 62′ covered cruiser, the Ocean Magic, takes a breathtakingly beautiful route across Georgia Strait and through the Gulf Islands on an expedition to find marine mammals, from little harbour seals to the magnificent killer whales and humpbacks that roam our waters. The whale watching tour concludes in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, where you will have time to explore the city and discover our neat shops, attractions and restaurants. Shuttle buses will depart from downtown Victoria throughout the afternoon, to deliver you up to the world famous Butchart Gardens for a couple of hours of leisurely strolling and a chance to stop and smell the roses. That evening you will re-board the Ocean Magic at The Garden’s private dock, for a two-hour sunset cruise back to beautiful Coal Harbour in Vancouver, just in time for dinner! Prince of Whales Vancouver also partners with Harbour Air and Helijet for one-of-a-kind “Whales & Fly” packages to Victoria and back. No matter what adventure you choose, we promise it’ll be an experience of a lifetime. Owner Alan McGillivray and his partner Chris Hall pioneered whale watching out of Victoria in the early 1990s, growing their business from one marine mail boat to what is now the largest whale watch company in the region. Alan currently serves as President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.
PuGet sound express
port townsend AND edmonds, wa
Puget Sound Express has been running wildlife viewing tours from beautiful Port Townsend for over three decades. Come aboard the Red Head and Glacier Spirit, two of the most comfortable and spacious whale watch boats in the industry. Puget Sound Express has three generations of knowledge and caring at the ready. In 1981, the company started with owner Pete Hanke’s dad, Pete Sr., providing week-long sailing adventures in the Pacific Northwest aboard the 80ft schooner, Alcyone. Over the years, they moved from sailboats to powerboats, but always made sure the orca watching experience and the vessels were first rate. To that end, they still continue to operate what they feel is the best whale watching company in the Pacific Northwest. Besides Pete and Sherri, there are now the children, who are actually getting so much time under their belts that they probably do it better than the parents. Sarah takes care of reservations and helps market the Seattle/Edmonds tour, and Christopher, now with his engineering degree, is helps us keep the boats in running order and is in his sixth summer behind the wheel of the boats. Even the grandparents play active roles ashore and on the water.
Puget Sound Express Edmonds! The Seattle metropolitan area now has its first-ever half-day whale watch option. Puget Sound Express Whale Watching is now running 4-1/2-hour excursions out of Edmonds Marina, just a few minutes north of Seattle. Puget Sound is known as Orca Country, and Seattle is the only city in the U.S. with a resident population of killer whales. The Southern Residents are often called “The Urban Whales,” with one of the three orca pods, J-Pod, frequenting the Sound year-round. But locals know the best whale watching in the summer and fall happens in and around Washington’s picturesque San Juan Islands, which for many living in and visiting the greater Seattle area requires an hour-and-a-half drive to Anacortes, waiting hours for a spot on a crowded ferry, and then battling to find accommodations in one of the most-visited tourist destinations in North America – and once they get there, finding a seat on a local whale watch boat during the busy season. A northern migration like that calls for a multiple-day expenditure of time and money. Now they can see whales in half a day. The 63-foot foilcat Chilkat Express is the fastest passenger vessel on the West Coast. With a top speed of roughly 55 knots, or about 63 miles per hour, and a cruising speed of about 35 knots or over 40 mph, the Chilkat will get passengers to the San Juans and the whales in a little over an hour. That leaves plenty of time in the quiet company of some of the most majestic creatures on the planet, and once back in Seattle, a half-a-day to enjoy the rest of what western Washington has to offer.
Sherri Hanke grew up on a blueberry farm, so every whale watch trip includes her signature, freshly baked “blueberry buckle” made from her grandmother’s recipe. The Edmonds run may be departing from one of the largest metropolitan areas in North America, traveling on the fastest passenger vessel in the region, but the experience will always have that down-home, blueberry buckle feel. It's big city-meets-the family farm, meeting some of nature’s most fascinating families of wildlife.
salt spring adventure co ltd.
