San Juan Islands Whale Watching. Five whale watching tour companies are situated in various islands of the San Juans, prime whale feeding and habitat. If you're in the area, one of them is sure to be convenient for your own whale watching plans.
Maya's Legacy Whale Watching
1997 Mitchell Bay Rd, Snug Harbor Marina & Resort, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250; (360) 378-7996; email@example.com
Maya's Legacy is family owned and operated with 25 years experience. They focus on small group whale watching tours (6-person limit). Marine biologists and naturalists are along on every tour. They operate three 30 foot vessels, each with a heated cabin and restroom. They also offer private charters for photography tours, remote island tours, celebrations and more.
Rates: $119 - $129 per person; contact them for private charter rates.
San Juan Excursions
Lower Store: 10 Front Street, Suite 101, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Upper Store: 40 Spring St, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
360-378-6636; toll-free: 800-80-WHALE (800-809-4253)
San Juan excursions is family owned and operated by second-generation islanders. Their 65 foot converted Navy search and rescue vessel, Odyssey, makes for comfortable whale watching. It has wrap-around decks and tons of windows for great views, an excellent sound system including an underwater microphone for eavesdropping on whale conversations, two restrooms, snack bar and fully equipped galley. Every trip includes 2 naturalists for your education. They guarantee that you'll see whales on your San Juan Islands whale watching tour, or you can return and ride again.
San Juan Safaris
10 Front Street, Suite 102, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
All tours depart from 2 Spring Street Landing, Friday Harbor
San Juan Safaris offers a "Classic" Whale Watch and Wildlife Tour in their flagship boat, a 55 foot long, vessel with large windows, heated cabin, and 360 degree viewing deck. Or, choose their "Adventure" Whale Watch and Wildlife Tour in a new, "adventure vessel" that cruises at 35 knots. All-weather exposure suits are provided as the boat is open but covered. Captains have years of experience, and 1-2 naturalists accompany each cruise.
Additional services include kayak tours, birding safaris, taxi service between islands, and a gift shop at their main address. See website for information.
Spirit of Orca Whale and Wildlife Tours
Spring Street Landing, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA
Phone: 360-378-0302 or 844-SEE-ORCA; firstname.lastname@example.org
Spirit of Orca is a powerful 26 foot boat that accommodates groups of up to 6 persons for whale and wildlife tours out of Friday Harbor. Captain Ken is a certified naturalist with more than 3 decades of experience on waters from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.
Tours are daily from May 1 through September 30. See website for additional info on private and off-season tours.
Western Prince Whale & Wildlife Tours
1 Spring St., Friday Harbor,
San Juan Island, WA 98250
(360) 378-5315 or (800) 757-6722
In operation since 1986, Western Prince Whale and Wildlife Tours was the first company to offer whale watching tours from the the San Juan Islands. Naturalists accompany every 3-4 hour tour.
The 46' vessel offers indoor/outdoor seating, walk-around deck, heated cabin, snack bar and restrooms.
Their open air, 27 foot rigid hull zodiac style boat offers an exciting 2.5-3 hour fast-paced adventure, each passenger is suited up with anti-exposure suits for warmth and protection. They also offer groups and private charters, sea kayaking and wildlife tours.
Rates: Cabin cruiser: Adults $95; Children 2-12 $65; Children under 2 free. Zodiac: $76 - $105 depending on season. See their website for discounts.
Outer Island Excursions
54 Hunt Rd., Smugglers Villa Resort, Eastsound, Orcas Island, WA 98245
Tripadvisor Reviews - Outer Island Expeditions, Eastsound, Orcas Island, WA
4.5 Star, Certificate of Excellence
Whale watching, private charters, kayaking adventures, lighthouse
tours, charter fishing, even a water taxi service. This company offers
something for everyone. With numerous boats to choose from and with knowledgeable
crew, they guarantee a whale sighting or you can come back for free (between
June 10 and September 10). Choose from one of three 38 foot catamarans with
comfortable amenities, to 23 foot skiffs.
Rates: $99 - $199, check their website for details and discounts.
1801 Commercial Ave., Anacortes, Fidalgo Island, WA 98221
(800) 465-4604; email@example.com
Fidalgo Island isn't technically a part of the San Juans, although it is literally right next door. Island Adventures, headquartered in Anacortes, deserves inclusion with the other local San Juan Islands whale watching companies. Its boats certainly prowl the same waters as do all the other whale watching outfits.
Since 1992, Island Adventures has offered whale watching tours
aboard their 65 foot vessel featuring wrap-around viewing deck, heated indoor
cabin, lunch/snack bar, gift shop and 2 restrooms. They provide a free 64 page
complimentary wildlife viewing guide for help in identifying local orca whales and more. With lots of space to move around and comfortable seating indoors and
out, this is a good option for folks of all ages and physical abilities. Tour
length varies from 3 hours to over 5 hours, with naturalists on board. Whale sightings are guaranteed, if none are sighted, you can return until they put you onto the whales.
Island Adventures' newest boat, Island Explorer 5, was placed into service in June, 2017. It is a luxurious, state of the art, triple decker catamaran capable of speeds in excess of 20 knots. Unless orcas or humpbacks have surfaced very close to the boat, the third deck provides unrivaled views of nearby marine life of all sorts. The boat also offers lots of indoor and outdoor seating and a large galley serving a plentiful menu for your refreshment on their San Juan Islands whale watching cruises.
Rates: $49 - $109, children under 2 are free. Check their website for special deals.