Your destination? WILDLIFE! Since the locations of many animals are determined by the tides, weather, time of day, breeding cycles and food supply, Salt Spring Adventure Co. does not confine our journeys to one particular route. The speed and maneuverability of their specially-built vessel, and the daily observations of the crew, make a tour with Salt Spring Adventure Co. the best way to experience the nature and splendor of Gulf Islands. Every journey truly is unique. Salt Spring Adventure Co. operates between March and October, based on weather and on whale/marine wildlife and bird sighting information. Sightings of whales vary day to day and generally sightings are greater between April and October. Salt Spring Adventure Co. does not guarantee seeing whales, but they are always out there and they find them about 80% of the time! Salt Spring Adventure Co. belongs to a whale spotter network and will provide passengers with the most up to date information prior to departure.
The Gulf Islands are a wild place, full of amazing wildlife, and inspiring landscapes. It is also a region that's facing growing conservation concerns. Salt Spring Adventure Co. is committed to observing federal guidelines with respect to marine mammal and whale viewing. Learn first-hand about endangered species and ecosystems. Wildlife sightings can include orcas, humpback whales, minke whales, gray whales, fin whales, harbour seals, porpoise, sea lions and bald eagles! Departures are from the Salt Spring Marina with pick-ups (on request) available on Galiano Island, Mayne Island (Miners Bay) and North Pender Island (Port Washington), at no extra cost.
San juan cruises
elcome aboard San Juan Cruises! Experience the beautiful San Juan Islands as you never have before. Enjoy the sights and sounds of its incredible marine wildlife on our Whale Watching Adventure cruise. Each day we look for orcas, bald eagles, seals, porpoises, sea lions, minke whales and more, as the captain tells you about the history, wildlife and geology of the area. Around noon we serve our delicious, complimentary Northwest salmon and BBQ chicken lunch, with a variety of side dishes and dessert. Yes, the delicious, freshly prepared wild salmon that our passengers have raved about for years is back! Next is our shore visit in Friday Harbor, with two hours to wander around this vibrant seaside town, filled with interesting shops, artist galleries, pubs, and the largest whale museum in the Northwest. Afterward we'll cruise back to Bellingham, while soaking in the early evening sun. No other cruise in the Northwest offers so much! San Juan Cruises is a locally owned and operated Bellingham, WA-based company that operates three beautiful, comfortable passenger vessels: the Victoria Star, Viking Star and Island Commuter. We started back in 1987 as Gray Line Cruises, operating from the Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, WA, and moved to Bellingham shortly after the Alaska Ferry Terminal opened in 1989. Since that time we have offered sightseeing tours to the San Juan Islands and Victoria, BC during the summer months, as well as private charters. San Juan Cruises is also a longtime active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, committed to responsible, sustainable wildlife viewing in the region.
SAN JUAN excursions
friday harbor, WA
oin Captain Pete Ancich and his naturalist wife Erin aboard the Odyssey and experience the thrill of seeing orcas, harbor seals, California and Steller sea lions, Dall's and harbor porpoise, gray and minke whales, bald eagles, cormorants, great blue herons and so much more on one of our whale watching trips. Just steps away from the ferry landing in Friday Harbor you will embark upon the Odyssey. Built in 1941, this converted U.S. Navy search and rescue vessel welcomes you aboard to experience her class and comfort as you cruise the San Juans. For over 20 years, we have been offering whale watching/wildlife cruises in the San Juan Islands. Our goal is to give our guests an enjoyable and exciting tour, while always practicing the highest level of respect for wildlife and boating safety. We want to set an example for other boaters on the water ensuring the continuation of wildlife viewing for years to come. Our captains and naturalists, who live year 'round on San Juan Island, are among the best in the business. Not only are they experts about the wildlife and natural history of the San Juan Islands, but they are entertaining and fun. They get excited every time they see wildlife. This enthusiasm is one of the main ingredients that keeps people coming back year after year to San Juan Excursions for whale watching/wildlife tours.
SAN JUAN Island outfitters
Roche Harbor and FRIDAY HARBOR, WA
he waterways surrounding the San Juan Islands are considered the best place in the world to observe orcas (killer whales) in the wild, and one of the best locations in the islands to access those waters is San Juan Outfitter’s exclusive marine adventure center at historic Roche Harbor. This location allows us to access all the major waterways the whales travel, and we often view whales within the Haro Strait, just a few miles from Roche Harbor. During the peak season, we see whales on 90% of our tours, in addition to a variety of marine wildlife. Our small, family-owned and locally-operated business has over 12 years of experience conducting whale watch tours in the San Juans. We specialize in providing high-quality whale watching, kayaking, and adventure tours for groups, families, and independent travelers. San Juan Outfitters is located at both Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, allowing guests safe and easy access to the water, whether you are sea kayaking or whale watching. Experienced paddlers, novices, and families alike will enjoy our sea kayaking tours, with a wide variety of tours and services available. Whale watch guests will appreciate the small group feel of our 42’ MV Sea Hawk, with both your captain and naturalist answering your questions one-on-one. Owner/operator Brian Goodremont has worked on San Juan Island in eco-tourism for 15 years as a kayak guide and boat captain, and currently serves as US President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.
SAN JUAN safariS
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA
San Juan Safaris is one of the most venerable, beloved whale watch operations in the region. Founded by ecotourism pioneer Bill Wright in 1995 and now owned by Brian Goodremont, Past US President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, the company set the standard for responsible, non-impactful wildlife viewing, helping to establish whale watch guidelines that are still being practiced today - all while providing a truly unique, personalized experience for passengers. Our whale watching boat is the beautiful 55-foot Sea Lion, with only 40 or fewer guests aboard, there is plenty of room at the rails or in the windowed cabin for everyone to view whales and wildlife. Knowledgeable marine naturalists will inform and amuse you. Our crew loves their work and it shows. Guests tell us that the staff is attentive, warm and friendly. Spring, summer and fall find magnificent orca whales plying the waters of Haro Strait off San Juan Island, Washington. These whales are focused on finding the Pacific runs of salmon that traditionally move through these waters, mid-April to the first part of October. Enjoy San Juan Island! It's known for orca whale watching, of course, but also sea kayaking, hiking, biking, mopeding, history, a vineyard, museums, a lavender farm, an alpaca farm, a farmers market and many fine restaurants. Consider spending at least a couple of days. San Juan Island has over 50 lodging facilities. You may also wish to visit Lopez Island and Orcas Island as a day trip from San Juan Island. We can assist you with lodging selections. No matter what you do, we guarantee that you will take home life-long memories!
Sidney whale watching
idney Whale Watching (formerly SeaQuest and Emerald Sea) is a family-run, First Nations-owned company that has been serving Sidney for over 15 years. We love what we do and we’re positive that you will have a great experience with us. We’re located in the Cannery Building at the foot of Beacon Avenue, offering three-to-three-and-a-half-hour tours departing right from Sidney's waterfront! With Sidney's moderate climate, protected harbor, calm seas, and beautiful Gulf Islands right off shore, it's no wonder why this is one of the best places in the world to depart for a whale watching adventure. Breaching, spy hopping, bow riding, tail slapping - if these terms aren't familiar to you, it probably means you haven't been on a whale watching tour. What are you waiting for? Our coastline is home to the Southern Resident J-, K- and L-Pods of killer whales, currently numbering 82 altogether. Whale sightings on the tours are guaranteed during the summer months and often occur within the first 20 minutes of leaving shore. As well as orcas, there are often sightings of minke, humpback and gray whales. Nearby islands are home to seal colonies and porpoise feeding grounds and sea lions can be seen basking on sun-warmed rocks. Don't be surprised to find a bald eagle soaring above either! Friendly and knowledgeable local guides provide a truly interactive and educational adventure.
Spirit of orca whale and wildlife tours
friday harbor, wa
Walk off the Washington State Ferry in Friday Harbor and two minutes later you are onboard Spirit of Orca. Take a 3-4-hour trip into the heart of San Juan Islands orca territory. You'll have the opportunity to see the resident orcas, also known as killer whales, minke whales, harbor porpoises, California sea lions, harbor seals, bald eagles and much, much, more.
The Spirit of Orca is a beautiful and seaworthy 26’ boat with a powerful yet very economical diesel engine that will take you safely and quickly to where the whales are. The boat is capable of running 30 knots (35mph) but normal cruising speed is around 20+ knots (24 mph). There have been extra high handrails added for your safety during the whale watching experience. We encourage you to use the restroom before your tour but there is a marine head (toilet) in the forepeak (forward cabin) in case you need it before we get back to the dock.
SpringTide Charters was established in 1986 and began operations in Victoria in 1994, initially as a professional Sport Fishing Company. Dan Kukat and his 42′ Uniflite Sportfisher - the SpringTide - quickly became known as a top guiding service, with an excellently outfitted vessel and consistently great “catches.” Many wonderful times were had by avid sportsmen, corporate clients, derby organizers and families wishing to have a tremendous experience together! Whale watching became a very popular activity in the early ‘90s. Dan, with his passion and commitment to wildlife and the environment, jumped in with both feet to author wildlife viewing guidelines now used in many countries and organizations. During this time, our custom-designed vessels were built and the SpringTide fleet grew to its current 152-passenger capacity. Now, Dan’s wife Joanne and family are actively involved in all aspects of the company’s operations. Like many Pacific Whale Watch Association operators, SpringTide is also a leader in salmon restoration projects throughout the region, addressing the most urgent problem facing our Southern Resident orcas. No fish, no blackfish.
At Steveston EcoTours, you choose the cruise! We offer unique marine travel experiences to your choice of destinations, from our home port of Steveston, B.C. Steveston is located at the mouth of the Fraser River, in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. This Historic Fishing Village is Home Port of Canada's largest fishing fleet - over 350 fishing vessels of all gear types and sizes - yet is close to all Richmond hotels and the Vancouver International Airport. Rapid transit connects Richmond to Vancouver. Historic sites are everywhere in Steveston, including London Heritage Farm, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, and Britannia Shipyards, a National Historic Site of Canada and our place of departure aboard the Archie V. Britannia Shipyards also transforms on occasion to "Storybrooke Shipyards" for the hit TV series, Once Upon A Time. Fans will recognize many buildings and locations when visiting. Join us as we explore the islands and channels of the Fraser River Estuary, rich in bird and marine life. We've developed a network of special destinations in the Gulf Islands. This ecosystem is truly unique in Canada supporting thousands of species of marine life. Travel by boat is the best way to explore the marine routes through its countless islands and passages. Quiet trails on the islands invite discovery of rare inland ecosystems. On your Steveston EcoTour, you will visit the habitat of many marine mammals including orcas, humpback, gray and minke whales, California and Stellar sea lions, harbour seals, Dall's and harbour porpoises and Pacific white-sided dolphins, depending on the season and the tour. Upon arrival we respectfully observe these animals, in their natural environment. Steveston EcoTours is Whale Wise. We follow the Whale Watching Protocol of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) when in Canadian waters, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) when in US waters. Steveston EcoTours also supports the whale and wildlife guidelines of the Pacific Whale Watch Association. We're also proud members of the B.C. Waterfowl Society, the Georgia Strait Alliance, the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society, the Steveston Historical Society, Valdes Island Conservancy, BC Nature - Federation of BC Naturalists, London Heritage Farm Society, Bird Studies Canada, and Tourism Richmond. Our EcoTour boat has comfortable, safe seating in a heated cabin. Its design gets us into bays and passages the big boats can't reach! You go safely ashore for beach explorations. We are fully insured, and we have the latest marine safety equipment and marine first aid training. Let us share with you our 35 years in the Gulf Islands, and a lifetime on the Coast. We'll take you to special places you'll never forget, that others never see! We know and love this area, and we are delighted to share its wonders with you!
STEVESTON seabreeze adventures
ust south of Vancouver in the quaint historic fishing village of Steveston you’ll find a gateway to some of the best whale watching Vancouver has to offer! Have you ever dreamed of seeing some of the world’s largest creatures in their natural habitat? Or wondered how to get a "seal’s eye view" of the beautiful BC coast? If you’re looking for a way to spend the day on a Vancouver whale watching tour cruising the coast looking for whales, porpoises and other marine mammals and seabirds in one of the most beautiful places in the world, then you’ve come to the right place! Whether visiting the West Coast from out of town, or if you’re a local, a Vancouver whale watching tour is a great way to gain an educational, informative experience you’ll never forget! Depart from Steveston Village, three miles south of Vancouver International Airport, aboard our covered and heated scenic cruising vessels. Upper and lower unrestricted viewing decks on all vessels. Coffee service and washroom facilities on board all vessels. Relax and enjoy our three-to-five-hour tours, along the lower reaches of the Fraser River, Gulf of Georgia and the beautiful Gulf and San Juan Islands. All tours are professionally narrated by our marine biology naturalists. We boast the most scenic and pristine areas that the B.C. coastline has to offer! With the majestic orcas, humpback whales, gray whales, minke whales, Dall’s porposies, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Stellar sea lions, California sea lions, harbour seals, as well as bald eagles, falcons, puffins, pelicans and a large variety of other aquatic marine birdlife, this is truly a "Once in a Lifetime Experience." Shuttle service and lunches are available on request.
Vancouver Island Whale Watch
Co-founders Mike and Jilann have worked in the whale watching industry for over a decade, both as wildlife guides and driving vessels on BC's coast.
Jilann's background is marine biology, and she attended Simon Fraser University where she studied biological science. Jilann has worked for various NGO's in British Columbia and Southeast Alaska, and has contributed to projects studying orca, humpbacks, fin whales, and pacific salmon. She is also a researcher with Keta Coastal Conservation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to researching humpback whales in the Salish Sea.
Mike graduated from the University of Victoria with an Environmental studies and Political Science degree, and then began guiding whale watching tours from Vancouver. He acquired his captain's ticket the following year and has been happily bringing people and whales together ever since.
Our shared love of BC's marine life led us to a life together, as well as founding Vancouver Island Whale Watch. We find great satisfaction in connecting people with the natural world, and our goal is to provide a world class whale watching experience with a focus on conservation and sustainability. We hope our guests will be inspired to become ambassadors for this diverse and beautiful coast.
vancouver whale watch
Cedric Towers of Vancouver Whale Watch is a true pioneer of whale watching in the region, starting the first company conducting regular tours from the Vancouver area 14 years ago. Located in the beautiful, historic fishing village of Steveston just 40 minutes south of downtown, Vancouver Whale Watch provides passengers with the adventure of a lifetime through excellent customer service, first class vessels, the highest possible safety standards and added value from an on-the-water education of the west coast ecosystem. We emphasize science and conservation while maintaining a fun and professional atmosphere. Join our professional naturalists for a three-to-five-hour tour, starting in Steveston and traveling through the spectacular Gulf and San Juan Islands. While we journey to find the orcas (killer whales), you’ll have the opportunity to see a diverse marine ecosystem, including bow-riding Dall’s porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles and seals. Choose between the thrill of an open zodiac or ride in comfort and style in one of our larger semi-enclosed zodiac-style vessels. Our boats are equipped with onboard washrooms and Coast Guard Standard safety equipment. Transportation and lunch available upon request. We can accommodate groups of any size. Vancouver Whale Watch is also a longtime active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, with Cedric currently serving as its Secretary. We’re committed to the guidelines for responsible whale watching that PWWA has helped put in place in both U.S. and Canada, and a portion of our proceeds go to support local marine research programs.
Seattle, WA and victoria, BC
Conveniently departing from downtown Seattle, your San Juan Islands Whale Watching & Sealife Search Day Trip begins with a scenic Victoria Clipper cruise through the Puget Sound and scenic Deception Pass to an area world-renowned for its resident pods of orcas. With the guidance of a trained onboard naturalist, you will be taken on a Whale and Sealife Search where in addition to whales you will be on the lookout for migratory birds, bald eagles, the playful Dall's porpoises, seals, otters and other area wildlife. Also included is a stopover in the charming seaside village of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. If you're in Seattle and want to head north to Victoria to see wildlife, why not leave your car behind and get there in comfort, style and with time to spare? Take one of our high-speed passenger-only Victoria Clipper ferries for a fast trip with a host of great amenities. When you travel with us, you'll enjoy a three-hour cruise through Puget Sound and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca on your way to Victoria's Inner Harbour. Once there, hop onto any of a number of great whale watch boats in Vic, including our partner operator, Prince of Whales. Since, Clipper Navigation, Inc. has provided transportation, tours and accommodation packages for over seven million customers.
Western PrincE WHALE WATCHING
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA
Join us on a whale watching tour from Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, just 90 miles north of Seattle, Washington. Breathe the fresh island air, take in the scenery, and experience the magnificence of seeing orcas, minke whales, bald eagles, porpoises, seals, sea birds and sea lions in their natural environment. Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours provides quality whale watching and wildlife tours with a personal touch. Skilled local naturalists make our trips fun, informative and interactive, and our owner/captain is dedicated to making your whale watching and wildlife trip an experience of a lifetime. We'll take you deep into the territory of the Southern Resident orca, the most magnificent of Washington’s and BC’s wildlife. There is nothing quite as spectacular as the sight of a pod of orcas along the protected coastlines of the San Juan Islands. A whale watching trip from Friday Harbor is the perfect choice for any vacation in the Pacific Northwest, and being near the Seattle, Washington area makes it a great day trip as well. Captain Ivan Reiff is the proud owner and operator of Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours. He holds a USCG Master 100 Ton License and is a full-time captain on the Western Explorer and Western Prince II. As an active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, Western Prince is dedicated to research, education and responsible wildlife and whale watching. We pledge at least 4% of our profits for conservation, and we feel strongly that education is a key part of our trips. We hope you will come away with memories to last a lifetime and a newfound appreciation for the natural world.
White rock sea tours
white rock, BC
White Rock Sea Tours provides thrilling whale watching adventures and harbour tours amidst stunning sceneries and wildlife. We also provide services that includes water taxi, charters, memorials, towing and marine assistance. Andrew Newman started White Rock Sea Tours from a passion to share the wonders of the ocean with families, tourists, and groups in the local community. He hopes to better connect people with their natural legacy through spectacular coastal journeys, close encounters with animals, conservation, and adventure, "turning moments into memories." We are the only dedicated whale-watching company operating directly from White Rock, British Columbia. Our Zodiac Captains have years of experience and are serving or former members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue. They are Transport Canada certified to deal with safe navigation, first aid and marine emergency situations. Our staff are passionate about marine wildlife and conservation. They keep up-to-date with the latest research in marine mammal research and conservation and are happy to share their knowledge.
Wild whales vancouver
hale watch from Granville Island! Departing from downtown Vancouver’s historic and eclectic shopping district, Wild Whales will soon take you deep into “the North American Serengeti,” allowing you to observe the diverse wildlife of the Pacific Coast in their natural habitat. It is an unforgettable trip of a lifetime! Board one of our three vessels at Granville Island and keep your cameras ready as you travel down False Creek and into English Bay, where the views of Vancouver, the Coast Mountains and Stanley Park are unparalleled. From English Bay, we pass the Fraser River estuary into the Strait of Georgia. Every trip, every day is different as we explore the Canadian Gulf Islands, the U.S. San Juan Islands and beyond in search of our resident killer whale pods and all of the other wildlife along the way. Sightings guaranteed! Our trips vary greatly in length, from three-to-seven hours. We are often asked why we have such variation in our schedule. The answer, the wildlife we are looking for is unpredictable. Killer whales are always moving and searching for food, we cannot say where they will be from one day to the next. However, we want to give all of our guests the opportunity to experience these amazing mammals. We will therefore travel those extra miles on days when the killer whales are further away from Vancouver. Over the past 10 years, we’ve maintained a focus on customer service, ensuring we go the extra mile to find whales for our guests. Our staff has always been professional individuals who are passionate about the marine environment and its conservation. We have selected jet boats as they are ideal for whale watching in this area. They are able to travel quickly, allowing us to cover a large range, but more importantly, they are whale friendly!